Game Preview: Ohio State
This Thursday, the Penn State Nittany Lions prepare to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is going to be one of the more challenging games for the Nittany Lions, as the Buckeyes are perfect so far in the Big Ten, sitting at 9-0. Penn State is currently in 9th place in the Big Ten, with a conference record of 3-5. Penn State has to travel to Columbus, in what appears to be a very tough environment to play in this year. Ohio State is 12-1 at home this year and is currently ranked 13th in the top 25.
The keys for Penn State are taking high percentage shots and moving off the ball. These are the two biggest things that Penn State has struggled with throughout the year. Penn State has relied on the three in one too many games this year and if they can’t get it going, it usually ends up with them losing. Overall as a team, they are shooting 37.4 percent from the three and 46.7 percent from the field.
And to be successful from beyond the arc, Shep Garner needs to play one of his best games. Garner is shooting 40.8 percent from three which is not bad, but throughout the season, he has attempted 147 shots and has only made 60 of them. The next key is that Penn State has to move off the ball. This is a major weakness for them, especially in late game situations where the game is within two points. Coach Chambers has relied too much on Tony Carr, as he is the main shooter in the last two minutes of every game. Penn State needs to set picks and try to get guys like Lamar Stevens and Shep Garner open.
The keys for Ohio State is clear, outshoot Penn State and outrebound the big men of Penn State. Ohio State currently has four guys averaging over 10 plus points per game. Their main scorer is Keita Bates-Diop. He is an all-around good small forward. He is shooting 50.5 % from the field. He is also averaging 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Ohio State also had two guys who are shooting above 50% from the field, Jae’Sean Tate and Kaleb Wesson.
The weakness for Ohio State is the three-point game. The Buckeyes are currently only shooting 35.9% from beyond the arch. They have one guy shooting above 50% from three, which is Andrew Dakich, who is shooting 60.0%. If Penn State can play well defensively in the paint, they will force the Buckeyes to start shooting from three, which will give Penn State a good chance to win.
The prediction for the game is that even though Penn State has one of the top players in the Big Ten, Tony Carr, Ohio State will be too much for the Nittany Lions. Ohio State wins by at least 15 points, 84 to 69.
Anthony Spada is a sophomore, majoring in Security and Risk Analysis. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.