Preview: Ohio State at #24 Michigan

By Corey Carpenter on January 16, 2009 at 7:00a
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Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State 12-3, 2-2 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 8:00 PM ET - BTN —— Crisler Arena Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Wolverines #24 Michigan 13-4, 3-2 Big Ten Roster | Schedule

At least this time, RichRod won't have to deal with rowdy Buckeye fans.

Ohio State and Michigan renew their hardwood rivalry tomorrow, the first of two meetings in the next 11 days. The Buckeyes will try to avenge last year's 10 point loss in Ann Arbor, when Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims combined for 49 points in an 80-70 Wolverine victory.

Both teams come in with 2 conference losses, but Michigan has played one more game and OSU could tie Wisconsin for fourth with a win.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
2 Jeremie Simmons 7.3 1.9 3.0 G 44 Kelvin Grady 5.6 2.0 2.5
33 Jon Diebler 11.3 3.5 2.7 G 31 Laval Lucas-Perry 11.4 2.4 1.6
21 Evan Turner 15.7 6.9 2.7 F 0 Zack Novak 6.8 3.1 1.4
44 William Buford 10.3 3.5 0.7 F 3 Manny Harris 18.7 7.6 4.7
52 Dallas Lauderdale 6.2 4.7 0.4 C 34 DeShawn Sims 15.9 8.0 0.8

Opponent

Michigan enters the game scoring 71.7 points a game, good for fourth in the league. The Wolverines specialize in the three point shot, attempting 165 more than the Bucks thus far. Overall, UM is shooting 43.4 percent, including 33.8 percent from deep.

Beilein will run 10 players at Thad's depleted squad. Stu Douglass and CJ Lee lead the way off the bench, but neither one will be a threat to score big points. The Wolverines are coming off a 68-51 loss at Illinois on Wednesday, so they will be hungry for a win at home.

Michigan is well tested, splitting two meetings with Duke, beating UCLA and losing to Maryland and Wisconsin. Michigan's ability to change defenses on the fly is going to be key if they are going to pull off a victory. OSU lacks a true point guard and Simmons has proved a bit vulnerable when picked up full or half court defensively.

Buckeye Breakdown:

OSU has taken advantage over the last two weaker opponents, moving up to fifth in conference FG percentage, at 45.6 and scoring almost 68 points a game. We will see if they can keep those numbers up during the two road tilts this week.

Ohio State has shown improvement in their driving the rock and getting it inside. BJ Mullens is 20 of 29 over his last 4 games and leads the conference in FG percentage during league play. I think the team has also done a better job of shot selection. The quick three isn't going up as often and the shot fake has even made an appearance.

William Buford has his season average up to double digits, giving the Bucks 3 of the conference top 9 scorers during the early part of B10 play. If he keeps his recent trend up, Diebler should have another big game in Ann Arbor, before cooling at Illinois.

Etc

  • Simmons has 16 assists over the last 3 games.
  • Turner has hit 10 of his last 12 shots.
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