Breakdownability: Ohio State – Northwestern II

Written February 27th, 2013 by Ken


Let’s see a lot of this on Thursday

School: Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, IL

Founded: 1851

Student Population: 19,184 total, 8,425 undergrad

School Type: Private

Stadium: Welsh-Ryan Arena

Seating: 8,117

Opened: 1952, renovated 1983

Head Coach: Bill Carmody

Experience: 11th year at NU


The 16th ranked Buckeyes (20-7, 10-5) visit the Northwestern Wildcats (13-15, 4-11) Thursday evening, two weeks after their initial season meeting, won by Ohio State 69-59. Since then Northwestern has struggled, going winless (0-3) while barely averaging 42 points per game. Meanwhile, Ohio State has gone 2-1, coming off a mauling of Minnesota and an inspired win against t he #4 Spartans.

There isn’t a lot to write about this game; two teams heading in different directions. Ohio State is beginning to play well, Northwestern is continuing to struggle.

As always, the good information pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet. Old, yet reliable, you know the drill.


The Wildcats are an interesting contrast in styles, talent aside. NU hoists 22 3-pointers (43% of FG attempts) per game, 5 more that OSU. Fortunately, they only make 34% of these attempts. Their style is outside shooting and a very patient offense also looking for back door cuts to free up their shooters. Northwestern won’t put a big team on the floor with Dave Sobolewski (G, 6‘1“), Tre Demps (G, 6‘2“), Reggie Hearn (G, 6‘4“), Kale Abrahamson (F, 6’7”) and Alex Olah (C, 7’0”).

#3 D. Sobolewski 28 34.8 10.2 40.4 58.7 35.3 2.8 3.9 1.8
#11 R. Hearn 26 32.5 13.7 45.4 73.4 34.0 4.4 1.4 1.8
#22 A. Olah 27 21.2 5.7 40.8 50.0 25.0 3.9 1.9 1.4
#14 T. Demps 27 18.2 7.5 38.2 71.8 35.0 1.9 0.8 0.7
#13 K. Abrahamson 28 14.6 4.6 34.7 59.3 35.7 1.5 0.4 0.5

Ohio State

The Buckeyes are coming off two tough conference games, which they won, no less. Ohio State followed up a high energy, well played win over a fading Minnesota team with an impressive effort (and win) against the always tough, especially this time of year, Michigan State University Spartans.

For your reviewing pleasure, your OSU starters; Aaron Craft (G, 6’2”), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (G, 6’4”), DeShaun Thomas (F, 6’7”), Sam Thompson (F,6’7”) and Amir Williams (C, 6’11”). Seeing significant playing time will be Shannon Scott (G, 6’1”), Evan Ravenal (C/F, 6’8”) and LaQuinton Ross (F, 6’8”). Key stats for starters:

#1 D. Thomas 27 35.0 19.9 44.5 84.5 37.3 6.1 1.4 1.4
#4 A. Craft 27 33.4 9.6 40.1 81.1 30.0 3.7 4.4 1.9
#32 L. Smith Jr. 27 27.2 9.7 45.2 67.9 38.5 4.9 1.7 1.4
#12 S. Thompson 27 24.0 7.1 48.3 68.8 32.4 3.3 1.0 1.0
#23 A. Williams 27 17.2 4.3 60.7 55.1 0.0 4.1 0.1 0.9

The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).

    eFG%     TO%    Off Reb     FT Rate    PPG   PPP (O)   PPP (D)
N’western 47.6% 17.1% 26.3% 34.5% 62 1.02 0.99
Ohio State 50.9% 16.9% 32.6% 34.4% 65 1.10 0.90

Ohio State needs to continue to play very efficiently and fundamentally sound on Thursday. The Bucks have put together two consecutive fundamentally sound, fairly well played games in the recent week Now is the time to build upon that to go into the Indiana and Illinois games prior to the Big Ten tourney. This is the stuff of which momentum can be built.


Back at’cha..

Normally, the games in Evanston tend to be more difficult than the records would indicate, but with Northwestern being very shorthanded with the unfortunate losses of Drew Crawford and Jared Swopshire, I’m not too concerned about the outcome. At this point in the season, Northwestern doesn’t shoot well, nor rebounds well. This should be a Perfect Storm with OSU seemingly starting to play well and a significantly out-manned Northwestern team that should result in a wide margin of victory for OSU.

Go Bucks!

Tip-off is Thursday February 28th at 7:00PM EST at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Please join us at 6:45 for Live Chat. Television coverage provided by ESPN2.


  1. KenNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Last night’s UM @ PSU is a cautionary tale about taking any team too lightly on the road. Let’s hope the lesson is not lost on the Buckeyes tonight. Go Bucks!


    GaryNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    This game scares me…..on the road….versus a Carmody tye offense that we always seem to struggle against!


    KenNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I feel a bit less anxious due to N’western being so shorthanded with Crawford and Swopshire out. Otherwise …


    GaryNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    That does help but it’s still the Nerds! :)


  2. sb97No Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Over/Under on Amir’s second foul 3 minutes (Of actual play time)?


    KenNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Bad bet, IMO. A safer bet is points scored vs. fouls committed. ;)


    KenNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Actually, it should read ‘points scored vs. fouls called on’. I forgot for a moment we’re talking Big Ten officiating..


    ErictBBCNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I’ll take the Under with room to spare, please.


    GaryNo Gravatar
    February 28th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Agreed Eric!


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