The The #24 Ohio State Buckeyes (21-6. 8-6) host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-10, 6-8) this Saturday evening. The Buckeyes are out to avenge a 63-53 loss to the Gophers on January 19th. More importantly, the Buckeyes are in the midst of a five game stretch prior to the regular season finale against Michigan State. Currently, the Buckeyes sit in 5th place in the conference, one game behind Wisconsin. Ohio State wants to overtake them to get into the top four to earn a 1st round bye in the B1G Tourney.
Here’s their Profile
University of Minnesota
The Golden Gophers are in their 1st year under Richard Pitino. In the previous meeting of these team, the Gophers held the Buckeyes to 35% from the field while shooting 51%, outrebounded OSU 39-24 and generally owned the inside game. Since beating Ohio State, Minnesota has gone 3-6, “lowlighted” by a 62-49 loss to Illinois on Wednesday.
In the previous match, the Gophers were led by Deandre Mathieu (13 points), Eliott Eliason (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Andre Hollins (10 points).
Minnesota averages 72 points per game on offense and gives up 67 per game. They run a 3G/1F/1C lineup with Andre Hollins (6’2”), Deandre Mathieu (5’9”) and Austin Hollins (6’4”) at the guard positions and Otto Osenieks (6’8”) at forward Eliott Eliason (6’11”) at center. Andre Hollins (14.9 ppg), Mathieu (11.6 ppg) and Austin Hollins (11.2 ppg) lead the team in scoring. The rebounding is keyed by Eliason (7.4 ppg) and Austin Hollins (5.9 rpg). Mathieu also contributes 4.3 assists per game.
Note: Player and team stats courtesy of statsheet.com
Here are the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers:
Ohio State University Buckeyes
The Buckeyes have regained their footing this month, and have now won five of six games. Although Ohio State may need so help, they have a good chance to catch Wisconsin for the 4th position in the B1G standings, and earn a 1st round tournament bye.
Although the Ohio State offense showed signs of life against Northwestern, particularly their 3-point shooting, they need to stay focused with their shooting, rebounding efforts and interior defense. These were areas of their undoing in the previous match-up, and they need to be addressed.
And, here are your Ohio State Buckeyes:
|32||L. Smith Jr.||6’4″||G||11.8||44.3||36.9||78.3||5.0||1.6||1.1|
|33||A. Della Valle||6’5″||G||4.5||37.1||35.4||61.5||1.8||0.2||0.7|
Ohio State still has a few kinks to work out, but there are sparks of life offensively. And, yes, the Buckeyes continue to play solid defense, but you still need to put the ball in the hoop. Ohio State still needs to shut down, or at least contain the Gopher guards, so Craft, Scott and Smith need to maintain their defensive focus.
|PPG O||PPG D||RPG||APG||TPG||Pos/G||PPP||FG%||3P%||FT%|
The game is scheduled for Saturday, tipping off at 6:00 PM EST in Value City Arena. Television coverage will be provided by BTN, check your local listings. Live chat coverage will be provided by tBBC, check back here. Please join us for our live chat approximately 30 minutes before tip-off.