Michigan Basketball: Ohio State preview

The University of Michigan (17-6, 9-2) travels to Columbus, OH to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes (19-5, 6-5) tonight at 9pm. The Wolverines are coming off an embarrassing 18-point loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes; a game that featured one of the worst efforts of the season by the Maize and Blue. Ohio State on the other hand is coming into this game much hotter. While the Buckeyes had a dismal January (all five losses came in that month) their February couldn’t have started any better. The Buckeyes are coming off three straight wins, including victories over Wisconsin and Iowa, both on the road. So now that we see how these teams have been performing as of late, let’s look at the keys for both teams.

Keys for Ohio State

When Ohio State is successful, it has a lot to do with their defense. They rank 9th nationally in points allowed per game (58.9). That’s pretty impressive, especially when you consider that every single team in the Big Ten averages over that amount.

That kind of defensive effort needs to be there tonight against the Wolverines. More specifically, it needs to be there against Nik Stauskas. When Stauskas has more than 15 points, Michigan is 12-2. When he has less than that, Michigan is 4-4. The Buckeyes will need to find a way to slow Stauskas down.

Obviously defense alone can’t win you the game. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, their offense hasn’t been what they want it to be michigan basketballthis season. Averaging just under 72 points a game, they rank 9th in the Big Ten. Just two players, LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. average double digit points per game, and neither of them average over 15.

In order for Ohio State to win, they are going to need these two to bring their A-game. While OSU’s defense is solid, they aren’t going to completely shut down Michigan’s offense. Ross shoots over 40% from three, and as we saw in the Iowa game, Michigan is susceptible to guys who can get hot from long range. OSU will need to take advantage of that.

Keys for Michigan

The counter to the first key for Ohio State is that Michigan needs to get Nik Stauskas going. His success opens up a lot for other players. Stauskas only took 6 shots against Iowa, so it wasn’t even a matter of him being cold against the Hawkeyes, he just wasn’t getting open. The Wolverines have to find a way for him to get some space.

While Stauskas is undoubtedly the most important player for the Wolverines offensively, someone else needs to step up. Caris LeVert did his best to carry Michigan’s offense against Iowa, but the Wolverines could really use some more balance, and against a team that is as good defensively as OSU is, that will be important. It’s time that Glenn Robinson III steps up in a big game.

The Wolverines have gotten very little help in the post from their two big men as of late. In the last three games, these two have combined for a total of 16 points. That’s a little over 5 points per game between the two. While neither is known for their scoring, michigan basketballgetting double digits from the post position against the Buckeyes would be a huge boost for this Michigan basketball team.

Turnovers will be big for the Wolverines. Against an elite defense like the one Ohio State will put on the court tonight, Michigan will not be able to afford too many wasted possessions. While they are top ten in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (just under 10) they have been a little sloppier than usual lately (they’ve given up almost 12 per game in their last three outings), and Ohio State ranks in the top 35 nationally in turnovers forced per game coming up with almost 15 per contest. How disciplined Michigan is with the ball might decide their fate tonight in Columbus.

Final Verdict

This is going to be a tough game for both teams. Ohio State has shown that they aren’t invincible at home (two of their five losses came in Columbus) but we all know that no road game in the Big Ten is easy, so Michigan will have their work cut out for them. At the end of the day, Ohio State is coming in hot, and Value City Arena will be rocking. I see the Buckeyes winning a close, low scoring game. 71-69 Buckeyes.

  • WOLVERINE

    OOPS!!!! FORGOT TO MENTION THAT THE AP RANKING (THE 0-1, .000 THING) STATISTICAL FACTOID TIDBIT OF MINE, IS IN GAMES ONLY PLAYED @OHIO STATE ONLY !!!!! SORRY ABOUT FORGETTING TO MENTION THAT!!!!
    — WOLVERINE

  • WOLVERINE

    ^Tyler Brochhagen^

    FIRST OFF, GREAT EXCELLENT ARTICLE!!!! TO ANYONE WHO READS THIS (ESPECIALLY THE MICHIGAN MEN’S BASKETBALL 2013-14 PROGRAM/TEAM):

    ****^^^^OHIO STATE FANS ARE LITERALLY CAMPING OUT FOR THIS 9:00PM GAME TONIGHT, AS WE SPEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^^^^****

