Ohio State vs. Maryland
When: 7 p.m. TODAY
Where: Value City Arena
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (63 stations), Sirius 81/XM 81, WBNS-FM (97.1), WBNS-AM (1460)
Records: Ohio State 13-4, 4-0 Big Ten; Maryland 14-4, 3-2
G C.J. Jackson, 6-1, Jr., 13.5
G Kam Williams, 6-2, Sr., 8.3
G Jae’Sean Tate, 6-4, Sr., 12.9
F Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7, Jr., 19.3
C Kaleb Wesson, 6-9, Fr., 11.7
Key reserves: C Micah Potter, 6-9, So., 4.2; G Musa Jallow, 6-5, Fr., 3.7; G Andrew Dakich, 6-2, Gr., 3.2; F Andre Wesson, 6-6, So., 2.3; F Kyle Young, 6-8, Fr., 2.1
G Anthony Cowan, 6-0, So., 16.2
G Darryl Morsell, 6-4, Fr., 8.7
F Kevin Huerter, 6-7, So., 14.1
F Jared Nickens, 6-7, Sr., 4.8
C Bruno Fernando, 6-10, Fr., 11.0
Key reserves: C Michal Cekovsky, 7-1, Sr., 6.5; F Joshua Tomiac, 6-9, So., 2.6
Four days removed from the biggest win of the season, there’s one main question on everyone’s minds: how will Ohio State respond to such a game? Will the Buckeyes build off the momentum engendered by their win against No. 1 Michigan State on Sunday, or will they buy into the hype too much and come out flat against the Terrapins?
We’ll know tonight. As of Wednesday afternoon, coach Chris Holtmann said he hadn’t seen any signs of his players feeling too satisfied.
“In the midst of these situations you’re trying to really communicate reality, and the reality is this: we have a long way to go,” Holtmann said. “We have a lot of flaws within our team, a lot of growth that needs to happen. We need to play better. I need to coach better. We need to prepare our guys at a higher level, because we know we can get beat by any team in this league. That’s the reality. We’ve played just over 20 percent of league games and really, the only definitive statements that have been made really have probably been Michigan State and Purdue. The reality is there is tremendous parity in this league and as much as possible I think our guys recognize that we need to prepare to be our very best.
“We’ve really focused as much as possible on the concept of continual growth and hope the results take care of themselves.”
Jackson said the game gave the players a greater sense of confidence.
“We still know it’s a long season,” he said. “Right now we’re kind of at a high everyone would say. There’s going to be times when games get tough. It’s not always going to go our way. We have to realize that. There have been good times and know how good we are capable of being once we play together and do the things that we’re supposed to do leading up to games and while we’re playing in the games.”
After the win, Williams, a fifth-year senior, was among the first to step up and tell the Buckeyes not to feel satisfied.
“I just don’t think now is the time for any slip-up,” he said. “Like I said after the game, how we played has to be the standard at practice, has to be the standard in every game and everything we do. I feel like if we keep that up, that doesn’t leave any margin for error so even if we do have a lull in the game we know what it takes now to get back to where we need to get to, since we’ve proven we’re capable of playing at a high level.”
*Wednesday night, Ohio State offered a scholarship to E.J. Liddell, a four-star power forward prospect from Belleville (Ill.) West.
Truly blessed to have received an offer from Ohio State University #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/87Dj8bcgAh— EJ Liddell (@EasyE2432) January 11, 2018
247Sports.com ranks the 6-7, 220-pound Liddell as the No. 4 prospect from Illinois in his class and No. 98 nationally.
*Three of Ohio State’s four signees for the class of 2018 have been named as nominees for the McDonald’s All-American Game: Duane Washington, Jaedon LeDee and Luther Muhammad.
*Ohio State continues to climb the rankings in turnover percentage. After committing a season-low six turnovers against the Spartans, the Buckeyes are now up to No. 112 nationally in turnover percentage according to KenPom.com. Entering the Michigan State game, Ohio State was No. 141.
*Sophomore center Micah Potter has missed practice time this week due to a death in the family but is expected to play.
*The Terrapins are significantly shorthanded. Forwards Ivan Bender (knee) and Justin Jackson (shoulder) are out for the season and guard Dion Wiley will miss the game with a concussion. Wiley’s injury is more recent than the other two.
“Well they played well without those two (Bender and Jackson),” Holtmann said. “They got Iowa pretty good. Penn State as well. They’re different in some ways because of the skill that they now can put on the floor in their shooting, that they can spread you out with, which is impressive. Cowan, Huerter, those guys are fantastic. Man are they really good, and the freshman big is terrific. Athletic. They’ve got good interior size with the 7-1 center and coach Turgeon does a great job with them. The reality is those guys have played really well in spite of the injuries.”
*Ohio State is now 2-5 against top-50 KenPom teams this season.
*Jackson’s only two games of the season without any turnovers have come since he returned to the starting lineup after being benched for two games.
What does KenPom say?
According to the advanced statistics of KenPom.com, Ohio State has a 65 percent chance to win today’s game. After climbing five spots to No. 32 in the national rankings following the win against Michigan State, Ohio State is projected to beat Maryland by a score of 74-70. The Terrapins are ranked No. 33 in the country.
The latest episode of the BuckeyeXtra men’s basketball podcast is up. You can listen to it by clicking here or by downloading it from iTunes.
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