Preview: Ohio State vs. #13 Purdue

By Corey Carpenter on February 3, 2009 at 7:00a
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Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State 15-5, 5-4 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 7:00 PM ET - ESPN —— The Schott Columbus, OH Purdue Boilermakers #13 Purdue 17-4, 6-2 Big Ten Roster | Schedule

This week will give us a good indication as to which way the Buckeye's season will end up, as they host two ranked opponents in Purdue and Minnesota.

After losing their opening 2 games in conference play, Purdue has reeled off 6 straight to climb within a half game of Michigan State and at #13, they are the highest rated B10 team.

Ohio State is still torching the nets, connecting on better than 50 percent in 3 straight, but Purdue ranks 2nd in scoring defense, right behind Illinois and we remember how the Illini handled the Bucks a few weeks ago.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
2 Jeremie Simmons 8.1 1.8 3.3 G 3 Chris Kramer 4.6 2.6 2.4
33 Jon Diebler 11.0 3.2 2.6 G 5 Keaton Grant 7.9 2.7 2.1
21 Evan Turner 16.6 7.2 3.1 F 33 E'Twaun Moore 14.3 4.7 3.0
44 William Buford 11.4 3.4 1.2 F 4 Robbie Hummel 12.9 7.5 2.2
52 Dallas Lauderdale 5.4 4.3 0.4 C 25 JuJuan Johnson 12.5 5.8 0.8

Opponent

Purdue comes in scoring almost 67 points a game during league play, shooting 46 percent from the floor, including 54 for 128 from downtown. The Boilermakers lead the league in scoring margin, holding teams to 60 points and beating them by an average of 7 points.

Matt Painter has developed a great team, with 8 players that average over 17 minutes, 5 points and 2 rebounds. Five players dish out over 2 assists a game and the team totals 16. Lewis Jackson, Marcus Green and Nemanja Calasan will lead off the bench, combing for 18 points, 10 boards and 5 assists.

Purdue's 6 game winning streak has come against the lower tier of the B10, with only Minnesota being ranked and their 2 losses came against Illinois and Penn State. The Boilermakers have never won in Value City Arena, going 0-5 since it opened in 1998.

Buckeye Breakdown:

Ohio State is essentially shooting 50% in league play, hitting 212 of 426 shots, including 65 of 153 from deep. It has been great to watch their shot selection improve and to see the "drive first" mentality come alive, which is leading to more Ft attempts. The Buckeyes have attempted 55 freebies in the last 2 games.

There is no questions all eyes will be on BJ Mullens and Dallas Lauderdale, after their combined goose egg in Saturday's win. These two showed flashes against Michigan of becoming an inside presence, establishing post position with force, but they weren't even close to that level in Bloomington. Seriously, how do neither one of them score? I know the wings don't look inside as often as they should, be after a while you have to want the ball.

I'll be interested to see how the reigning Big Ten POW will respond against a tough defensive team. Turner seemed to score at will last week, scoring 53 points on 16-23 shooting and 21-23 FT's, but he had his worse game of the season against similar Illinois. Simmons and Buford also need to take pressure off Turner tonight.

I'll be happy if the Buckeyes can split this week. I thought they would go 10-8 before the season (12-6 before the Lighty injury), so a split keeps them on pace. If I was a gambling man, I would bet the Bucks to beat Minnesota, because tonight I think they lose a close one 71-66, as the Boilermaker defense becomes the difference down the stretch.

Etc

  • Thad became the 2nd fastest OSU coach to win 50 Big Ten games, behind Fred Taylor.
  • The last time OSU had 3 players score 20+ points, was in 1995, when Doug Etzler (37), Rick Yudt (26) and Carlos Davis (22) lead the Bucks in a 121-98 win over George Mason.
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