    ALSO, FOR INCENTIVES, THIS IS THE ONLY INSTANCE/SCENARIO THAT A JOHN BEILEIN-LED MICHIGAN TEAM ****^^^^HAS NOT WON AT!!!!^^^^**** IN OTHER WORDS, IT HAS YET TO WIN AT VALUE CITY ARENA (FURTHERMORE, IT HAS YET TO BEAT OHIO STATE @OHIO STATE [VALUE CITY ARENA] IN THE THAD MATTA-LED OHIO STATE ERA [THIS GOES BACK TO FORMER MICHIGAN MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH TOMMY AMAKER TENURE])!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WE ENDED ONE LOSING STREAK ALREADY (WISCONSIN @WISCONSIN [KOHL CENTER]), NOW IT IS ~!@#%$#&^^&()&)(*_&)^(*%$@!%#$ytdryt!q@#$!~#@!@^%#&$**% HIGH-TIME THAT WE ENDED THE LONE (OTHER) LOSING STREAK THAT HAS BEEN DOGGING JOHN BEILEIN-LED MICHIGAN: OHIO STATE @OHIO STATE (VALUE CITY ARENA ERA). TO PUT IT YET ANOTHER WAY . . .

    ****^^^^ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^^^^****

    ALSO, WE ARE 0-1, .000 ALL-TIME AGAINST OHIO STATE WHEN BOTH MICHIGAN AND OHIO STATE ARE RANKED (IN THE AP POLL) — BUT MICHIGAN BEING THE HIGHER RANKED TEAM. SO THE MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE[S], INSPIRATION, DETERMINATION, GOAL FOR THIS IS TO WIN TONIGHT TO EVEN UP THE RECORD AND (IN TERMS OF BABY-STEPS, IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS [MEANING, FOR THE SHORT-TERM ONLY]) TO HAVE A . . . .

    ****^^^^NON-LOSING RECORD AGAINST OHIO STATE UNDER THIS SCENARIO/CONDITIONS^^^^****
    2002-03: THIS IS THE LAST SEASON/TIME THAT MICHIGAN HAS BEATEN OHIO STATE @OHIO STATE IN THE VALUE CITY ARENA ERA (I.E. SINCE 1998-99 SEASON AND ONWARD)!!!!!!!! = . . .

    ****^^^^NEED I SAY ~!@#@%*&^%(i^&%@#&^%$&(^rydt@%$#^^@!#$!#$%!#@ MORE???!!!!^^^^****

    ALSO, FURTHER MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE[S], INSPIRATION, DETERMINATION, GOAL FOR THIS IS TO WIN TONIGHT:

    —> BEATING OHIO STATE TONIGHT SO THAT WE CAN (ULTIMATELY) SWEEP ALL OF THE 1-GAME SEASON-SERIES ON THE SCHEDULE THIS SEASON (WE HAVE WON 2 OF THEM [PENN STATE, NORTHWESTERN: 2 DOWN 2 TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]) WE HAVE YET TO ACCOMPLISH THIS UNDER THE JOHN BEILEIN-LED MICHIGAN ERA (WE HAVE COME CLOSE IN 2011-12 AND 2012-13 WHEN WE WON 3 OF THE 4 1-GAME SEASON SERIES).

    ******************^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^NEED I SAY MORE???!!!!^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^************************

    FINALLY, OTHER MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE[S], INSPIRATION, DETERMINATION, GOAL FOR THIS IS TO WIN TONIGHT:

    IF WE BEAT OHIO STATE TONIGHT, WE WILL AVOID HAVING LOST 2 (OR MORE) CONSECUTIVE GAMES BACK TO BACK. WE HAVE YET TO ACCOMPLISH THIS UNDER THE JOHN BEILEIN-LED MICHIGAN ERA (WE HAVE COME CLOSE IN 2011-12 AND 2012-13). IN FACT THE LAST TIME WE ACCOMPLISHED THAT FEAT???:
    —> THE 1992-93 SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ****^^^^NEED I SAY ~!@#$#&^%*^$!~@#^%$&*$#@%#$ey^%(*&$~!%$@^#&(*^^ MORE???!!!!^^^^****
    CARPE DIEM, MICHIGAN MEN’S BASKETBALL COACHING STAFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    CARPE DIEM, MICHIGAN MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    CARPE DIEM, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES!!!! C-A-R-P-E D-I-E-M
    VERY SINCERELY & BEST REGARDS,
    W-O-L-V-E-R-I-NE