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.
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The #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2), have dropped two consecutive games and 8 positions in the national rankings. Now they travel to The Barn to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2). Ohio State is coming off a bit of a beat down against Iowa, while Minnesota took MSU to overtime before losing 87-75. Both teams sit at middle of the pack in conference play and need to start winning, since they have each lost against B1G leader Michigan State. In overtime, no less..
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With basketball season rapidly approaching and a lot of information to digest from around the conference, I thought it was high time we hear from bloggers representing them. We finish off the series in roundtables with our last seven today! We hope you enjoy the feature and give us plenty of feedback, and be sure to check out Part One.
Introducing our comrades from around the B1G we start off with Rick Reese of the Iowa Blog Black Heart Gold Pants; Brian Rosenthal, Lincoln Journal Star writer and Husker Extra writer; Penn State writer for StateCollege.com Ben Jones; Philip Rossman-Reich writer for Lake the Posts ; Jonathan Foster, writer for From the Barn, one of my favorite B1G blogs.
I honestly had issues trying to round up bloggers for TTUN and for the Fighting Illini, and have the only Michigan fan I like helping out in Giuliano, (So Fla Wolverine to his twitter mates). tBBC main man for basketball Eric will do us the honor of covering the Illini.
Rick Reese. Black Heart Gold Pants. Iowa Roy Devyn Marble, Aaron White and Zach McCabe are Iowa’s returning starters. There’s also Gabe Olaseni and Melsahn Basabe coming off the bench. Marble holds a slight edge over Aaron White as the teams top returning scorer. Marble averaged 11.5 points per game last season while White averaged 11.1. White was a do-it-all freshman that as freshmen do, only got better as the season carried on. McCabe and Basabe averaged 7.8 and 8.2 rebounds per game. Basabe suffered the dreaded sophomore slump but will hopefully benefit this season with the return of a true center in Iowa’s lineup.
Tubby Smith’s troops took one in the chin last year, but you can bet that they’re ready to go this time around. Unfortunately, they’re a little light in experienced ball players this year around, and are missing a couple of key players from last season. Al Nolen, Blake Hoffarber and Colton Iverson (transfer to Colorado State) are all gone from what could have been a very successful team last season.
Take this as a compliment, but I for one am fervently thankful that Hoffarber has graduated and moved on from Minnesota. Easily one of the most dangerous sharp-shooters in the Big Ten last year – and considering the company that puts him with, that’s saying something – Hoffarber drove defenders, and me, nuts with his devastating three-balls. Every time he would spot up for a trey you simply knew it was going down, and it was honestly a surprise when it didn’t.
Well, ok, that only really ever happened against the Buckeyes, but it was still very annoying.
We continue our preseason Big Ten conference previews with the Hoffarber-less Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota fans, we’ll wait while you avert your eyes. I’m sure you don’t want to relive this crime against your basketball team again, and I can’t say I blame you. Read More