Ohio State Info
Location: Columbus, OH
Mascot: Brutus Buckeye
Typical Rotation Depth: 10-11
Line: Ohio St by 13
KenPom rank: 16
Offensive Style: Slow Tempo, working into the paint
Defensive Style: Pack Style
Not Playing: Defensive specialist Musa Jallow will be out due to contact tracing for Covid
Hoiberg talking about the strengths of Ohio St and about them having meetings with players in a group and individually. If I can get someone besides Teddy Allen to say that no one is being selfish with the ball then I'll believe it.
Players to watch: Seth Towns
Towns was a star with Harvard, averaging double digits and shooting over 40% from 3 his first two years before blowing out his knee in the 2018 Ivy League championship game. He never played again for Harvard and transferred back to hometown school OSU in March. Towns finally stepped back on a court vs UCLA on Dec 19th, 2021 for a couple of minutes. Vs. Northwestern, Towns played 17 minutes knocking down a trio of 3s for an Ohio St team that hasn't been hitting them.
Gone are both Wesson brothers. OSU currently has a Michigan St type roster where they have beefy forwards instead of centers except for project Ibrahima Diallo. OSU has their two guards playing big minutes while the rest of the roster is mix and match. Even with Musa Jallow unavailable this is a deeper team than Chris Holtmann is used to allocating minutes.
- Former Florida St transfer CJ Walker took over sole possession of the PG spot with the transfer of DJ Carton. While he's a sub-par shooter, he is a steady distributor who uses his quickness to get to the FT line and lead this OSU defense up front
- SG Duane Washington is a sharp shooting jump shooter who has struggled this year. Both Walker and Washington rarely leave the floor
- Forward EJ Liddell is the main rim protector as he's a prolific shot blocker despite clocking in at 6'7".
- Forward Kyle Young starts alongside Liddell and both players will crash the offensive boards. Young functions as the fiery leader on the court who brings the type of team energy coaches talk about
- Cal transfer Justice Sueing can defend multiple positions and is capable of putting up double digits
- Justin Ahrens is a 3pt specialist off the bench.
- Senior Bucknell transfer Jimmy Sotos has been used as depth at PG and frosh F Zed Key has been depth in the paint
Ohio St, with wins over Notre Dame and UCLA, sits at 1-2 in the dog-eat-dog world of the B1G. The x-factor in these conference games has been trips to the FT line as the Buckeyes shot less than 16 of them in narrow road losses and got to the line 29 times to give Rutgers their only loss. Fred Hoiberg teams generally tend to defend without fouling; It will matter more than usual if the Huskers are called for offensive or just dumb fouls tonight.
The Huskers will have a height but not a girth advantage as the beefy OSU forwards will give Nebraska all they can handle on the boards tonight. You feel like Nebraska should be able to exploit this for transition points but Nebraska often plays like the slowest fast team in Div-1. Cam Mack and Haanif Cheatham had their warts but Nebraska has yet to replicate the easy points that their elite speed was able to generate.
Nebraska probably needs to shoot their way into a chance to win this game which seems plausible based on the fact that no team has shot under 30% from 3 against Ohio St this year. Maybe Nebraska catches an Ohio State team still trying to figure things out. Seems more likely Ohio St rebounds from that close loss at Northwestern.
Prediction: Ohio St 75 - Nebraska 63