Preview: Ohio State vs. Houston Baptist

By Corey Carpenter on January 9, 2009 at 7:00a
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bj-mullens-dunks-for-twoMullens should have another big game. (D. Harker: The O-Zone)
Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State 10-3, 1-2 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 7:00 PM ET - BTN —— The Schott Columbus, OH Houston Baptist Huskies Houston Baptist 1-15, 0-0 Indep. Roster | Schedule

The mighty Huskies of Houston Baptist, in only their second year of D1 hoops, roll into Columbus to round out Ohio State's non-conference schedule.

This game was a late addition to the schedule, after the season opening tournament Thad wanted, fell through.

Houston Baptist will join the newly created Great West conference starting next year. They lost their first 14 games of the season, before beating Howard on NYE. Against their two ranked opponents this year, they were beat by an average of 33 points while giving up 93 and 95.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
2 Jeremie Simmons 6.6 2.1 2.5 G 12 Baron Sauls 16.9 4.5 3.6
33 Jon Diebler 11.4 3.5 2.2 G 23 Andrew Puzuk 9.1 2.2 0.9
21 Evan Turner 16.0 7.3 2.5 F 21 Gordon Watt 17.8 8.8 1.4
44 William Buford 9.0 3.2 0.5 F 44 Emanuel Willis 6.3 2.8 0.7
32 BJ Mullens 7.6 3.9 0.2 C 45 Mario Flaherty 5.5 3.6 0.4

Opponent

The Huskies are scoring 68.6 points a game, on 40 percent shooting, while giving up 83.9 points and 48.6 percent from the floor. This team has 11 seniors on their roster and rely on Sauls and Watt to lead them. It looks like they will run 8-10 players into the lineup, none taller than 6'9".

The only thing that is potentially scary about the Huskies, is their experience. They shoot 33 percent from deep and the three ball is the great equalizer for underdogs and we all know how much OSU has loved giving up three's lately. If the Bucks come out flat for an extended period, this team may just hang around long enough.

For those of you interested, Houston Baptist was founded in 1960 and has an enrollment of 2300 students.

Buckeye Breakdown:

Obviously, Ohio State should dominate this game and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Losers in 3 of their last 4, they showed some fight in Tuesday's loss against Michigan State, but are still searching for the right chemistry on both ends.

The Bucks are still struggling with their rotation in the zone, giving up 30 three pointers in the last 3 games, including an 8 of 17 performance Tuesday. Rebounding woes also continue, as OSU has been beaten on the boards in 4 of their last 5, giving up almost 13 offensive caroms in that span.

Offensively, the Bucks discovered the post entry pass late in the game Tuesday and must continue that effort tonight. BJ took a team high 14 shots, converting 8 of them in his best outing this season. I thought he did a better job of holding his post position and wanting the ball against the conference's best front court. Following Thad's lead over the last few weeks, don't be surprised to see Mullens in the starting lineup tonight, as Dallas continues his offensive struggles.

We should get to see the debut of Nikola Kecman tonight and I would also like to see Walter Offutt get some good minutes, giving Diebler and Turner some needed rest.

Etc

  • Tom Hamilton and Bill Hosket will call the game on BTN.
  • The Bucks are scoring 65.5 points a game and shooting 44.1 percent.
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