BKB Pregame Intel: Ohio State Buckeyes

A chance for an outright Big 10 Title is on the line in Evanston tonight. The Ohio State Buckeyes want a win to clinch a tie for the crown, while the Northwestern Wildcats want a little payback for a game they just should have won on the road last month...

The Buckeyes haven't won a Big 10 Title since 2002
Its been a lot longer for the Northwestern Wildcats.

The Buckeyes [21-4, 10-4 Big 10] have a ligit big 10 Player of the Year in Center Terence Dials. They also have some of the conferences top 3 point shooters, all in all a big challenge.

In fact, one of the conferences "other" top coaches, Tom Izzo at MSU has some high praise for the Buckeyes, and a pretty good capsule explanation of their season;
"What they've done an incredible job of is consistently shooting the basketball, they've got four shooters and a stud inside, and Thad has done a great job with them. That's why I'm not overly surprised. ... I thought they would be one of the teams that would contend."[Dayton Daily News]
So how do you explain the closer than the score 61-52 game in Columbus a few weeks ago?

A game where NU led early, and almost came back at the end?

NU seems to match up well with the Buckeyes this year. The Cats are playing a 1-3-1 defense that ties up the middle to slow down dials, and matches up with the outside shooters to frustrate both parts of OSU's game.

The Bucks' starters also average just over 55 points per game, well under the 60 points that NU seems to have to hold opponents under to win.

But then there's Ron Lewis. He's only started 3 of the 14 Big 10 games, but off the bench he's averaging 11.7 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. His only problem is cracking a 2 guard lineup where the starters shoot and score as well as he does.

In any case, Je'Kel Foster now has a healthy respect for NU and especially Mohamed Hachad, who ran off 14 points off Foster's coverage last time we met.

"They are very dangerous, they are a Big Ten team and we know we have to go in with the mindset of getting that win no matter what. They lead in the Big Ten in perimeter defense so we may have to find other ways to win the game."[Bucknuts]

Terence Dials
What else can you say about OSU's top player, who only really emerged as a force during the Big 10 season.

Thad Matta:
"I think he's playing more passionate (and with) more intensity on both ends of the floor, and he's limiting those times of where he's kind of floating in and out of the game. He has just really had great determination. [Columbus Dispatch]
Bob Hoskett
The guy that made all the obvious hustle plays earlier in the year (Je'Kel Foster), he continues to play well. But Terence has taken over both ends of the floor this last month." [Columbus Dispatch]
Injuries?
Only Matt Sylvester is reported probable as he works through a lower back strain. He is expected to play, however.
The Last Word:
Bill Carmody
Now we have Ohio State - they're on the top of the league and we're near the bottom - its going to be a tough game for us
. [Big 10 Teleconference]

Thad Matta:

They know what they've done to teams up there. They know the style of play they have and the capabilities of their players. Our guys, I think have a tremendous focus on what we need to do." [Bucknuts]

"Guys have elevated their games and bought into the team concept and how we want to play." [Dayton Daily News]


Coach Roy's Purple Reign 'Cat'egories:
 
The Big Gun #34 Terence Dials
15.9 ppg in conf.
Deadeye Dick Dials
58.1% shooting
The Bomber #23 Je'Kel Foster
36 of 88, 40.9%
from the arc
Off the Boards Dials
8.8 rpg
Charity Stripe #40 Matt Sylvester
84.6% from the line
Super Sub #12 Ron Lewis
11.7 ppg in 25.8 mins
Pickpocket Foster
29 Steals
Helping Hands #14 Jamar Butler
64 Assists
Mr. Defense Dials
14 blocks/88 def rbnd
Notes: Few changes from the last game, maybe some numbers....


Expected Starters




PPG+ RPG+
Guard
#14 Jamar Butler [6-1 So]
#23 Je'Kel Foster [6-2 Sr]
11.1
11.3
3.2
4.4
Forward
#40 Matt Sylvester [6-7 Sr]
#0 J.J. Sullinger [6-5 Sr]
9.4
8.4
2.7
5.4
Center
#34 Terence Dials [6-9 Sr]
15.0
8.8

Totals: 55.2
24.5
+ Stats for Conference only


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 [C 6-8 So]
14-3
13-0
8-0
14-0
25.8
8.8
12.5
10.4
11.7
3.5
2.4
2.2
3.2
.5
.8
1.5
Totals
14.3
19.8
6.0
Notes: Matta has used a 9 man rotation for most of the conference season partly because he has only 10 scholarship players. There are two other players with playing time besides the above.  Mayes seems to have fallen out of favor with the OSU coaches lately.
Challenges for the Wildcats:
  • Stay over .500
  • Contain Dials the 1-3-1 did a decent job on him early in the last game.
  • Perimeter Defense - have to keep the long range bombers off their game.
  • Send the Seniors out with a couple of wins - Hachad, Hoeveler, Jenkins, Kennedy, Seacat and Vukusic will play their final 2 home games, starting tonight.
This is going to be a tough, but also a very winable game.

NU's secret weapon?

Evan Seacat, who seems to have found his 3 point stroke and who should be the zone breaker for NU. You read it here first....

Game Starts at 7:00 PM Wildcat Time
Television:
  • ESPN+ - Mike Gleason and Bill Hoskett
  • Its on ppv cable.
Radio:
  • WGN 720 AM, [the flagship station of Northwestern men's basketball] with Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand
  • NUSports
  • XM Radio 197
  •  WBNS AM & FM in Columbus
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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