Preview: #15 Loyola (MD) vs. #2 Ohio State

By Corey Carpenter on March 15, 2012 at 11:00a
Pastos and Etherly lead the Greyhounds into the tourney.Etherly and Pastos, coming for you!
Ohio State Buckeyes #7 Ohio State 27-7, 13-5 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 9:45 PM ET - TNT —— Consol Energy Center Pittsburgh, PA Loyola (MD) Greyhounds Loyola (MD) 24-8, 13-5 MAAC Roster | Schedule

The Buckeyes travel to Pittsburgh tonight, making their 24th NCAA Tourney appearance, which includes the last four. This is the sixth time in Thad's eight years he has taken the Bucks to the Dance and though the last three have been disappointing earlier than expected exits, OSU has reached the Sweet Sixteen in consecutive years for the first time since '91-92. 

Conversely, Loyola is making just their second appearance and first since 1994, when they lost to Arizona in the first round, 81-55. The Greyhounds have won 12 of their last 15, including the MAAC championship, but shouldn't pose a threat to Ohio State.

OSU is the sexy pick to make it to New Orleans out of the East region, especially in light of the Fab Melo situation. There is no question Ohio State has the talent to get it done, but as Alex pointed out yesterday, there are some good teams in the East and the Buckeye's mental focus has to be equivalent to their physical tools. Survive and advance, that's all you have to do this time of year.

4 A. Craft SO 6-2/190 8.6 3.2 4.6 G 12 R.J. WIlliams FR 5-8/155 4.0 1.6 2.5
32 L. Smith, Jr. SO 6-4/205 6.1 4.5 2.1 G 3 D. Cormier SO 6-2/176 13.4 3.3 1.9
44 W. Buford SR 6-6/220 14.7 4.9 2.9 F 25 R. Olson JR 6-4/191 11.2 3.4 1.9
1 D. Thomas SO 6-7/225 15.4 5.0 0.9 F 24 E. Etherly JR 6-7/218 13.5 7.5 1.9
0 J. Sullinger SO 6-9/260 17.6 9.3 1.2 C 5 S. Walker SR 6-10/222 4.0 6.4 1.5


Loyola finished second in the regular season MAAC standings, two games behind fellow tourney participant, Iona. The Greyhounds only played one ranked team this season, which was Kentucky back on Dec. 22, a game they were down just six at halftime, before losing by 24.

The Greyhounds aren't the best shooting team, connecting on 42.8% overall from the field, which puts them in the lower third of all D1 teams. They do hit 34% of their three point attempts, but don't rely on chuckin' up a bunch from there. They make about five a game on almost 15 attempts.

Jimmy Patsos's squad scores roughly 68 PPG, but managed just 48 in their MAAC championship game 10 days ago. As you can see above, they are not the tallest of teams, but Patsos is from the Gary Williams mode and they take pride in their rebounding. On the season, the Greyhounds snagged 35.3 RPG and had a +4 rebounding advantage.

Oddly enough, Loyola has held teams to the exact shooting percentage as they have shot, at 42.8, allowing teams to score almost 64 PPG. They do a nice job of taking care of the rock, turning it over just 13.5 time a contest, while also dishing out 12 assists.

Pastos will run with about eight guys, all averaging between 17-31 minutes a game. Leading the way off the pine will be 6'4" SO. Justin Drummond, who scores just under 11 points and grabs four boards per game. Also slated to see some time tonight is Anthony Winbush and Jordan Latham. Winbush, a 6'7" JR., gives his team roughly three points and boards in 17 minutes of action, while Latham, a 6'8" SO., is a big body who will probably see the least amount of time, knocking in a couple of points per game, to go along with two boards.

I don't know what type of defensive scheme Pastos will have up his sleeve, but there is little doubt he'll try something. He knows his team can't match up with Ohio State physically and the only way they can stay in this game is to confuse the Bucks defensively and hit some threes. Loyola has balanced scoring and Etherly looks to be a decent player, but I don't see them having enough fire power to make this a close game.

Buckeye Breakdown:

Minus the second half of their last game, Ohio State has played some great basketball over the last five games and earned the two seed in a region that many are predicting them to win. I thought Ohio State played some of their best basketball all season in the first 2.5 games of the B1G tourney and we can only hope the offensives mindset we saw the second half against MSU on Sunday, doesn't carry over to the Big Dance.

