ITH Super Happy Fun Time Big Ten Preview: Buckeyes of Ohio State

  • 12/28/2007 11:34 am in

odensmiling.jpgThe Hoosiers are finishing up their cupcakes and the New Year is nearly upon us, which can mean only one thing: It’s Big Ten Preview Time! Here’s a look at the teams that will challenge the Hoosiers for the conference crown … or fall under the weighty boot of crimson dominance. Probably the latter. Today: THE Ohio State University.

See that handsome man to your right? That’s Greg Oden. He went to Ohio State last year and was real good. Now he’s in the NBA. So are fellow stellar freshman of a year ago, Daequan Cook and Mike Conley Jr. (Can you imagine if these guys stuck around this year? Next year? The year after? Wow.) Obviously, when you lose your starting point guard and an incredible presence down low in Oden, your team is going to take a big hit.

And that’s exactly where Ohio State is right now. The Buckeyes stand at 8-3 on the season — good, but not great. They had an embarrassing exhibition loss to Findlay back at the beginning of November and haven’t trumped anyone of note, save for a win against Florida at home last weekend. But, this is not to say Ohio State is devoid of weapons. Freshman Kosta Koufas is the big man up front, averaging just a pinch under 16 points a game. Jamar Butler and David Lighty are still doing their thing, too. Also, watch out for freshman Scrappy McScrapperson Jon Diebler. Take a look at his bio. Dude put up some insane numbers as a high schooler in Ohio. He scored 77 points in a game once and holds the Ohio record for most career points. (Take that LeBron James.)

One change the Buckeyes seemed to have implemented this year is their tempo. Last season they were a run-and-gun threat. This year, Ohio State is notching a paltry 65.3 possessions per 40 minutes and have scored under 50 points on three separate occasions this season. (One of those coming in an embarrassing 65-45 loss at Butler.)

The bottom line: This team is certainly not the Ohio State of last year. But in a weak Big Ten, the Buckeyes have perhaps the most legit shot besides Wisconsin at giving IU and MSU a run for the money at the top of the conference. The Hoosiers travel to Columbus Feb. 10 for a Sunday CBS game. That one certainly isn’t going to be easy.

Read the rest of our Big Ten Preview:

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  • Jack Schneider

    Wow! I don’t know the competition that Dielber faced at Upper Sandusky — though I suspect it was pretty good — but if IU had recruited a player with his stats (even better than Damon’s and much better than EJ’s), Hoosier Nation would have been drooling. While the Buckeyes may be young, they’re loaded with talent. Be on your guard, Kevin Sampson, when you and the Hoosiers run into the one-time Butler coach who’d have your job today if the guys running the show at IU had been smart enough to pluck him away from Xavier before OSU plucked him.

  • Jack Schneider

    Wow! I don’t know the competition that Dielber faced at Upper Sandusky — though I suspect it was pretty good — but if IU had recruited a player with his stats (even better than Damon’s and much better than EJ’s), Hoosier Nation would have been drooling. While the Buckeyes may be young, they’re loaded with talent. Be on your guard, Kevin Sampson, when you and the Hoosiers run into the one-time Butler coach who’d have your job today if the guys running the show at IU had been smart enough to pluck him away from Xavier before OSU plucked him.

  • Jack Schneider

    Make that “Kelvin” Sampson. Sorry!

  • Jack Schneider

    Make that “Kelvin” Sampson. Sorry!

  • b-side

    Jack, saw Deibler play against UNC and Butler. Not so impressed with his skills on the court. Just saw him gun a bunch of threes in both games, showing no signs of a complete game offensively or defensively. Who cares if his stats in Div II high school in Ohio were better than EJ?? Clearly he’s not in the same league as our prized recruit.

  • b-side

    Jack, saw Deibler play against UNC and Butler. Not so impressed with his skills on the court. Just saw him gun a bunch of threes in both games, showing no signs of a complete game offensively or defensively. Who cares if his stats in Div II high school in Ohio were better than EJ?? Clearly he’s not in the same league as our prized recruit.

  • Steve O

    I agree B-Side… Jack, you obviously haven’t seen Diebler play. He’s only averaging like 6 points a game. He looked like a little boy out on the floor against Florida last weekend. He just kept chucking up shots, and he couldn’t really stop anyone on D. How can you even put him in the same sentence as Gordon, who is averaging almost 24 a game in COLLEGE, not in Division II high school ball. Come on! I’ll take EJ.

  • Steve O

    I agree B-Side… Jack, you obviously haven’t seen Diebler play. He’s only averaging like 6 points a game. He looked like a little boy out on the floor against Florida last weekend. He just kept chucking up shots, and he couldn’t really stop anyone on D. How can you even put him in the same sentence as Gordon, who is averaging almost 24 a game in COLLEGE, not in Division II high school ball. Come on! I’ll take EJ.