Gameday Preview: OSU vs. Northwestern

By Chris Lauderback on January 24, 2007 at 1:10 am

Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena – Evanston, Il

When: 8:00pm EST

Records: OSU 16-3 (4-1); Wildcats 11-8 (1-5)

Opponent: The Wildcats return to Welsh-Ryan Arena after notching their first conference win of the season at Minnesota on Saturday. The game marked the return of leading scorer Kevin Coble, who had missed the last 2 games with a sprained ankle. Coble came off the bench to score 13 points in the 55-40 victory. The Wildcats turned it over just eight times, had six steals but shot just 6-22 (27%) from downtown. Against OSU, expect Northwestern to launch at least the same number of threes. They will also likely return to their roots and attempt to slow the tempo considerably more than they did in the 73-41 pimp-slap suffered in Columbus last Wednesday. The Buckeyes employed a 2-3 zone defense with Greg Oden patrolling the middle which forced NU to shoot 25 threes out of 49 total shots with 16 turnovers.

Players: They really don’t have anybody worth blabbing about but…Sophomore guard Craig Moore scored 11 against OSU last week, shooting 3-10 on threes. 6’10” center Vince Scott led NU with 15 in the victory over Minnesota however he registered only five against Oden, taking just three shots. If you want a laugh, keep an eye on guard Tim Doyle. He averages 9.7 points and leads the conference in looking goofy when he runs. You’ll think his knees are gonna explode at any moment.

Notes: Ten of Northwestern’s eleven wins have come at home, albeit against the likes of superpowers such as Depaul, Brown, North Florida, Tennessee Tech and Wheaton College…

Buckeye Breakdown: OSU will look to guard against a letdown after taking Iowa behind the woodshed Saturday preceded by the aforementioned 73-41 beat down of Northwestern a week ago. The Bucks are shooting a healthy 53% from the field and 88% from the line in those two games and have placed six different players in double figures.

Key Players: Northwestern took Oden away in the last contest with a sagging 1-3-1 defense. With two nerds surrounding him most of the night, Oden tallied just 5 points and 6 rebounds on limited touches as the guards took what Northwestern gave them. Mike Conley (17 pts, 10 assists) and Jamar Butler (16 pts) shot a combined 12-16 and the squad shot 39% (9/23) beyond the arc. Conley is sure to be productive again as Northwestern has no answer for his skills at the point. Daequan Cook should build on his Iowa performance (11 pts, 7 reb) and David Lighty is likely to see more minutes after a strong defensive effort against Iowa’s Adam Haluska.

Notes: OSU moved to 5th in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll…Next up: Michigan State (Sat 1/27 @ 9pm)