Morgan State (0-0, 0-0) at Ohio State (0-0, 0-0)
12:00 PM EST
Series Record: Ohio State 1-0
Last Meeting: Ohio State 95-74 (1994)
Blog Representation: Land-Grant Holy Land
Ohio State's football team is on a bye so Columbus will get to look forward to the start of the Ohio State basketball season. Gone is star forward Deshaun Thomas, though Ohio State should return a largely familiar unit this season. Like last season the Buckeyes will look to compete in the Big Ten and will attempt to make another postseason run throughout March.
It's hard to count out Matta's teams even when they have serious issues, but this team is relatively solid. There are a few questions over who will replace Thomas but other than that this Ohio State team is relatively well known. The team will definitely run through Aaron Craft once again. Craft may be the most hated person in the Big Ten not named Bo Ryan and he's well known for his ability to pass the ball and be a pest on defense.
Of course it'll be interesting to see how Craft adapts to the new rule changes that will be considerably more strict against defenses. One would think that Craft will have serious issues with fouls, but at the same time I could see him getting away with considerably more contact than other plays. Craft spent quite a bit of time working on his shot in order to balance his game and if he gets it together than Craft will become an even bigger annoyance for the other eleven teams in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes will open their season against the Morgan State Bears. Out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Bears are coming off of a 17-15 season that saw them lose in their conference tournament final. While the Bears lose two major contributors in Anthony Hubbard and DeWayne Jackson, they do retain leading scorer Justin Black and center Ian Chiles.
Chiles could provide any interest matchup down low as he's 7'2 and quite tall when you realize most mid-majors are undersized. Past Chiles, though, the Bears will be considerably less talented against one of the nation's top teams and will be in for a long day. Craft will likely work on spreading the ball around in attempt to find a viable replacement for Thomas.
It ultimately won't matter today as Ohio State traditionally takes care of business versus lesser opponents and should take their opener with ease.