The Ohio State Buckeyes #3/#2 (8-0) resume action Wednesday evening by hosting the Bryant University Bulldogs of the Northeast Conference. This game is part of the Gotham Classic series, where participating teams play preliminary games off-site (not in NYC), then head to Madison Square Garden. For the Buckeyes, in addition to Wednesday’s game, they will host North Dakota State on Saturday evening, host Delaware on December 18th, then go to NYC to face Notre Dame for an evening game on Saturday, December 21st.
Bryant University (6-4) played their second game of the Gotham Classic Monday at Notre Dame. After inexplicably losing to North Dakota State in the first round of the Gotham Classic. This was fairly close throughout, and with 2:41 left, Bryant was within 4 points, 52-56, but then then traditional hack-a-thom ensued, Notre Dame made their obligatory free throws and won the game 70-59.
Here’s their Profile:
The Bulldogs (x-x) had a decent season in 2013, going 19-13 (12-6). Based on their schedule and performance so far this season, they appear to be on track to repeat this record. They are led by junior 6’2” Guard Dyami Starks at 23.4 PPG and senior 6’6” Forward Alex Francis at 16.2 PPG. Francis also leads the Bulldogs in rebounding with 6.4 per game. Both Starks and Francis see heavy playing time, as both average around 35 minutes per game.
The Bulldogs gave Notre Dame all they could handle, and likely will not go quietly into the night on Wednesday. I watched some of their game Monday and came away with the impression that “Bulldog” is an apt mascot for this team.
Here is Bryant University’s roster:
Ohio State Buckeyes
The #5 Buckeyes (8-0) are coming off an unsurprising win over Central Connecticut on Saturday, 76-60. The offense was driven by a career high 23 points by LaQuinton Ross, who seems to be gaining his shooting eye. Although the Buckeye offense is driven by Aaron Craft (10.6 PPG, 5 APG), the scoring is balanced with other double-digit scorers Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (12.1 PPG), LaQuinton Ross (10.6 PPG) and Amir Williams (10.5 PPG). With a few more good games, Shannon Scott (9.8 PPG) and Sam Thompson (8.6 PPG) will soon join them.
And, here are your Ohio State Buckeyes:
|32||L. Smith Jr.||6’4″||G||12.1||50.8||47.2||75.0||4.8||1.4||1.4|
|33||A. Della Valle||6’5″||G||4.3||28.6||33.3||50.0||1.6||0.3||0.6|
Bryant doesn’t bring that much height to the floor, but with their 3G/2F lineup, this will be another good challenge to OSU’s backcourt. I look for OSU’s front line (Ross, Williams, Thompson) to have a good scoring game, and with some hustle, a good rebounding game. This is a big game for Bryant, on the road against a highly ranked team; they will bring a lot of energy and effort to this game, just to make a point. Ohio State needs to, and will, withstand the initial Bryant surge before letting OSU’s talent settle in to take control of the game.
|PPG O||PPG D||RPG||APG||TPG||Pos/G||PPP||A/T|
Looking at the above table, the offenses are similar, but the striking difference is Ohio State’s significantly better defense. The 16 point difference is almost half of a half. That’s a huge difference. The other metric is that Ohio State’s offense is a bit more efficient than Bryant’s, based on points-per-possession and the assist/turnover ratio.
The game is this Wednesday, tipping off at 7:30 PM EST in the Value City Arena. Television coverage will be provided by BTN. Please join us for our live chat approximately 30 minutes before tip-off.