Michigan State has not been as imposing this season as in year’s past, but the Spartans are still tied with the Buckeyes in the loss column in the conference standing. Williams said that playing at the Breslin Center is no easy task.
Many of the Buckeyes losses, including a 60-58 defeat at Purdue Feb. 4, have come against bigger, more physical squads. Matta said that defensively the Spartans are similar to the Boilermakers, who handed Ohio State its most recent loss.
When teams like Purdue have been able to limit the Buckeyes’ offense it has been because Ohio State’s pace has been disrupted, Matta said. The coach assessed why that has happened and what the Buckeyes need to do to keep that from happening.
Ohio State will get Marc Loving back for the game against Michigan State after the forward missed the past three games with a suspension for undisclosed reasons. How much the Big Ten’s leader in three-point field goal percentage and the Buckeyes second-leading scorer will play is uncertain, but Matta is pleased with the depth that Loving’s return brings.