Preview: #16 Ohio State vs. UNC-Asheville

By Corey Carpenter on December 22, 2008 at 2:00p
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thad-matta-scowls-at-Ohio-State's-defenseThad's reaction to Saturday's 2nd half start.
Ohio State Buckeyes #16 Ohio State 8-0, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 7:00 PM ET - BTN —— The Schott Columbus, OH North Carolina Asheville Bulldogs UNC-Asheville 4-7, 1-1 Big South Roster | Schedule

Ohio State faces the Bulldogs for the second time this year, having defeated them 84-66 in the opening round of the NIT back in March, starting the Bucks' current 13 game win streak.

UNC-Asheville has lost 7 of their last 8, including games against UNC, Duke and Tennessee. The Bulldogs went down to Buffalo on Saturday 71-52, while Ohio State disposed of Iona 71-53.

Don't be surprised to see another slow start tonight, due to the quick turnaround for both teams and the expected lackluster crowd because of the severe cold.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
2 Jeremie Simmons 7.6 2.8 2.6 G 10 JP Primm 9.3 2.6 5.5
33 Jon Diebler 11.4 2.5 1.9 G 15 Sean Smith 9.5 4.0 1.8
44 William Buford 6.4 2.6 0.6 F 20 Reid Augst 14.5 4.4 2.5
21 Evan Turner 16.9 7.3 3.0 F 23 John Williams 11.1 6.0 1.5
52 Dallas Lauderdale 7.6 4.6 0.1 C 45 Jason Ridenhour 8.9 4.8 1.2

Opponent

The Bulldogs come in scoring 71.8 points a game on 44.1 percent shooting, including 32.2 percent from downtown. This team has really struggled defensively without the services of 7' 7" Kenny George, allowing teams to score 83.5 points a game on 46.1 percent shooting.

North Carolina Asheville has 10 players that average over 10 minutes a game, with Matt Dickey and Quinard Jackson leading the way. Their bench produces about 20 points a game, but the primary production will come from the starters, as all 5 play over 25 minutes a contest.

Buckeye Breakdown:

OSU will continue to adjust without David Lighty and I wouldn't be surprised to see Buford getting his first start tonight. Although he got going later in the first, BJ Mullens didn't start off too fast in either half and Buford seems ready to shoot as soon as the warmups come off. Plus with a another smaller opponent, the need for twin towers may not be there tonight.

With that said, the Bucks need to continue to give Dallas and BJ touches inside. Swatterdale hasn't missed a shot from the floor in his last two games, but he has only had 5 attempts. Mullens has shown some impressive footwork and moves lately, but he has had only 7 attempts over the last two, while collecting just 6 boards in his last three. I think Thad benching the duo for most of the second was due to a lack of hustle coming out of the half, so it will be interesting to see how these two are used tonight.

Even though they may not be getting the post entry pass down, the Buckeye wing players have been aggressive in driving to the hoop. I know it sounds like a broken record, but the more you drive, the better chance you have of winning the game. I can't recall the last time OSU attempted more than 25 free throws in three straight games, but their totals 28, 27 and 35 is impressive. Now if they can only improve the 68.8 conversion rate.

The Bucks still rank third in the country by allowing 52.9 points a game and have slipped to 13th with a defensive FG percentage of 36.5. They have raised their scoring output to 67 points a game and are shooting 45.5 percent, moving them up to eighth in the conference.

Etc

  • OSU is tied for fourth nationally with 7.4 blocks a game.
  • Turner and Diebler have combined for 35 FT attempts in the last two games.
  • The great Tom Hamilton and former Buckeye Tony White will call the game tonight.
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