McCartney: Grading out the title game

Tuesday April 3rd, 2007
NCAA Championship Grades
Florida 84, Ohio State 75
Ohio State Buckeyes
Mike Conley Jr., G
34 min., 20 points (7-13 FG, 5-6 FT, 1-3 3PT), 3 rebounds, 6 assists
He scored 16 of his points in the final 10:54, overcoming a dry spell of 25 minutes, 54 seconds by getting into the lane. He was disruptive on defense, a la his steal and layup with 1:16 left, but his second-half scoring barrage was too little too late.
Ron Lewis, G
34 min., 12 points (6-13 FG, 0-1 FT, 0-4 3PT), 3 rebound, 1 steal
The reason the Buckeyes even made it this far, Lewis -- like the entire OSU roster -- was North Pole cold from outside, going 0-for-4. He did ditch the treys and went to the paint but he was nowhere near effective as he was before the Final Four.
Jamar Butler, G
36 min., 3 points (1-7 FG, 0-0 FT, 1-6 3PT), 2 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 steals
A horrible shooting night (finished with as many points as he had fouls) and a horrible defensive night, Butler lost Lee Humphrey numerous times in the second half and failed to be that jack-of-all-trades he had been so often this season.
Ivan Harris, F
26 min., 7 points (2-8 FG, 1-2 FT, 2-8 3PT), 5 rebounds
Harris hit more three-pointers than any other Buckeyes, which wasn't saying much. He was 2-of-8 from behind the arc (both of his made treys came in the first half) and completely disappeared in the second half, scoring only one point.
Greg Oden, C
38 min., 25 points (10-15 FG, 5-8 FT, 0-0 3PT), 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 blocks
The Bearded One stayed out of foul trouble, was dominant inside on offense and an absolute force on the defensive end. He flipped the script on Billy Donovan's attempt to get him in foul trouble, instead helping the three players assigned to him to 12 fouls. He was without a doubt the best player on the floor.
The Bench
32 min., 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover
The Buckeyes got very little out of this group. David Lighty, who supplied quality minutes in the last three tourney games had four points, while Othello Hunter was barely on the floor with Oden playing Marathon Man.
Thad Matta, Coach
Would it have mattered if he rested Oden down the stretch instead of keeping him on the floor? Matta basically stuck to the formula that had carried his Buckeyes to the title game: Oden ruling the paint, Conley penetrating at will, though the timely three-point shooting was missing. There's no blaming Matta for this perimeter collapse.
Florida Gators
Taurean Green, G
38 min., 16 points (4-6 FG, 5-5 FT, 3-3 3PT), 6 assists, 6 turnovers, 3 rebounds
Green was deadly shooting (a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range) and was sensational running the Gators offense (supplying six assists). He did have six turnovers though, struggling against the lightning quick Conley.
Lee Humphrey, G
34 min., 14 points (5-8 FG, 0-0 FT, 4-7 3PT), 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0 fouls
Note to every team who ever plays against this guy: do not leave Humphrey open outside. Do the words "all-time NCAA tourney three-point leader" mean anything? He hit four treys (three in the second half), including one that bordered on the ridiculous Larry Bird-Michael Jordan McDonald's commercial range.
Corey Brewer, F
36 min., 13 points (4-12 FG, 2-2 FT, 3-8 3PT), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
What can you say? The guy was sensational. There was the block on Oden, the steal on Conley. He hit threes, scored on the break and was named the Most Outstanding Player. The Buckeyes had no answer for his mix of size, speed and strength.
Joakim Noah, F
21 min., 8 points (1-3 FG, 6-6 FT, 0-0 3PT), 3 rebounds, 4 fouls, 2 turnovers
If not for those late free throws, Noah would have been relegated to a sacrifice to the cause of getting Oden in foul trouble. The most noticeable thing Joakim did in this one was sit on the bench and chew on his mouthpiece.
Al Horford, C
34 min., 18 points (6-15 FG, 6-8 FT, 0-0 3PT), 12 rebounds. 3 assists
Finished with a team-high 18 points and was really the only Florida player to hold his own against Oden. He took advantage of Oden's unwillingness to come out of the paint to defend and hit mid-range jumpers and was strong on the glass.
The Bench
37 min., 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 9 fouls
Chris Richard fouled out trying to fluster Oden, though he did supply one highlight dunk. Walter Hodge had trouble going against Conley and Marreese Speights was basically whistled for a foul for just walking onto the floor. They didn't make any big mistakes, but failed to make a real impact.
Billy Donovan, Coach
Is this his last game at the helm of the Gators? Regardless, he's played his way into elite company and really did a great job of managing distractions for a team that became rock stars. Right now, there isn't a better coach in the game.
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