Pregame Glance: Jackson State

Written November 17th, 2011 by Eric

With that impressive win over Florida under their belts, the Buckeyes are ready to move on to the next name on the schedule – the Jackson State Tigers. Let’s take a look.

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School: Jackson State University
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Founded: 1877
Student Population: 8,687
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA DIV I
Conference: SWAC
Stadium: William’s Assembly Center
Seating: 8,000
Built: 1981
Head Coach: Tevester Anderson
Year: 9th

After a lackluster performance against Wright State, and a much improved performance against Florida, there are two things that stand out about this team.  First, its obvious that the youth is coming into a play a little considering the defensive lapses and occasional mistakes committed by the team in both games.  Secondly, though, this team is learning, and they’re doing it quickly too.  Against Florida, we already saw the Buckeyes make immense improvements in their play.  Having a more difficult early season schedule is going to do wonders for this team’s confidence and basketball IQ, even if they end up losing one or two.

Jenirro Bush (#5) will lead Jackson State into Columbus

Coming to town tomorrow are the Jackson State Tigers.  This game is the third of four Buckeye games in the preseason “Global Sports Shoot-out”, a preseason round-robin of sorts.  Currently 0-3 on the season with losses to Florida (99-59), Baylor (92-59) and the aforementioned Wright State (56-39), the Tigers are not doing particularly well this season.  Considering the competition, that’s not so much a bad thing.  And you can guarantee the Jackson State players are learning a lot from their experience.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Tigers have lost about 60% of their offensive production from last season.  It should be no surprise then that they are struggling to find consistent production off their bench, and find a satisfactory answer in the paint.

Like many of the SWAC schools, the Tigers prefer to run a guard heavy lineup.  They start with 4 in the backcourt plus a disposable Center for the tip before eventually rotating into a 3 backcourt, 2 frontcourt rotation.  It will be very interesting to see how JSU responds to having to face Sullinger, Thomas, and Ravenel down low.  Expect to see them go small and try to pick-up the tempo as much as possible.

Junior Christian Williams (6-1, 180) starts at the Point Guard position for Anderson’s team.  He’s a distributor, picking up around three assists per game, while also maintaining a minimum of turnovers.  He’s also not afraid to take a shot, but he’s not going to hit often sinking only 24% from the floor.

More surprising is senior guard Jenirro Bush (6-7, 190).  It’s not common to see a guard with that height, and you can imagine that it gives him an advantage shooting the ball.  Bush is one of those players that has never seen a shot he doesn’t like.  He shoots better than Williams at 33%, but takes a much more substantial quantity of the team’s shots – 28.2% of them, to be exact.  He will shoot, and nothing you can do will stop that.

Jared Sullinger 2 32 17.5 7.5 2 1 1.5 2 0.533 0.9 0.333
William Buford 2 33 17 4 3.5 1 0.5 1 0.48 0.875 0.375
Deshaun Thomas 2 29 12 5.5 0 0.5 0 2.5 0.412 0.818 0.167
Aaron Craft 2 32.5 11.5 3 5 3 0.5 2 0.357 0.75 0.333
Lenzelle Smith Jr. 2 23 7 5 1.5 2 0 0.5 0.5 0.286 0.5
Jenirro Bush 3 34 14.7 5 0.7 1 0.3 4.3 0.326 0.667 0.364
Kelsey Howard 3 28 10.3 4.7 1.3 1.3 0 3.3 0.3 0.889 0.455
Christian Williams 3 30.7 8.3 3.7 2.3 1.3 0.7 1.3 0.238 0.875 0.25
Derrell Taylor 3 24.3 5 5 1 0 0.3 1.7 0.462 0.5 0
Jamarious Sykes 3 6 0 0 0 0 0.7 0.3 0 0 0

Obviously, it would behoove the Buckeyes to play a slower game and set their offense each time down the court.  With the Tigers running a smaller, quicker lineup they will struggle often with the power of the Buckeyes down low.  If they overcommit to stopping Sullinger, Buford and company will launch a few over their heads.  Expect Sullinger to have a big day, as its hard to imagine anyone on this team successfully stopping him.

The game will be played at 9pm on Friday, November 18th at Value City Arena. You’ll be able to see the game on the Big Ten Network.

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