|#4 Ohio State 1-0, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule||November 16, 2010 6:00 PM ET - ESPN —— O'Connell Center Gainsville, FL||#9 Florida 1-0, 0-0 SEC Roster | Schedule|
Ohio State travels down to Gainesville tonight for the first time since 2006, as part of ESPN's 24 hour college hoops marathon to kick off the season. In 2006, a young Buckeye team lead by the last great freshman class, pissed down their legs in a 86-60 beat down at the hands of the eventual National Champs.
Florida retuns all 5 starters from their NCAA team who posted a 21-13 record last year and an opening round double OT loss to BYU. They took care of UNC-Wilmington, 77-60 in their opener, shooting 49 percent from the field and outrebounding the Seahawks 36-22.
This is the 10th time the Buckeyes and Gators have met, with Ohio State winning 6 of them, including a 62-49 victory in 2007. Surprisingly, this is only the 6th time a top 5 team has vistied Gainsville in the last decade, with Florida going 2-3 in those games.
|33||John Diebler||9.0||1.0||1.0||G||1||Kenny Boynton||10.0||4.0||2.0|
|44||William Buford||11.0||7.0||4.0||G||11||Erving Walker||9.0||6.0||0.0|
|23||David Lighty||10.0||7.0||3.0||F||25||Chandler Parsons||16.0||5.0||4.0|
|0||Jared Sullinger||19.0||14.0||2.0||F||23||Alex Tyes||13.0||7.0||3.0|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||12.0||13.0||1.0||C||32||Vernon Macklin||9.0||2.0||2.0|
Billy Donovan will run up to 10 guys and press the entire time, while looking to take advantage of their heigth inside. The Gators will go 6'8", 6'9" and 6'10" across the front to start and then bring in a pair of 6'9" subs in Erik Murphy and Patric Young. Chandler Parsons was voted preseason first team All-SEC and lead the Gators in the first game with 16 on 7 of 13 shooting. Macklin is a fifth year senior transfer from Georgetown, who averaged almost 11 points and 5.5 rebound per game last year. He does all his work from inside the arc, so it should allow Lauderdale to stay home most the night.
The Gators heralded freshman class didn't make quite the splash Thad's did in their debut, combining for 10 points and 4 rebounds. Scott Wilbekin chipped in 5 assists and 4 steals, to go along with 3 of those 10 points, while Young, Casey Prather and Will Yeguete also saw action. In their first game, the Gators forced 20 turnovers, including 12 steals and turned that into 24 points.
The keys for the Buckeyes tonight is taking care of the ball and rebounding. As mentioned, Florida will turn up the pressure the entire time and Ohio State will have to find ways to break the press. Luckily, there are plenty of ball handlers on this team, so it is a matter of slowing things down and finding the open man. If they can break it, that should give Lauderdale and Big Sully some open looks on the offensive side of the ball.
OSU killed Florida A&T on the boards, 60-22 and though the advantage won't be that large tonight, if they can limit the Gators to one shot on the defensive side, it will go a long way in securing the road win. Both Lauderdale and Sully posted double-doubles in the season debut, with Thomas grabbing 8 and Lighty snagging 7. They tallied 30 offensive baords as a team and will look to continue that trend. The other impressive stat from Friday's game was the 24 assists on OSU's 37 made buckets, lead by Aaron Craft's 9 dimes. Again, if OSU can repeat that type of performance, they should come away with a win.
I don't know if Thad has had this many scorers in his tenure at Ohio State. Last year, Turner was Mr. Everything and the team relied on him too much for their scoring at times. With the additions of DeShaun "should have been co-frosh of the week" Thomas and Sullinger, to go along with the returning threats of Buford, Lighty and Diebler, I don't think scoring points will be an issue tonight, unless the pressure gets to them. Though the Gators are tough defensively, the Bucks have scored 102 points in each of their live action games this season.
What do you think? What's your keys for tonight? Do you think OSU comes away with the win? I think they go in and show the world how good they may be this year and fly back to Cbus with a 73-67 victory.
- The 2006 game is still the most attended hoops game in Florida's home dome and Billy Donavan is 44-1 at home in November.
- Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Andy Katz have the call on ESPN.