When will Aaron Craft start to become Aaron Craft again?
Craft’s offseason work was supposed to help him develop into the second option on offense for the Buckeyes, but has instead bent Craft all out of shape. Each shot he takes looks more and more timid, and less and less like his old self. Maybe the pressure has gotten to him? That seemed to be the case against Duke, the first outing in which he truly looked baffled out on the basketball court. We’re so used to seeing Aaron as a calm, cool, and collected leader for the Buckeyes, but since that Duke game, he’s been out of sync.
To give you a little perspective, last night, Ohio State dismantled Savannah State, as was to be expected, 85 to 45. That means, Ohio State scored 85 points. 0 of those points came from Aaron Craft. The only other Buckeyes who were without a point were Trey McDonald and walk-ons Alex Rogers and Andrew Goldstein. Every other Buckeye scored, but Craft, even in the starting lineup, was unable to put the ball through the hoop.
Statistically, Craft is putting up less than stellar numbers. He has career lows in field goal percentage, 3 point field goal percentage, and assists, while putting up career highs in both field goals and 3 point field goals attempted. In his last 5 games, Craft has put up an average of 5.2 points per game, and these numbers are against measly opponents such as UMKC, Northern Kentucky, Long Beach State, and Savannah State. Against these 5 opponents, Craft has shot an unbelievably low .244 from the field, including .116 from beyond the arc.
These miserable numbers, along with his skittish demeanor, are not looking good for Aaron Craft. I think we are all baffled to see such a smart, hard-working, and talented kid as Aaron Craft is struggling like this. He puts so much effort out there, and yet, is getting seemingly little to no return from his investment.
The bottomline is that if Aaron Craft can’t turn it around by Kansas, Ohio State could be in for a rude surprise, not only against the Jayhawks, but against the entire Big Ten. There are 6 Big Ten teams in the Top 25, including 3 in the Top 10. Regardless, it’s going to be a tough Big Ten season, simply because the caliber of the opponents is so high. Craft is going to make or break this season for the Buckeyes. If he’s able to turn it around and become the beloved leader that the Buckeyes are used to, I could definitely see a Final Four run for this group.