Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State basketball squad will look to extend their winning streak to four straight as they take on the Illini in Columbus tonight. The Bucks find themselves in the seventh slot in the conference standings and are fighting to get to over 20 wins this season. They are looking to grab a spot in the NCAA Tournament here in the home stretch of the season. A very winnable game against a tough Illinois would go a long way in their quest for a spot in the field of 68.
The Illini currently stand at ninth in the conference standings and have strung out three in the row including a huge win versus the Spartans. They also have three players averaging double-digits this season giving them a well-balanced scoring attack. Trent Frazier and Ayo Dosunmu both put up over 14 points per game and leading the way on the perimeter. Illinois also does a tremendous job of pressuring opposing offenses and forcing them to play at their tempo. They force 17 turnovers per game and grab 8 steals as well. They constantly pressure the ball and deny almost every off-ball player. They force the opposition to play almost one on one at times.
Keys For Ohio State
- Protect the ball: Don’t give away easy buckets and do not be sloppy with the ball
- Make Illinois play half-court basketball: Keep them at your pace and off their fast, uptempo game
Keys For Illinois
- Force Turnovers: Create easy transition offense with defensive pressure making Ohio State uncomfortable
- Keep Kaleb Wesson from making plays: Don’t let him control the game and be the engine behind the Buckeye offense
Holtmann’s Buckeyes need this win to help strengthen their case for a NCAA Tournament bid. Getting to the 20 win mark is a must and a win in this outing would put them at 18 and another step closer to their goal. They will have to handle the Illini pressure and execute their game-plan for the full 40 minutes to come out with another tough conference win.
Image From Buckeyes Wire