Ohio State vs. Purdue Basketball Game Preview And Prediction

Ohio State vs. Purdue Basketball Game Preview And Prediction

BuckeyeWire

Ohio State vs. Purdue Basketball Game Preview And Prediction


Ohio State travels to Purdue with first place on the line. Can the storybook season continue, or will the Boilermakers take a huge step towards a conference crown?


Ohio State (20-5) (11-1) vs. Purdue (23-2) (12-0) Game Preview

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Wednesday, February 7
Game Time: 8:00 pm ET
Venue: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana
Network: BTN


Contact @PhilHarrisonBW

Admit it. When you looked at the Big Ten schedule early in the year, Ohio State traveling to Purdue looked rather unassuming foregone conclusion. Ohio State would have a lot of new faces — coach included — and Purdue had one of the best returning teams in the league.

My how things have changed in a short couple of months.

Ohio State has been almost as equally impressive as Purdue, save for one loss against a Penn State team that seemingly made everything it tossed towards the well.

The Buckeyes, almost inconceivably, sit just one game back of the first place Boilermakers with everything on the line Wednesday night.

So here we go with a game that is unmistakably the biggest in the conference to date. An Ohio State win would even things up at the top of the league, while a Purdue victory would begin to finish off the paint and trim of a Big Ten regular season championship and overall No. 1 seed heading to Madison Square Garden.

It should be fun, and you should be watching.

Ohio State Short Attention Span Game Plan

Pick your poison. Purdue has very little holes to exploit. If you double down on the 7’0″+ tandem of Isaac Haas and Matt Haarms, it leaves the outside open for the likes of Dakota Mathias or Vincent Edwards.

Play straight up man-to-man without help down low, and the brawn and height in the paint will enjoy a picnic in the clouds. Play zone and scramble to help out? Wrong again. Purdue has the outside shooting to bomb away all night long and point guard Carsen Edwards can get into the gaps and lanes and create chaos.

With so many questions on how to defend, it would be easy to out-think things and get too cute. There’s been many good coaches try and come up with creative game plans, only to play right into the hands of a talented team.

That’s not Chris Holtmann.

He’ll keep it simple but effective. Play man-to-man mostly but mix up the defenses to keep Purdue off-balance. But don’t dare employ full court pressure. Opening up the court will only result in run-outs and easy baskets for an experienced Boilermaker squad playing in front of the home fans.

Stick to your man, communicate and help as needed, and hope for a bit of an off shooting night from the Boilers.

Key Player For Ohio State

Jan 11, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann talks with forward Kaleb Wesson (34) during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Kaleb Wesson. He must play one of the best games of his early college career, and not necessarily on the offensive end. The 6-9, 270 lb. freshman has to play his tail off in the blocks against the big guys.

He’ll get some help with rotation and doubling once the ball goes down low, but only when it makes sense. The Buckeye defense can’t afford to leave shooters open on the outside, so it’ll be mostly up to the wide-bodied Wesson to hold ground and force Haas and Haarms to face the basket as far out as possible.

Of course he’ll need to grab some boards and chip in some baskets on the other end. And it wouldn’t hurt to get Haas in foul trouble, but it’ll be mostly about defense in this one if Ohio State’s going to tighten up the league race.

How It’ll All Go Down

This Ohio State team is the farthest thing from smoke and mirrors. What it’s done over an extended period of time proves the team is a very good one that can play with just about anyone in the country.

But this Purdue team is a different animal. As good as Buckeyes are playing, the Boilermakers are playing that much better. The team has a veteran presence, great shooting, good ball-handling and decision making, and an uncommon presence in the low blocks that you just don’t see much in today’s game.

The Buckeyes will play well in spots, but it’s just too much to ask for almost anyone in the country to go into West Lafayette with so much on the line, and not get run over by the Boilermaker train.

Maybe Chris Holtmann and company continue to surprise us, but this one’s a Lord of the Rings type of journey.

Final Score

Purdue 77, Ohio State 66

Line

Purdue -9.5

 

Latest

More BuckeyeWire
Home
%d bloggers like this: