Ohio State vs. Texas Southern
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Where: Value City Arena
Television: Big Ten Network
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (63 stations), Sirius 157/XM 380, WBNS-FM (97.1)
Records: Ohio State 2-0; Texas Southern 0-2
G C.J. Jackson, 6-1, Jr., 13.0
G Kam Williams, 6-2, Sr., 12.5
F Jae’Sean Tate, 6-4, Sr., 10.0
F Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7, Jr., 20.5
C Kaleb Wesson, 6-9, Fr., 11.0
Key reserves: G Andrew Dakich, 6-2, Gr., 0.5; C Micah Potter, 6-9, So., 8.0; F Andre Wesson, 6-6, So., 4.5; G Musa Jallow, 6-5, Fr., 6.0; F Kyle Young, 6-8, Fr., 2.0
G Donte Clark, 6-4, Gr., 17.5
G Derrick Bruce, 6-3, Jr., 7.5
G Trae Jefferson, 5-7, So., 21.0
F Kevin Scott, 6-4, Sr., 15.0
C Trayvon Reed, 7-2, Jr., 9.0
Key reserves: G Cainan McClelland, 6-2, R-Fr., 3.0; F Marquis Salmon, 6-8, Gr., 2.0; F Lamont Walker, 6-5, Sr., 1.5
This was the most an opposing team has been discussed at this early stage of Ohio State’s season. Led by former Indiana coach Mike Davis, the Tigers have a roster dotted with Division I transfers and had a 22-point road lead against Washington State last week before losing by three points in overtime. Jefferson and Clark both played the entirety of the game, and Reed and Clark each average 11.0 rebounds per game.
“They’re athletic,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “They’re explosive offensively. It’ll be one of the better non-conference teams we play. It’s clearly the best team we’ve played to this point.
They can really spread you out. They can be really explosive offensively. They have dynamic playmakers and guys that can score. Mike does a really good job with them, so they’re organized and well-coached. They have very dynamic playmakers. Particularly, their point guard is a load, as well as their 7-2 interior guy. They have matchup issues all over the floor with their ability to dribble, pass and shoot makes it a challenge.”
Bates-Diop said the Buckeyes will be prepared for Texas Southern’s length because they practice against the likes of Tate and the Wesson brothers. Dakich said the guards have been working on their rebounding specifically for this game.
“A lot of box-out drills, a lot of just making sure we’re hitting guys or checking guys or knowing where guys are at least,” Bates-Diop said.
*Ohio State has used the same starting lineup in its first two games this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Holtmann make one tweak tonight. He’s mentioned using multiple starting lineups throughout the season, and in Wednesday’s interviews he lamented occasionally playing too many young players at the same time and not mixing his newcomers with his veterans well enough.
Texas Southern starts a 7-2 talent in Reed, who initially signed with Maryland but did not enroll after being arrested and eventually pleading guilty to second-degree assault after a police offer caught him shoplifting from a gas station. He eventually enrolled at Auburn, played 23 games as a freshman and left the program after redshirting as a sophomore.
Given all that, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that Wesson might get the first crack at Reed – although Potter is listed at the same weight as the Tigers center and has played well in the early going.
*Ohio State has started 2-0 in every season since 2003-04, but two seasons ago it didn’t reach 3-0. Hard to believe, but it was two years ago that the Buckeyes took a 73-68 home loss to UT-Arlington that dropped them to 2-1 and was the start of a four-game losing streak that ultimately kept the Buckeyes out of the NCAA Tournament.
The Mavericks were ranked No. 102 nationally in that game by KenPom.com and the Buckeyes were No. 38.
* Texas Southern was picked by league coaches and sports information directors to repeat as Southwestern Athletic Conference champions.
*This is the first Ohio State game of the season to receive a traditional television broadcast.
What does KenPom say?
According to the advanced statistics of KenPom.com, Ohio State has a 92 percent chance to win today’s game. After dropping one spot to No. 75 in the national rankings with Sunday’s win against Radford, Ohio State is projected to beat Texas Southern by a score of 84-69. The Tigers are ranked No. 263 in the country.
From today's Dispatch: Simply put, the Buckeyes are turning the ball over far too much -- and Holtmann knows it.
New on the web this morning: Basketball is trending toward positionless players, and Bates-Diop exemplifies that.
From Wednesday night's interviews: Former Michigan man Andrew Dakich is picking his new school for next week's football game.
I re-watched the Radford game so you don't have to.
Two games in, here are five things we've learned about the Buckeyes.
And finally, here's some analysis on what lineups Ohio State has used this season and which ones have done well.