The Eleven Warriors Web Report comes to you weekly from the Spectrum Sports studios in downtown Columbus, featuring our own Beau Bishop and James Grega.
Ohio State basketball is off to an almost surreal start to the Chris Holtmann era in Columbus, as the Buckeyes entered the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in nearly three years on Monday, yet the 15-4, 6-0 squad is struggling to fill its home arena.
Following an upset win over No. 1 Michigan State on Jan. 7, just 12,014 came out to watch Ohio State defeat Maryland just four days later, prompting Bishop to ask Grega, is Buckeye Nation doing enough to support their home team?
"I don't know that it is," Grega said. "You look at what this team has been able to do, going 6-0 in the Big Ten, probably the Big Ten Player of the Year in Keita Bates-Diop, they have everything you could possibly want in a basketball team. They have the star player, the fresh new face at head coach and they have a team that is contending for a Big Ten title. Fans are not showing up.
"They were there for the Michigan State game. That game was loud and the environment was great, but for Maryland, it was very much like they were playing The Citadel again."
As for Ohio State's upcoming schedule, the Buckeyes are set to play in a pair of road games with unique circumstances. Their trip to Northwestern will take place at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., instead of on campus at Welsh-Ryan Arena, where renovations have closed the building for the 2017-18 season.
Following that trip is a trek to New York City, where Ohio State will take on Minnesota as part of the Big Ten Showcase event that will also feature a Minnesota hockey game against Michigan State later on Saturday evening. The game in Madison Square Garden leaves Bishop wondering what sort of turnout the Big Ten is expecting for a solid conference matchup.
"I think it's a hell of a tough sell," Bishop said. "There's a lot of Buckeye alumni in the area and a lot of Minnesota alumni in the area I'm sure, but the idea that at noon they're going to hustle to Madison Square Garden to take in a basketball game, it's nuts to me."
You can watch a more in-depth breakdown of Ohio State basketball and the Buckeyes upcoming stretch of games on this week's Eleven Warriors Report on Spectrum Sports Mid-Ohio, which premieres at 7 p.m. Tuesday.