The Buckeye basketball team will take on 19th ranked Maryland in Columbus tonight as they look to turn around their start in conference play. The Bucks have dropped their last three games and likely see this as a must-win game against a talented, but very young Terrapin team. They are the 5th youngest team in the nation, which will finally give the Bucks a slight edge in experience despite their own youth. Coach Holtmann will look to get his team a solid win to turn this disappointing conference start around quickly.
- OHIO STATE KEYS
Stay Out Of Foul Trouble: The Buckeyes have been plagued by foul trouble recently with Kaleb Wesson being on the bench with too many fouls for much of each recent game. Kaleb will have to be more disciplined himself and can’t commit any dumb fouls that give the officials an easy one to call. This goes for the rest of the Bucks such as Andre Wesson and Keyshawn Woods among others as well. This team needs its key players in the game and will not be able to afford having them off the floor for extended periods of time.
- Turn Defense Into Offense: Ohio State has struggled greatly on offense recently. Kaleb Wesson has been the only constant despite his foul trouble. C.J. Jackson is just too inconsistent at the time to create great shots and Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington have not shown the capability to create on a regular basis either. Therefore, Holtmann’s squad should use their biggest strength in defense to create this offense. The Buckeyes should turn up the pressure and do whatever they can to force turnovers that lead to fastbreak points. This would result in easy buckets while also forming a rhythm for the offense.
- MARYLAND KEYS
Contain Kaleb Wesson: The Terps know Kaleb is who the offense runs through and they will surely attempt to deny him the ball and also will do their best to get him in foul trouble. They will constantly attack him and put the refs in position to call fouls and get him off the floor as much as possible.
- Execute On offense: The Buckeyes have been phenomenal on defense thus far in the season. The Terps know that this tough man defense will make life difficult, so they must be at their best to score. They have to protect the ball and make the Bucks move and try to catch them out of position. Anthony Cowan Jr. will run the show for Maryland and his 17.8 points per game will make him the focal point of the Ohio State defensive scheme. This could lead to him creating shots for other talented Terps such as their 6’10” big in Bruno Fernando or their off-guard Eric Ayala.
- OHIO STATE TEAM STATS
- MARYLAND TEAM STATS
The Bucks will need to bring everything they have tonight and will need this win to get back on track quickly. The NCAA Tournament is the goal for Holtmann’s team and this is an important game in the middle of this season now. The Big Ten is an insanely competitive conference and Ohio State will be in for another tough battle tonight. The Bucks take on the Terps at 6:30 on FS1.
Image from Land Grant Holy-Land