Is this the last tournament for Sully?Is this the last tournament for Sullinger?

I know Sully is a great player and he is probably playing his last games as a Buckeye, but this team isn't going to win if he is taking every shot. William Buford and Deshaun Thomas took a combined seven shots in the second half Sunday, three of which were in the last :37 seconds of the game, while Sully took 16 shots in the second.

Thad was determined to go through Jared, but the ball rarely came back out and the crisp movement of both player and ball that we had seen for the first 100 minutes of the tourney, stopped. I'm sure they watched tape and learned from it, because if they haven't it could mean another disappointing exit.

Regardless of how the offensive shots work out tonight, Ohio State shouldn't have too much trouble with the Greyhounds. The Buckeyes will be the best defensive team they have seen all season and Thad won't need to pull out any tricks to win this one. This is the type of team OSU was disposing of with ease in the OOC slate.

If all goes well, Thad will be able to play his bench a little more tonight, giving the youngsters a taste of NCAA tourney action, which will be critical as they move on in the bracket. We have criticized B1G officials all season for their inconsistency and there's a good chance the games are going to be called different, so Ohio State players can't get wrapped up in what is/isn't being called. We saw Sunday how foul trouble can affect this team and if there is a spot where Craft or Sully has to take an early seat due to foul trouble, Shannon Scott and Evan Ravenel have to continue their recent play. Solid minutes tonight will only boost their confidence.

I expect this one to be over early. The Buckeyes can't have a good taste in their mouth after letting one slip away on Sunday and this could be the last few games for Buford, Sully and Thomas(hopefully not). They want to put the recent tourney woes behind them and make a mark on OSU history. The stars are aligning for it to happen, so we can only hope they remain unselfish on offense and continue their solid work on D.


  • Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller have the call tonight.
  • William Buford becomes the fourth all-time scorer with at least 11 points.

Comments Show All Comments

thatlillefty's picture

so what app do i need to watch the games at work from my phone?

Matt's picture

I'm now convinced that both Sully and Thomas will be gone after this season.  Thomas always intended to be one-and-done, but he didn't get the PT or put up the numbers last season to justify an early jump to the Show, and the lockout also probably scared him away.  He's been turning his game up a notch as the season winds down, likely with an eye towards garnering the interest of NBA scouts.  Sully has reached his ceiling in college, and his job will only get tougher next year with the departure of Buford and Thomas.  I expect he will declare for the draft and I think he should.  So with Buford graduating, too, that means these next few games are the last chance for this corps of players to take a shot at the national title.   Unless Tony Parker comes in next season and does his best Sully frosh-of-year impression (and I believe he will ultimately choose Kansas), we will have lost 64% of our offensive output, with our two most likely 2012 starters (Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott) possessing absolutely no mid or long range game, and who can score only via layups and dunks.  Q Ross could be special, but that remains to be seen.  All signs point to next year being a rebuilding season for Thad Matta and company.  I hope the players realize what is at stake and that they finally seize the moment.

dbit's picture

Are they really only 64%? Sully, DT, Buford seem like they'd be more like 75-80%!

DT is definitely gone, IMO.  But Sullinger may realize he has some more maturation to do, including getting over his on-court emotions, before making the leap.  I would bet that he is gone as well though.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

What makes everyone think Tank is going pro?  Because it's a pretty easy decision for him to take the payday?  Is it something he's publicly said?

RBuck's picture

I just read the other day that he told Bob Baptist of The Dispatch that he wanted to be a one-and-done last year.

Long live the southend.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I like Baptist but only read what he puts on twitter. Wish DT would stay at least one more year. Be the featured guy.

Type G's picture

I think DT stays. His stock isn't as high as some may want to believe. Plus, the Draft will be somewhat stacked this year.

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"

Matt's picture

I believe Alex talked to DT when he was coming in as a frosh and he said he was one-and-done then.  Given that he's already one year past when he wanted to declare for draft, I don't see him coming back for a third year.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

That's too bad. Can't blame him, but he could be great.

Colonel Quaritch's picture

Looking for this game to be close at first then Ohio State to continually widen the gap to an eventual win by 15+. Hoping for some entertaining anctics buy Patsos though, he's a very fiery coach.

"The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me." 

Poe McKnoe's picture

9:45 first round game? Hopefully our boys aren't asleep by then.