Ohio (1-0, 0-0) at Ohio State (1-0, 0-0)
8:00 PM EST
Line: Ohio State -19
Series Record: Ohio State 17-4
Last Meeting: Ohio 74-67 (1994)
Blog Representation: Land-Grant Holy Land
The Buckeyes will face off against the Ohio Bobcats out of the MAC tonight. The last time these two teams meet almost 20 years ago actually saw the Bobcats pull off the win, with Ohio's four wins against Ohio State giving them the most wins of any MAC team against the Buckeyes.
After John Groce left for Illinois, Jim Christian took over and coached the Bobcats to a 24-10 record. While Ohio won the east division in the MAC, they missed out on the NCAA Tourney. The team was led by senior D.J. Cooper, but he now departs.The Bobcats will be relatively inexperienced as the team lost four of their top five scorers, only returning Nick Kellogg.
The Bobcats won their opener against Northern Iowa thanks to shooting over 50% from the field, finding success from beyond the arc and limiting turnovers. The team was led by the previously mentioned Nick Kellogg and forward Maurice Ndour. The team did only manage to pick up 21 rebounds so that'll be a huge liability heading into Columbus, but they've started impressively enough so far.
The Buckeyes have a medley of weapons and will continue on their quest to find a suitable replacement for Deshaun Thomas. The team returns most of their talent from last season and if Lenzelle Smith, LaQuinton Ross or any of the other forwards on the roster can contribute enough to fill the void Thomas left then Ohio State should be a major player in the Big Ten.
The team will likely try to get Aaron Craft a little more involved in the offense. Craft was 1 of 5 from the field versus Morgan State and committed a few turnovers on the day, watching fellow guard Shannon Scott one up him in his performance. Craft is one of the best defenders in the nation and spent most of the season working on improving his shooting. It's still yet to be seen if he'll make the jump but it'll be worth keeping an eye on.
While Ohio State fell to Ohio the last time they played, don't expect that to happen again. Ohio State is still trying to adapt to the loss of Deshaun Thomas but the roster is absolutely loaded and they'll bring a major athletic advantage to the table against a Ohio team that lost a good majority of their talent from last season's 24 win campaign.