|#15 Ohio State 10-3, 0-1 Big Ten Roster | Schedule||January 3, 2009 4:30 PM ET - BTN —— Crisler Arena Ann Arbor, MI||Michigan 6-6, 0-1 Big Ten Roster | Schedule|
It's funny how a Rose Bowl victory will take away the sting of watching the debacle in Madison the day before. Though we expected the loss, we didn't anticipate it being by 22 points.
Meanwhile, TSUN has struggled coming out of the gates, losing 6 of their last 9, after starting the season ranked in the top 25.
Both teams need a victory in this one, looking to avoid an 0-2 start in B10 play, because after watching some games from the first week of play, this is going to be a loaded conference slate this year.
|4||PJ Hill||5.1||1.6||1.8||G||1||Stu Douglas||7,2||1.8||2.6|
|33||Jon Diebler||13.8||3.1||2.0||G||31||Laval Lucas Perry||6.6||2.5||2.1|
|44||William Buford||12.7||4.1||3.5||F||0||Zack Novak||7.9||5.1||1.7|
|23||David Lighty||14.1||5.5||2.8||F||3||Manny Harris||19.5||7.0||4.9|
|52||Dallas Luaderdale||7.8||4.8||0.4||C||34||DeShawn Sims||15.8||6.8||1.9|
Michigan comes in scoring 70.4 PPG, which ranks 9th in the conference and the 64 points they give up is good for 7th in the league. The Wolverines come in shooting 42% as a team and just 29 percent from downtown, ranking dead last in both, not good for a team that take almost 45 percent of their shots from deep. UM does rank second in the Big Ten with a 1.6/1.0 A-T ratio, assisting on 16.1 buckets, while turning it over 10 times per game.
John Beilein, in his 3rd year at the helm, will play primarily 7 players, with Darius Morris and Zack Gibson leading the way off the bench. Morris, a 6'4" freshman from LA, comes in averaging 23 minutes, 5 points, 2 boards and 2.8 assists per game, while Gibson plays 12 minutes a game, scoring 5 points and grabbing 3 boards.
I learned long ago that in basketball, there are going to be nights like the Buckeyes had against Whisky on Thursday. You simply learn from it and move on to play your next game and luckily for OSU, it comes only 1 day after the Rose Bowl.
To say Ohio State has struggled without Turner would be the understatement of the decade, at least the new one. Whispers have ET coming back sooner than expected and if OSU can steal one up in Ann Arbor, then they should be able to come back and snag one Wednesday at home against Indiana.
Since Turner's injury, the Buckeyes have seen their PPG production slip from high 80's to the current 78.6. They were second nationally in shooting, hoovering around the 53% mark and now they are down slightly to 51.2 percent, which still ranks them 6th nationally. Perhaps Turner's greatest attribute was his ability to put pressure on the defense. Hill has done OK defensively, but he adds no pressure on offense and teams can concentrate on shutting down Diebler, Buford and Lighty. Shutting down Diebler seems to become the easiest thing in college hoops these days, although it makes it easier when he doesn't move around to try and get open and the team sets few screens for him. Great scorers continually try to get open and have the ability to create their own shot, the Ghost isn't doing either one.
I'm hoping somehow the bitter taste from the Whisly game and a little inspiration from the football brethren will force this team to come out with some determination. UM has struggled shooting the ball and Manny Harris will force the action at times, so if the Bucks can come out with defensive pressure from the beginning and not allow the Wolverines to make 3-pointers and keep Harris quiet, they have a good chance. They also need to take it inside. Sims is the only height Beilein can throw out there and if the Bucks can get him in early foul trouble, the inside should open up. If they are timid in the lane, Sims could have a monster game.
Overall, the entertainment value should be worth your 2 hours on the last day of the NFL season. I expect the Bucks to come out with a little more fire and not fall behind early like the Wisconsin game (I still think a 9 day layoff factored into the slow start). It's not football, but it's still Michigan and the hoops team usually plays hard against TSUN, so I'm keeping the Rose Bowl momentum alive and predicting a 65-62 OSU win.
- OSU holds an 85-70 all-time record over Michigan and are 27-4 when ranked against them.
- Tom Hamilton and Greg Kelser will rock the mics today.