#9 Ohio State
22-7, 12-4 Big Ten
Roster | Schedule
February 27, 2009
12:00 PM ET - ESPN
13-14, 6-9 Big Ten
Roster | Schedule
This is a huge day for the Buckeyes. Not only do they have a shot at revenge against scUM, but they have a very good chance of ending the day tied for first in the B10 and an inside track to the #1 seed in the conference tourney.
If OSU can win today, they get to sit back and watch Purdue host MSU in their first game without Robbie Hummel. As we saw earlier in the season, the initial game after your stud goes down has the potential to be ugly, so Sparty gains an upper hand and the Bucks will be the main beneficiary.
The Bucks have won 12 of their last 13 Big Ten games, while Michigan enters as losers in 7 of their last 10.
|21||Evan Turner||19.7||9.2||5.8||G||1||Stu Douglass||6.4||2.3||2.6|
|33||Jon Diebler||12.7||2.9||1.6||G||4||Darius Morris||4.2||1.7||2.6|
|44||William Buford||13.8||5.3||3.1||F||0||Zak Novak||7.4||4.4||1.6|
|23||David Lighty||12.5||4.6||2.7||F||3||Manny Harris||18.4||6.4||4.2|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||7.2||5.3||0.2||C||34||DeShawn Sims||17.1||7.8||0.9|
Michigan has been the biggest disappointment in the conference, falling to 8th place after being tabbed the 15th best team nationally in the preseason. They do play some tough D, giving up a second best 60.3 points on 43.8 percent shooting during league play, but they sit 9th in offensive scoring at 59.9 a game. Beilein loves the 3, but it's tough to be successful when you shoot a woeful conference worst 30.4 percent (103/339) from deep.
UM will primarily play 6 guys, with 4 starters getting over 30 minutes a game. Laval Lucas-Perry is the 6th man, playing 23 minutes a game, recording 5.4 points and 2.6 boards. 6' 10" senior, Zack Gibson will get about 10 minutes and contribute 4 points and 2 boards, he is also the only Michigan player that shoots above 50 percent...ouch.
In Michigan's 73-64 win the first time around, Sims and Harris torched OSU for 52 points on 22-34 shooting and 16 boards. Sims leads the conference in FG's made at 119 and also in rebounding at 8.1, while Harris sits behind Evan Turner for the conference lead in steals at 1.9 a game. If OSU can limit both of these guys, they should send them backup north with a loss.
The Buckeyes have beaten UM 5 straight at VCA and 9 of the last 11 overall. When the Buckeyes are ranked, they are 11-0 at home against Michigan.
OSU needs to limit the Big 2 of Michigan today, but if they don't, I still think Evan Turner will be the difference once again in this game. Turner enjoys playing TSUN, averaging 14.8 points in 4 previous matchups, including 24 and 19 in the 2 games last year. I think the debate is winding down for POY and ET has all the momentum, he should be over his recent illness and put on a show for another national audience.
I have a feeling Buford is going to have a big afternoon. While he is still getting his points, his FG percentage has been sliding lately and he now sits at 42 percent on the year, down a few points from last year. He went for 16 and 13 in the first meeting, but this time will have the benefit of The Villian on the court.
Ohio State has done a great job of handling the rock, committing less than 10 TO's in 6 of the last 9 games and they now sit second in TO margin at +2.62. While Chris expected OSU to come out foaming at the mouth against PSU, I think it is going to be today's game. There always is a different energy in the Schott when Michigan rolls in and the players will feed off of it.
I think Thad's boys will control the boards and frustrate either Harris or Sims into a poor performance. Lauderdale has been better on the defensive side and should put his pride on the line against Sims. Meanwhile, I think we are going to see Lighty on Harris and we saw what he did to Hummel a few days ago. While I don't expect a blowout, I do think OSU wins this one easily, as they rediscover their home shooting stroke and connect on more than 50% of their shots for just the second time in their last 7 games. OSU 74 Michigan 62.
- 11W favorite Slick Steve Lavin will join Dave O'Brien on the call.
- Turner was named one of 30 finalist for the Naismith award, which really should have named about 4.