William Buford's Stock Drop
Entering the season, the senior combo-guard stood just 672 points behind Dennis Hopson as the Buckeyes' all-time leading scorer. Mind-boggling? Buford has been a steady producer for Ohio State through his three and a half seasons thus far and should have been considered one of the most underrated players in the country. After all, he is coming off a junior year where he averaged 14.4 points on 46.2 percent shooting from the floor, and nearly just as accurate from beyond 3-point range at 44.2 percent.
And the major pieces from last season's team- post presence Jared Sullinger and point guard Aaron Craft were returning to the lineup. Jon Diebler and David Lighty graduated, leaving behind over 600 shot attempts; so it seemed quite likely that Buford would continue his development as a player, handle the ball some to initiate the offense and play off the ball more often spotting up on the wing like Diebler used to and slashing like Lighty. Yet, the number of possessions Buford uses has remained virtually the same, while his overall offensive rating has taken a dip due to decreased shooting percentage, mainly from 3-point range where he is hitting 36.1 percent of his attempts this season.
But the biggest concern is Buford's play in Big Ten games thus far; he is shooting 34 percent from deep and has 20 total assists, compared to 21 turnovers. Here is the comparison with last season's numbers in conference games:
2010-11: Offensive Rating: 123.6, 3-point percentage: 52.1, turnover percentage: 13.7
2011-12: Offensive Rating: 99.2, 3-point percentage: 34.6, turnover percentage: 25.0
It's a small sample through not even half of conference play, but the level of play is alarming thus far.
By President Corey Ruff - 1 - 22 - 12