Preview: #12 California vs. #15 Ohio State

By Corey Carpenter on November 20, 2009 at 4:00p
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Thad is RadThad refused to let his team give up.
Ohio State Buckeyes #15 Ohio State 2-1, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 5:00 PM ET - ESPN2 —— The Garden New York, NY California Golden Bears #12 California 2-1, 0-0 Pac-10 Roster | Schedule

Let's face it North Carolina is just tall, lanky and good, but you have to applaud the fight Thad and his crew put up last night. At least this loss doesn't affect the whole season, like football would and they get a chance at instant redemption tonight.

California was dominated in their 95-73 loss to Syracuse Thursday night, as the 'Cuse shot a blistering 57% from the floor.

The Buckeyes were on the verge of getting blown out early in the 2nd, but Thad's team showed some grit in clawing back to within 2 points in the closing seconds. The team showed heart and can hopefully carry that last 10 minutes of play into tonight's tilt.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
21 Evan Turner 20.3 15.0 6.0 G 23 Pat Christopher 14.3 3.7 2.0
33 Jon Diebler 15.3 3.3 2.3 G 3 Jerome Randle 21.7 2.3 3.7
44 William Buford 13.0 3.3 2.3 F 2 Jorge Guiterrez 5.7 3.0 2.7
23 David Lighty 11.0 3.0 4.0 F 10 Jamal Boykin 9.3 7.7 1.0
52 Dallas Lauderdale 3.0 5.0 0.0 C 45 M.Sanders-Frison 5.3 6.3 1.0

Opponent

Cal is the trendy preseason pick to win the PAC-10, but has battled the injury front thus far, missing Theo Robertson and Harper Kamp, 2 key members off a team that reached the NCAA last year. They still start 4 seniors in their lineup and will run about 9 deep. Jerome Randel is their main scoring threat, going for 25 last night and averaging 21.7 points on the season.

The Bears are coached by Mike Montgomery, the old Stanford coach, who returned to the college ranks after a failed stint in the NBA. The Bears lead the nation in 3-point shooting last year and have connected on 41% of their attempts this year. Cal won't be as tall and lanky across the front and will run with 3 guards most of the time. They come in scoring 81 points a game and snag just above 42 boards. I was surprised to see they only dish out 13 assists per game and shoot 44% from the floor.

Buckeye Breakdown:

You can't be too disappointed in last night's loss. First, it's still Michigan weekend and second, this group showed the fight it's going to take to win the B10. Plain and simple, the Buckeyes could not hit shots early and a couple guys couldn't hit shots all night.

The Buckeyes will enter the game scoring 82 PPG and shooting 47.5% overall from the field. Although it's too early in the season to call it a trend, I think it's safe to say this team needs to get some more scoring in the paint. I was happy they continued to drive to the hoop last night, but if they can't muster any points from their center position, teams will have an opportunity to double up Turner or Buford.

A few keys for tonight include OSU's conditioning level. After their furious comeback and an end time of 11:35 PM, the Bucks will need to keep up the defensive intensity if they are going to come away from NYC with a win. Tired legs could also hurt the perimeter game, so they need to drive to start the game and get to the foul line. If they can hit just a couple of more shots tonight, they should be able to pull off a victory.

Etc

  • Cal leads the overall series 9-8, but OSU has won the last 2, including 73-56 in 2007, during the NIT run.
  • Ohio State is 33-34 overall against the PAC-10.
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