Purple Reign Pregame Intel Report

The <b>Buckeyes</b> have become a force in the Big 10, and in the NCAA tournament for the past 4 years. This year they've got a win over <b>Indiana</b> at home and <b>Iowa</b> on the road, but they're just 9-9 overall, and 2-5 in the Big 10. <p>They've got size and scoring ability, but what is going on in Columbus today?

They beat the Harlem Globetrotters in preseason, Indiana at home,  Iowa away, and then lose to Purdue on the road. They've also lost to Duke and Louisville this year.
Now they get to come home to play the Wildcats.
The Buckeyes run a 3 Guard offense, with 7-1 Center Velimir Radinovic [#14 - OSU Photo - left] at the post. But to make it work, the Bucks have to make shots the way they did against Iowa.
"It makes us better coaches and a better team when guys make shots. We were getting the same shots we have been." -- Ohio State head coach Jim O'Brien [CBS Sportsline]
But OSU's leading Scorer, Brent Darby [#4 - right], who averages 18.1 points a game, only hits 39% [88-225] of his shots. #2 in scoring is Sean Connolly who has an average of 43% from the field [73-168]. The team average is ,418.

7-1 Center  Velimir Radinovic had his career night against Purdue - 20 Points with 9 boards.

The Bucks also get a lot of points from their bench - The Pine Riders average well over 10 points a game, and against Purdue kicked in 26.

The Coach
Boston College alum Jim O'Brien is in his 6th year coaching the Ohio State University, after 11 years at BC and 4 at St. Bonaventure. He has a 110-65 record at OSU, and is 345-282 lifetime.

He's had quite a bit of success at OSU - he had the Bucks in the Final 4 in 1999,  and he's won 20 games his last 3 seasons, and has been in the NCAA tournament for the past 4 years.

Originally from Brooklyn - he's now a member of the NCAA  Basketball Issues Committee
The present state of basketball at Ohio State is impeccable. The way he teaches the game and the way the players represent the program are what we aspire to be as a University. Jim O'Brien is a teacher, a mentor and a class individual in everything he says and does - OSU AD Andy Geiger

The Big Gun[s]
Senior Guard Brent Darby is the leading scorer averaging 18.1 points per game

The top Rebounder: Junior Forward Shun Jenkins [#50 - left] is the leader - with 6.1 boards a game, 7 in the Big 10.
#2 comes off the bench - Junior Forward Zach Williams averages 5.6 boards a game, but his production has fallen off to 4.4 in the Big 10.

There's really no big gun from the Arc -  the leaders in attempts, Darby [36-96] and Connolly [32-91] have dropped to under .300 during the Big 10 Season. Only Fuss-Cheatham is shooting above 300 from the Arc.
The Starters
  • 6-1 Senior Brent Darby [ #4 - 18.1ppg/4.3 rpg ], 6-5 Senior Sean Connolly [#3 -12.2/3.9 ], 6-1 Soph Brandon Fuss-Cheatham [#2 - 2.0/2.0]
  • 7-1 Junior Velimir Radinovic [#14 - 8.8/5.4]
  • Late change: Zach Williams starting for OSU not 6-6 Junior Shun Jenkins [#50 - 7.8/6.1]]
The Rest of the Team
Coach O'Brien has 17 players on his roster - including a Freshman from the Football Team, 6-2 Guard Nate Salley

The Top guys
off the bench include:
6-7 Junior Forward Zach Williams [right - #33 - 10.4 ppg]
6-7 Freshman Forward Matt Sylvester [#40 - 4.9 ppg]
6-3 Junior Guard Emont Jernigan [#20 - 4.6 ppg]
and 5-10 Senior Guard Shaun Smith. [#24 - 6 pts]
6-10 Sophomore Center Matt Marinchick [#54 - 1 ppg] and 6-2 Freshman Guard Nate Salley [#21 - 2pts] also have Big 10 Minutes for the Buckeyes.

The Challenges
  • Try to win on the road in Columbus - something we haven't done since 1977!
  • Play some perimeter defense.
  • Someone has to step up and help Jennings with the middle.
  • And remember that the top rebounder for the Bucks is the forward, Shun Jenkins.
  • Sombody, anybody, start sinking 3 pointers!


There is Chicago Television/ESPN Regional [WBNS/ with Wayne Larrivee and Bill Hosket
And of course Dave Eanet & Bob Hildebrand on WGN AM720 and WGNradio.com. Its also on the OSU Radio Network [63 Stations]


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