No. 14 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Purdue
When: 8:30 P.M. TODAY
Where: Mackey Arena; West Lafayette, Indiana
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (63 stations), Sirius 83/XM 83, WBNS-FM (97.1), WBNS-AM (1460)
Records: Ohio State 20-5, 11-1 Big Ten; Purdue 23-2, 12-0
G Jae’Sean Tate, 6-4, Sr., 12.8
G C.J. Jackson, 6-1, Jr., 12.8
F Andre Wesson, 6-6, So., 2.2
F Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7, Jr., 20.2
C Kaleb Wesson, 6-9, Fr., 11.3
Key reserves: C Micah Potter, 6-9, So., 4.0; G Andrew Dakich, 6-2, Gr., 3.3; G Musa Jallow, 6-5, Fr., 2.4; F Kyle Young, 6-8, Fr., 1.8
With the Kam Williams suspension, here's how the Buckeyes altered their lineups against Illinois in their last game.
G Carsen Edwards, 6-1, So., 16.6
G P.J. Thompson, 5-10, Sr., 8.6
G Dakota Mathias, 6-4, Sr., 12.4
F Vincent Edwards, 6-8, Sr., 15.5
C Isaac Haas, 7-2, Sr., 14.5
Key reserves: G Ryan Cline, 6-6, Jr., 4.6; G Nojel Eastern, 6-6, Fr., 2.8; F Matt Haarms, 7-3, R-Fr., 5.6; F Grady Eifert, 6-6, Jr., 1.7
And now the one we’ve all been waiting for. With the top spot in the Big Ten standings up for grabs, the Buckeyes are headed to Mackey Arena for their first true road game of the season. It’s a game long on intrigue and as big a measuring stick as we can find for Ohio State.
Purdue is ranked No. 3 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 15 in adjusted defensive efficiency. From that point, it’s a similar challenge to what Michigan State posed when it came to Value City Arena last month.
“Yeah, it is (similar) in a lot of ways – just on the road,” he said. “That’s the one obvious thing. Then the second thing is their ability to shoot it is at a completely different level and I think that’s what really gives them a chance to have a great run. Their efficiency from beyond the arc, it is a joke. That is the one area that I would say is not even close to comparable to the Michigan State team.”
In hindsight, Holtmann said there wasn’t anything special that stood out in practice leading into the game against the Spartans.
“I think our guys were aggressive and ready to play and in attack mode,” he said. “They’re very different teams and different teams to prepare for. I don’t really put a whole lot (into it). Two completely different teams with different makeup. Michigan State has elite players, an elite coach, all the stuff. So does Purdue but they’re just different. We’ve got two games this week and I want to make sure our guys understand that.”
Purdue’s 19-game winning streak is the longest in the nation, the longest in school history and tied for the 10th-longest in the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament era.
“I go back to how well they’ve been constructed and built and the program, the consistency of the program,” Holtmann said. “They play together exceptionally well. They’re older, but it can be challenging at times when guys have been in the program and you’re coaching them, but four seniors in the starting lineup, you can tell they like each other. They embrace what their mission and their challenge is. I think they have multiple guys that are going to play in the NBA. You could argue that other teams might have multiple guys higher on the draft board but I think Matt would be the first to say they have outstanding players, but the way they play and how committed they are to how they play makes them special.
“After this game, I hope they make a deep run because they’re a great example of what college basketball can be about.”
*This is the first Ohio State game featuring two top-15 teams since No. 5 Louisville beat the No. 14 Buckeyes on Dec. 2, 2014.
*Keita Bates-Diop could become only the second player to average at least 20 points in a season since the 1998-99 season. Evan Turner averaged 20.4 points in 2009-10. Today, Bates-Diop was named as one of 10 candidates for the Julius Erving Award, given annually to college basketball’s best small forward. He’s been named Big Ten player of the week four times this year and won the award for last week.
*Ohio State has slipped recently in turnover percentage. After climbing near the nation’s top 50, the Buckeyes enter the game No. 100 in the nation at 17.6. The Buckeyes have averaged 13.3 turnovers per game in their last three games.
*During its winning streak, Purdue has not trailed by more than 10 points. Its last four wins have been by single digits and two have been by fewer than five points.
*Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Purdue is 22-0 in home games played after January 10.
What does KenPom say?
According to the advanced statistics of KenPom.com, Ohio State has a 21 percent chance to win today’s game. Sitting at No. 16 in the national rankings following the win against Illinois on Sunday, Ohio State is projected to lose to Purdue by a score of 78-69. The Boilermakers are ranked No. 3 in the country.
“I would say it’s been a while since we’ve been the underdog and that’s a good thing for us,” Tate said. “I actually enjoy being the underdog. We’ve been it so long we kind of got used to it, so I think looking back, we are motivated and excited for the opportunity.”
From today's Dispatch, an exclusive interview with Jae'Sean Tate on how he's doing less this season and it's producing more.
In Matt Painter and Holtmann, today's game pits two of the frontrunners for Big Ten coach of the year.
Online-only, today's story about facing a true road environment for the first time this year.
Holtmann discussed some other job situations in his past in an Indianapolis radio interview.
Purdue senior Dakota Mathias, an Ohio native, is excelling for the Boilermakers. Here's how he slipped through the recruiting cracks.