BKB Pregame Intel: Ohio State Buckeyes

There hasn't been a lot of talk in Ohio about the Northwestern Wildcat's visit Saturday. Maybe they're still smarting over the loss to Wisconsin, maybe they're looking past NU towards next week, maybe they're saving it all for the court Saturday afternoon. Here's our take on the Buckeye's so far this season [with new Matta Quote]

With or Without Vukusic
beating Ohio State is going to be difficult.

First off, they're experienced - 4 senior starters for these Buckeyes, they're also playing hard, given that their tallest starter is 6-9 Terence Dials.

OSU plays a 3 guard offense - and they're short up front - there's only three centers listed on their roster, Dials, Brayden Bell [6-8 Fr] and Matt Terwilliger [F/C 6-8 So], but Dials and J.J. Sullinger play bigger than their size - more on that later.

The Ohio State coach, Thad Matta, came in last year after an incident over allegations an assistant paid a player to come to OSU. This week, a judge ruled this week that the firing was wrong, and NCAA sanctions still hang over the program, but the players aren't concerned.

The end result was that the Bucks picked up a new head man with a 4 year string of 20 win seasons OSU was 20-12 last year, season #5, so Matta is on track to make this season #6.

While he's winning with former coach Jim O'Brien's players, Thad Matta is now considered an upgrade to the Ohio State basketball program.
I don't have anything to say about that," said Dials, who was recruited by O'Brien [Dayton Daily News]. "This is Coach Matta's team. Coach O'Brien's a thing of the past."
The Buckeyes lead in several Big 10 statistical categories - ones that sometimes give the Wildcats fits - like Scoring offense [78.6], field goal percentage (606-1,234/.491), 3-pt field goal pct. (203-482/.421), 3-pt. FGs made (9.23 pg.) and assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.26). They also average 76.3 ppg in conference play.

Then there's shooting beyond the arc: The Bucks are #2 in 3 point FG percentage [42%] and feature JeKel Foster who averages 2.95 per game, shooting 51.6% [65 of 126]

Wisconsin slowed down the outside game of OSU on Wednesday by guarding their 3 point shooters away from the basket. OSU only took 17 outside shots, and only made 3 of them.

That defensive scheme left the middle open for Dials, et.al., who had a really good night, but also allowed Wisconsin to stay close and eventually win.

One other thing of note, the Cats have not won in Columbus since February 24, 1977 - 25 games ago.

The Team
If Illinois has Dee Brown as their scoring maching, the Buckeyes have orward/center Terence Dials - averaging 15.3 ppg, 10.8 ppg against the NU slow down offense. Dials also averages 5.8 boards against the Cats.

Wednesday he had his 2nd consecutive double-double [24/11] against Wisconsin which followed a 19 point, 16 rebound night against Illinois, a game where he was rebounding from a less than stellar performance [at Michigan]
."I just tried to stay aggressive," Dials said. "The (Michigan) game wasn't one of my best; it was probably one of my worst. I just tried to ... come out here and play as hard as possible. When I play hard, good things happen."
Mr. Outside to Dial's "Mr. Inside" play has to be Je'Kel Foster, with his 14.5 ppg average and 47%+ 3 point shooting. Foster may qualify as the Buckeye's Mad Bomber, but Jamar Butler, the other guard hits 53%+ from outside averaging 10.1 ppg.

Then the Bucks bring Ron Lewis off the bench - he's scoring 11.6 ppg in his 24 1/2 minutes average playing time.

One critique of the team might be size - they really don't have a really big power forward - Sylvester is 6-7 - but J.J. Sullinger, if he stays out of foul trouble, plays bigger than his 6-5 size, according to some observers. Maybe he's a small forward?

