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    Game Day Essentials: Game #29 at Ohio State

      Nebraska Cornhuskers (20-8) at Ohio State Buckeyes (16-12)


      Date: Thursday Feb 29th,  2024
      Time: 5:30 pm 
      Arena: Value Center Arena

      Broadcast:  FS1

    Ohio State Info



    Head Coach: Chris Holtmann 

    Interim Head Coach:  Jake Diebler

    Location: Columbus, OH
    Conference: B1G
    Nickname: Buckeyes

    Mascot: Brutus Buckeye

    Last time out: Beat Michigan St

    Point Spread: Ohio St by 3.5

    Typical Rotation Depth: 10+

    KenPom rank: 58

    Nota bene:  

    • Chris Holtmann has been fired by Ohio St. The Buckeyes are 2-1 under interim head coach Jake Diebler including an impressive win over Purdue
    • Dieber has opened up the rotation. 2024 Bench minutes under Holtmann: 23.2%. Under Diebler: 32.1%
    • Nebraska has won their last 3 games vs Ohio St. Prior to that, Nebraska was 2-16 vs the Buckeyes since joining the B1G.
    • Nebraska is seven 3pt makes away from breaking the school record for made 3s in a season (270) 
    • Juwan Gary didn't play in the last game vs Ohio St.


    KenPom most used lineups

      PG SG SF PF C Pct
    2 Bruce Thornton
    6-2  215  So
    1 Roddy Gayle
    6-4  210  So
    12 Evan Mahaffey
    6-6  200  So
    10 Jamison Battle
    6-7  220  Sr
    34 Felix Okpara
    6-11  235  So


    Player to watch: Bruce Thorton

    The sophomore PG leads the team in scoring, assists and steals and is a 3 level scorer as he is drawing 4.5 fouls per 40 minutes. Thorton has struggled from the field, especially from 3 as he's shooting 31.7% from deep


    Player to watch: Roddy Gayle

    The sophomore SG is a lot like Thorton where he's a lot better drawing contact in the lane than he is shooting from the outside. Watch for Gayle to be the player tasked with denying Keisei.


    Player to watch:    Jamison Battle

    The Minnesota transfer is a well known commodity in the conference and is shooting a white-hot 44% from 3 this season. WIth Thorton, Gayle, and Battle leading the Buckeyes in scoring, we'll see if Nebraska will give Battle more attention on the outside than the other guys.


    Others to watch

    Penn St transfer Evan Mahaffey isn't a huge threat to score but he'll kill you on the boards and is a plus defender. The Buck's have a two man center rotation with different skillsets though both are dominant rebounders. Felix Okpara is a rim protector who can run the court. Senior 6'8" 250# Zed Key is more of a bruiser down low on both sides. Dale Bonner, a 6'2" Senior combo guard from Baylor, fills in for both guards but is struggling even more from them to score.  6'6" freshman wing Scotty Middleton is shooting 36.7% from 3. 6'6" Freshman forward Devin Royal had a game vs Michigan St, scoring 14 points in 18 minutes. Freshman PG Taison Chatman might get some run. Heck, walk-on Bowen Hardman, the guy that Holtmann ran out to shoot 3s in Lincoln, could even see playing time in this one.


    UNL Game Notes


    Out indefinitely 

    5   Ahron Ulis     6-3    190 lbs    Junior - Likely out for the season



    15  Blaise Keita     6-11    257 lbs    Junior - Ongoing ankle injury recovery



    Possible starters for Nebraska

    4   Juwan Gary                   6-6    221 lbs    Junior

    30   Keisei Tominaga           6-2    179 lbs    Senior

    3     Brice Williams               6-7    213 lbs    Junior

    53   Josiah Allick                 6-8    231 lbs    Senior

    51    Rienk Mast                 6-10    248 lbs    Junior



    10    Jamarques Lawrence  6-3    183 lbs    Sophomore

    0    C.J. Wilcher                  6-5    214 lbs    Junior

    1    Sam Hoiberg                 6-0    183 lbs    Sophomore

    9    Jarron Coleman            6-5    213 lbs    Senior
    11    Eli Rice                         6-8    213 lbs    Freshman
    21    Matar Diop                 6-10    213 lbs    Freshman

    35    Henry Burt                  6-7    216 lbs    RS Freshman

    2    Ramel Lloyd Jr.             6-6    210 lbs    RS Freshman

    31    Cale Jacobsen            6-4    200 lbs    RS Freshman

    24    Jeffrey Grace III         6-3    197 lbs    Sophomore 


    Hoiberg Presser

    Shoutout from Fred to the impact Coleman and Ullis have had on the team


    The Skinny: 

    Nebraska comes into this one as hot as anyone in the county over the last few weeks and defense has been the calling card. The Huskers rank #1 in Bartorvik's adjusted defense since Jan 30th. They'll need that defense on the road against an Ohio St team on a bit of a run after changing coaches. With wins over Purdue and at Michigan State, the Buckeyes represent a Quad 1 win opportunity for the Huskers.


    Ohio St tends to run people off the 3pt line though Nebraska countered that in Lincoln with Rienk Mast absolutely roasting the Buckeyes, going 6-8 from deep on his way to a career high 34 points. Offensively the Bucks do spread the ball around though they tend to focus inside as outside of Battle and Middleton they're quite bad from outside. 


    If you look at Ohio St's performances throughout the year they've tended to yo-yo, following one bad performance with a a good. They're also a team that might think they're still in post-season contention.  Who knows what you'll get tonight from the Buckeyes.  Is this Nebraska team locked in?  Can they hold a lead in Columbus if they get one?


    Prediction:  Nebraska 75 - Ohio St 71

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