Hoop Preview — Ohio State

<B>Penn State vs. Ohio State <P>Bryce Jordan Center</B> <P><B>Game Time:</B> <B>5 p.m., Saturday.</B>

Ed DeChellis Press Conference. (WMV)

Records: Penn State 7-15, 1-8; Ohio State 16-8, 5-5.

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 16-34 in his second season at Penn State and 121-127 overall. That Matta is 16-8 in his first season at OSU and 118-39 overall.

Series: Ohio State leads, 16-13.

Last meeting: The Buckeyes held on to beat the Nittany Lions (68-62) in Columbus Jan. 26.

Last time out: Penn State was smoked at Purdue (77-50) Wednesday. Ohio State tumbled at Michigan State (83-69) the same night.

TV: ESPN-Plus (Craig Coshun, Mike Kelley) Clearances..

Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Steve Jones, Dick Jerardi).

Next up: Penn State plays host to No. 1 Illinois Wednesday. Ohio State entertains Indiana Tuesday.

Probable Starters:

Penn State — G Ben Luber, 6-0 So. (5.6 ppg), G Mike Walker, 6-2 Fr. (7.3 ppg), F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Fr. (12.1 ppg), F Travis Parker, 6-5 Jr. (11.9 ppg), F Aaron Johnson, 6-8 Jr. (13.1 ppg).

Ohio State — G Je’Kel Foster, 6-3 Jr. (8.1 ppg), G Jamar Butler, 6-3 Fr. (3.2 ppg), G J.J. Sullinger, 6.5 Jr. (10.2 ppg), F Ivan Harris, 6-8 So. (8.5 ppg), Terence Dials, 6-9 Jr. (15.7 ppg).

Quick Quiz: The Buckeyes have dropped 100 Big Ten games to only one team. Name the opponent.

Penn State Notes:

Penn State’s two most experienced players, Johnson and Luber, went a combined 1 of 15 from the floor in the loss to Purdue.

• Johnson is making only 34 percent of his shots in Big Ten games, a poor number for a big guy. Making it worse: He has not had an assist in the last three games. Becoming the focal point of opposing defenses has obviously been a struggle.

• Luber had made six shots (on 27 attempts) in Penn State’s last five games. He is 2 of 13 from the arc in that stretch.

• Parker had three steals against Purdue, marking the first time in Big Ten play this year a PSU player had more than two thefts in a game.

• Nearly 30 former Lions will be honored during the team’s “Alumni Weekend” ceremony during the game. Included will be All-Big Ten guard Danny Earl and All-American Mark DuMars.

• Stat watch: Big Ten opponents are making nearly half their shots (48.9 percent) against the Lions.

Ohio State Notes:

• Pennsylvania native Brandon Fuss-Cheatham was the key in the previous game between the two teams. He had a season-high 15 points, three assists and two steals. He has started 20 of 24 games this season.

• Dials has been great against most of the league, but Penn State has had his number the last two seasons. In three games, he has tallied a total of 13 points vs. the Lions.

• Eight players average at least 17.4 minutes per game for Ohio State. Dials (32.1) is the only one to average more than 29.

• Stat Watch: Ohio State is 1-6 in away games this season.

Quiz Answer: No, not football rival Michigan. Ohio State is 59-100 against Illinois.

FOS Prediction: Ohio State 74, Penn State 65.

Comment: No way we can take the Nittany Lions after they rolled over against a struggling Purdue outfit. Penn State will have to show a little heart — especially the vets — before we pick it again.

FOS Prediction Record: 15-7.


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