With Wisconsin guarding the perimeter, specifically Foster and Sullinger, Matt Sylvester hit for 14 and Butler 17 during the game Wednesday.
The Last Word:
Bill Carmody - [Talking about Illinois and Ohio State]
Its going to be a pretty tough week for us...the speed, the shooting the quickness of both teams is pretty daunting. We're playing pretty decently now so its as good a time as any to go on the road. [Big 10 Teleconference]
Thad Matta
"Our guys know we had to go on a 22-1 run to win up there last year to close the game out, and hopefully these guys have an understanding of what it takes to win.." [Bucknuts.com]
Bo Ryan [a guest comment]
"They were due to miss some shots some game," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "I'm glad it was ours." [Ibid]

Coach Roy's Purple Reign 'Cat'egories:
The Big Gun #34 Terence Dials
15.3 ppg
Deadeye Dick Dials
56.3% FG Shooting
The Bomber #23 Je'Kel Foster*
33 of 70 [47.1%]
from the arc
Off the Boards Dials
 7.9 rpg [23,64,87]
Charity Stripe Ron Lewis
84.6% from the line
Super Sub #12 Ron Lewis
24.5 mins, 11.6 ppg
Pickpocket Foster
23 in 11 games
Helping Hands #14 Jamar Butler
48 in 11 games
Mr. Defense Dials
9 Blks 12 Steal
64 defensive rbnds
Notes: * Jamar Butler is 17 of 32 from the arc, making 53.1%
Lewis has 2 conference starts

Expected Starters



PPG+ RPG+
Guard
#00 J.J. Sullinger [Sr 6-5]
#14 Jamar Butler [So 6-2]
#23 Je'Kel Foster [Sr 6-3]
9.3
10.1
14.5
6.6
3.2
4.4
Forward
#40 Matt Sylvester [Sr 6-7]
8.2
2.5
Center
#24 Terence Dials [Sr 6-9] 14.6 7.6

Totals: 56.7
24.3


Off the Bench
[Big 10 Stats, Have Played in most games, or Averaging 9+ mins]:

Games -
Starts
Minutes PPG+ RPG+
#12 Ron Lewis [G 6-3 Jr.]
#3 Ivan Harris [F 6-7 Jr]
#32 Sylvester Mayes [G 6-0 Jr]
#42 Matt Terwilliger [F/C 6-8 So]
11-2
10-0
8-0
11-0
24.5
9.2
12.5
10.9
11.6
3.7
2.4
2.4
2.4
.5
.8
1.8
Totals:
14.2
20.1
5.5
Notes: Matta has used a 9 man rotation for most of the conference season. There are two other players with playing time besides the above. 
Challenges for the Wildcats:
  • Slow down Dials - he's dominating the inside and likes to put on a show at home [see Illinois game]
  • Defend the outside - that's what Wisconsin did - the Bucks only shot 17 treys, made 4.
  • Try to hold them under 65, the last two teams that did that won, of course we've got to score over 65.
Ohio State can beat you both inside and outside. Thad Matta has them playing well, and this one could be tougher than Illinois for Northwestern, especially if Vukusic doesn't play.

Vedran has had some big games against the Buckeyes. He'd be missed if he sits out.

Game Starts at 11:15 AM Wildcat Time
Television:
  • ESPN+ Wayne Larrivee and Greg Kelser
  • WCIU in Chicago
Radio:
  • WGN 720 AM, [the flagship station of Northwestern men's basketball] with Dave Eanet and Nate Pomeday
  • NUSports
  • XM Radio 197
  • WBNS AM & FM in Columbus [ Paul Keels and Ron Stokes
Gametracker: NU Sports

You can also Chat in the New Purple Reign Free Chat room


Statistics from the Ohio State official site
Links are to the original story source of the quotes
You can send your comments or "back door" information
to Coach Roy
or on AIM: CoachRoy74
Go Cats
Beat 'em All!
Talk about it on the Purple Boards
[Click Here]
Copyright 2006 by PurpleWildcats.com/Purple Reign
Quotes Copyright 2006 by original holder as noted

Purple Wildcats Top Stories

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