BKB Pregame Intel: Ohio State Buckeyes

Another Big Test for our Young Northwestern Wildcats is on tap this Wednesday night, as NU heads to Columbus to take on the #5 OSU Buckeyes and Center Greg Oden, Guard Ron Lewis, the other 3 frosh, and the others who dealt NU a Big 10 tourney loss last year.

All they seem to talk about is
Ohio State's 7 foot super Frosh Center Greg Oden

The writers talk about how Oden [OSU Official - Left] patrols under the basket, cutting off those back door plays, rebounding everything, blocking all those shots - "knocking the ball into the popcorn stand."

How well OSU plays depends on how well Oden plays, right?

Welllllll... there are 4 other guys on the court at the Value City Arena when he plays.

The arrival of a player like Oden after the season has started could create problems. Thad Matta on the Buckeye's team chemistry...
It gets a little better everyday. In my mind, the most important time of the season are the first two weeks because it is then that you set the foundation. We didn't have Greg (Oden) at that time so now we have to adjust and incorporate him - OSU Official Site
Senior Leadership
What does Senior Guard Ron Lewis think about Oden?
Really, it's been great, cause he's a humble kid, he's a down-to-earth kid, and one thing: He loves to have fun. - Daily Northwestern
Lewis [OSU Official - right] hit the winning 3 point shot against Tennessee in their last game and led the Bucks with 17 points. Lewis is also starting to get the attention of the media, the Columbus Dispatch had a couple of stories about him today. He is the team's go to guy.

He's also the guy who had to open up to Thad Matta's incoming frosh class last year and he's another guy you can't ignore as you play these buckeyes...
Ron (Lewis) makes the same tough shots, so I always feel confident with him shooting the ball. - Fellow guard Jamar Butler OSU Official Site
And in case you've forgotten, Lewis was the guy who grabbed a loose ball and drove for a layup to give he Bucks a one point lead in the Big 10 Tourney last year, a game OSU won.

Onlast thing - don't ignore Forward Ivan Harris, the other Senior Starter. He's started all 17 of the Buck's games, averaging 10 points and almost 4 rebounds a game as the forward in Matta's 3 guard offense.

Off the Bench:
Then there's "super sub" Daequan Cook who averages over 22 minutes a game, and has played in all 17 so far. He's averaging 14.2 points per game, second on the team!

Thad Matta's Fab 4 Frosh:
When Thad Matta came to Ohio State, he set about recruiting, arguably, the best recruiting class in the Big 10. All 4 signees last year were first team All State selections and all played in their state's championship game!
  • Greg Oden - McDonald's All American - had wrist surgery that kept him out of early games. Is now rebounding and scoring leader.
  • Mike Conley, Jr - McDonald's All American - Leads the Big 10 in Assists [6.4], Steals [2.6] and Assist to TO Ratio [+3.1] Had 10 assists in his first game for OSU.
  • Daequan Cook - McDonald's All American - team's #2 scorer but comes off the bench. Scored 22 in his first game as a sub.
  • David Lighty - More of a defensive specialist, he's now coming off the bench and can play several guard positions.
Conley and Oden start now, Lighty has started 7 games - As a group they score 43.5 points per game, and pull down 20.4 rebounds, that's close to NU's team averages [58.8 ppg, 25.2 rpg] right now.

The fifth new face came from Hillsborough Community College. Othello Hunter, a 6-9 Junior forward/center, is a rebounder, and scorer. He started 8 games for the bucks, scoring 7.7 ppg and 5.9 rpg. He only moved to the bench when Oden was cleared to play.

The Challenge for the Bucks?
Not to let NU's perimeter offense draw the big guys outside. Matta says they have to stay "aware" of the O, plus they have to solve NU's 1-3-1 matchup zone, which may leave Oden open until right before they pass him the ball.

The Bucks have probably watched tape of NU's game with Utah.

Injuries?
None Reported.

The Last Word

Bill Carmody on playing Ohio State [14-3, 2-1]:
If we go up and down [the floor] with these guys, we're going down. [Chicago Tribune]
But OSU Coach Thad Matta isn't taking NU lightly, especially after the Cat's - oh so close loss to Wisconsin.
You have to know they have the capability to pick you apart because they are waiting for you to fall asleep [Sun Times]

Coach Roy's Purple Reign 'Cat'egories:
Based on games played thru 1/5/07
The Big Gun #20 Greg Oden
14.9 ppg/12.7 conf in 10 games
Deadeye Dick Oden
.611 FT Average
The Bomber #3 Ivan Harris
34 of 83 [41%] from the arc*
Off the Boards Oden
9.8 rpg
Charity Stripe #12 Ron Lewis
Ivan Harris
Both hit 75%
of their Free Throws
Super Sub #31 Daequan Cook
14.2 ppg in all 17
Pickpocket #1 Mike Conley Jr.
23 Steals this season
Helping Hands Conley
6.4 assists per game, 3.1 Assist to TO
Mr. Defense Oden
39 Blocks, 4 Steals,

Notes: *Ron Lewis is 32 of 84 from the arc - 38.2% shooting


Expected Starters
Have started all 17 games for the Buckeyes


PPG RPG
Guard #12 Ron Lewis [6-2 Sr]
#14 Jamar Butler [602 Jr]
#1 Mike Conley, Jr [6-1 Fr]
12.7
7.6
9.4
3.7
1.6
3.5
Forward #3 Ivan Harris [6-7 Sr]
10.0
3.9
Center
#20 Greg Oden [7-0 Fr]
14.9
9.0

Totals: 54.6
21.7

Notes: These guys have started all of OSU's Big 10 games


Off the Bench

[Have Played in most games, or Averaging 9+ mins]:

Games -
Starts
Mins* PPG RPG
G #31 Daequan Cook [6-5 Fr]
F #45 Othello Hunter [6-9 Jr]
G/F #23 David Lighty [6-5 Fr]
F/C #42 Matt Terwilliger[6-8 Jr]
17 - 0
17 - 8
17 - 7
17 - 0
22.6
19.0
19.4
12.6
14.2
7.7
5.0
2.9
5.4
5.9
2.5
2.2
Totals

29.8
16.0

Notes
:

Challenges for the Wildcats:
  • Lure Oden away from the basket - Scott has to get him to come out so the cutters work
  • Guard Lewis - he's still the guy they look to for scoring at critical points in the game
  • Slow down the Frosh - go after Oden and Lewis and the others will pick you apart.
  • To Quote Bill Carmody, "Make Shots."

Game Starts at 7:00 PM Wildcat Time
Television:
  • ESPN+ Mike Gleason and Bill Hosket
  • Channel 23 in Chicago
  • WBNS TV10 Columbus]
Radio:
  • WGN 720 AM, Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand
  • WBNS Radio/OSU Network - Paul Keels and ron Stokes
You can also Chat in the New Purple Reign Free Chat room

Statistics from the Ohio State official site release
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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