Preview: Cleveland State at Ohio State

By Corey Carpenter on December 22, 2009 at 7:00a
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Thad Matta and his fish stories to the refs.The space between Diebler and his screener.
Ohio State Buckeyes #17 Ohio State 9-2, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 8:30 PM ET - BTN —— The Schott Columbus, OH Cleveland State Vikings Cleveland State 4-8, 0-2 Horizon Roster | Schedule

Fresh off a near home upset of West Virginia, the Vikings make the trip down I-71 to give Ohio State their final tune-up before B10 seasons starts NYE in Madison.

After posting back to back 20+ win seasons, Cleveland State has struggled through their early season schedule, pulling off their only wins against Wilmington OH, Florida A&M, Sam Houston State and Wilberforce. They have no seniors on their roster and start 3 juniors and 2 sophomores.

The Buckeyes hope to make up for the snoozer we all had to endure this past Saturday, as they look to go into the Christmas Break with their 10th OOC victory, which would mark the 6th straight season they have accomplished that feat.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
4 PJ Hill 4.6 1.4 1.6 G 30 Norris Cole 17.2 1.9 3.3
33 Jon Diebler 14.9 3.2 2.2 G 32 D'Audray Brown 7.2 3.9 2.0
44 William Buford 12.5 3.6 3.6 F 3 Trevor Harmon 11.6 2.7 2.1
23 David Lighty 13.0 5.4 2.9 F 44 Aaron Pogue 7.7 6.2 1.7
52 Dallas Lauderdale 8,1 4,6 0.5 C 23 Jared Cunningham 7.2 3.4 0.4

Opponent

Cleveland State comes in scoring 73 points a game, so unless they steal the Delaware St. game plan, we shouldn't have a repeat of Saturday. The Vikings shoot 43 percent overall from the field and 34 percent from the arc, where they take a third of their shots from. They dish out 13.2 assists per contest, against 13.4 TO's and pull down 30.5 boards. CSU does rank in the top 10 nationally in steals per game, thieving just over 11, including 14 against WVU on Saturday.

Coach Gary Waters, in his 4th year at the helm, will primarily use 8 players, with Jeremy Montgomery, Tim Kamczyc (not a typo) and Nigel Ajere joining the starting five. Montgomery, a 6'2" junior from Chicago is their third leading scorer at 9 PPG, while the other two combine for 30 minutes, 8 points and 6 boards.

Buckeye Breakdown:

After their 2 wins last week, the Buckeyes moved up to #17 in both polls and will look to take advantage of the home surroundings for the last time in 2009. In their 8 games thus far at VCA, the Bucks are shooting an overall 55 percent from the floor and 43 percent from deep, leading to a 32.6 average margin of victory.

I think something to look at tonight is the play of Jon Diebler. He has been neutralized since Turner went down, scoring 27 over his last 3 games and attempting just 5 shots in 40 minutes on Saturday. He has struggled to create his own shot and teams have started to face guard him at all times. If teams continue this trend, he has to use his screens better. I know Chris has touched on it, but a basic principle of the screen, is rubbing shoulders with your teammate. Diebler rarely does this and I can't recall the last time he used a curl cut to the basket. If he is going to be an effective scorer until and when ET comes back, he needs to expand beyond the 3-pointer.

On the flip side, David Lighty has scored double digits in four straight now and has kept the pressure on the opposing defenses by driving relentlessly to the lane. Lighty needs to focus on the 2-pointers though, as he has hit just 5 of his last 21 three point attempts and is shooting 53 percent from the FT line.

Despite the Vikings close call with WVU, I don't think OSU is going to struggle with them tonight. They lost their 1st and 3rd leading scorers from a season ago and have yet to find their groove. Ohio State on the other hand has at least 6 players that could contribute double digits on any night. The Bucks get 4 in double digits tonight and go on for a 77-59 win.

Etc

  • 11W favorite combo, Tom Hamilton and Jim Jackson work the mic tonight.
  • Dallas Lauderdale is 26-28 at VCA this season and I sense his first 10 rebound game.
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