Ohio State Info
Head Coach: Chris Holtmann
Location: Columbus, OH
Mascot: Brutus Buckeye
Last time out: Beat Wisconsin
Line: Wisconsin by 9.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 8+
KenPom rank: 16
- Ohio St was on a covid break, having last played vs Wisconsin on Dec 11th
- Under Fred Hoiberg Nebraska has had 3 double digit losses to Ohio St
- Joey Brunk has played in Lincoln for Butler, Indiana, and now Ohio St. He started school in 2016, a year before Thor.
Player to watch: EJ Liddell
Junior EJ Liddell, one of the unanimous selections to the all-B1G preseason team, leads the team in scoring, rebounds, and blocks. Liddell is averaging over 20 points a game and has scored in double digits in every game he's played.
Player to watch: Jamari Wheeler
The Penn St transfer PG is known as one of the best defensive players in the league and likely spend most of his night trying to make Alonzo Verge's night miserable.
Possible Ohio State Starters
55 Jamari Wheeler G 6-1 170 Grad. Live Oak, Fla. The Rock School / Penn State
22 Malaki Branham G 6-5 180 Fr. Columbus, Ohio St. Vincent-St. Mary’s
10 Justin Ahrens F 6-6 195 Sr. Versailles, Ohio Versailles
23 Zed Key F 6-8 245 So. Bay Shore, N.Y. Long Island Lutheran
32 E.J. Liddell F 6-7 240 Jr. Belleville, Ill. West
The Rest of the Roster
Senior Forward Justin Ahrens is still one of the best shooters in the conference, earning a starting role this year. Forward Zed Key is a beast inside in the paint with his post moves and rebounding ability. Senior Kyle Young brings seemingly unlimited energy off the bench. Freshman Malaki Branham was a top 35 recruit from LeBron's old HS and likely will be tasked with guarding Bryce McGowens. Joey Brunk is simply post depth on this team. Meechie Johnson and Cedric Russell are guard depth.
25 Kyle Young F 6-8 225 Grad. Canton, Ohio Jackson
2 Cedric Russell G 6-2 190 Grad. Alexandria, La. Peabody Magnet / Louisiana
0 Meechie Johnson Jr. G 6-2 172 Fr. Cleveland, Ohio Garfi eld Heights
1 Jimmy Sotos G 6-3 200 Grad. Elk Grove Village, Ill. Conant / Bucknell
50 Joey Brunk C 6-11 255 Grad. Indianapolis, Ind. Southport H.S. / Butler / Indiana
24 Kalen Etzler F 6-8 200 Fr. Van Wert, Ohio Crestview
42 Harrison Hookfin F 6-6 195 Sr. Lebanon, Ohio Lebanon
3 Eugene Brown III G 6-6 195 So. Conyers, Ga. Southwest DeKalb
31 Seth Towns F 6-8 230 Grad. Columbus, Ohio Northland / Harvard
14 Justice Sueing F 6-6 210 R-Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii Mater Dei / California
UNL Game Notes
Probable starters for Nebraska
1 Alonzo Verge G 6-3
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
5 Bryce McGowens G 6-7
11 Lat Mayen F 6-9
13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
35 Eduardo Andre F 6-11
10 Kobe Webster G 6-0
14 Trevor Lakes F 6-8
23 Keon Edwards G 6-7
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
4 Jackson Cronin G 6-1
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
15 Chris McGraw G 6-0
21 Jace Piatkowski G 6-3
2 Trey McGowens G 6-4
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
Ohio St has one of the best rosters in the conference led by EJ Liddell and one of the best coaches in Chris Holtmann. When Liddell isn't carving you up inside, the Buckeyes can light it up from outside. One very big question is how much has Covid sapped OSU because teams coming off these layoffs sometimes begin their first game with a thud.
Tonight could be a game for Keisei Tominaga to run around screen as Ohio St would likely need to dip into the bench to defend a lineup with KT, McGowens and Verge. Trey McGowens is at least a week away but would be pretty useful against this Buckeye team that turns you into a hero-ball team. The Kennesaw St assists and 3s will likely seem like an outlier after this game but Ohio St does that to a lot of teams. Speaking of offense, will we see more of a change in the flow / commitment to better shot selection or is it just the same brand of square peg in round holes offense that has come to define the Fred Hoiberg era? I can't say we will know after this game but I think by Saturday after facing OSU, Michigan St, and Rutgers we should know for sure.
I'd really expect both teams to be flat and maybe Nebraska can turn some Ohio St turnovers into offense against a team that might be playing well below their capability. The problem is that no matter how flat OSU is they will play for 40 minutes and you can't ever say that for Nebraska.
Prediction: Ohio St 68 - Nebraska 56