Basketball preview: Ohio State is back on the road looking to bounce back from Purdue’s loss against Maryland

Ohio State was one shot away from dethroning the No. 1 team in the country.

Who is the where when television

Maryland (10-5, 1-3 B1G)

Xfinity Center

1 m


Thursday Two points loss for Bordeaux It was an emotional experience for the Buckeyes, but they had to put it behind them on short notice to refocus on another tough Big Ten game on the road. At 1 p.m. Sunday, Ohio State takes on a veteran Maryland team that has a 10-5 record in Kevin Willard’s first year at the helm.

Despite suffering lopsided losses to Michigan (81-46) and Rutgers (64-50) in their last two games, the Terrapins have the top 30 defenses in the nation per Kinbaum Modified Efficiency Scale. Equipped with a large number of versatile defenders, Maryland ranks in the top 50 in scoring defense and opponent field goal percentage and is one of the best teams in the country in effectively limiting opponents from 3-point range.

The Buckeyes, who are second in the country in offensive efficiency, have faced better defenses this season, statistically speaking. But that doesn’t guarantee they’ll get anything easy on Sunday.

“I think one of the strengths of their defense is their versatility and ability to have multiple players who can protect multiple positions. I expect to see crowds like we’ve seen all this season,” Ohio State assistant coach Jake Deppler said Friday. “I think our guys have coped. with it well. We have to keep moving the ball, we have to keep moving and cutting. Their ingenuity is their strength.

“If you look at their numbers, especially at home, they’ve really managed to turn some teams around and we have to be strong with the ball, protect the ball. They’re a good defensive team, no doubt about that. I think sometimes you can look at the numbers and say, ‘Oh man What do those numbers mean exactly?” But on tape, they’re a good defensive team. There’s no other way for that.”


JACK Entertainment advertisement

what are you watching

Terp counter attack

Dippler praised Maryland’s defensive numbers, but its offense left a lot to be desired in the past couple outings. The Terps have averaged less than 50 points per game across the past two Big Ten contests and have shot just 26.5% from the floor against Michigan. The Buckeyes are only 79th in modified defensive efficiency, lower than both of Maryland’s previous opponents, but the Terps have been prone to just as poor offensive performance as they have lately.

Parity in the Big Ten

The Big Ten season has just begun. No team in the conference has played more than five league games, yet every team has lost to at least one Big Ten opponent and only Minnesota has won a conference game. Two of Ohio State’s three Big Ten games to date have been decided in the game’s final game, and despite two losses recently at Maryland, the first two conference contests are decided by 10 points. The Buckeyes are favored in this game, even on the road, but few would be surprised if it was a contentious relationship.

Three important Buckeyes

Felix Okpara

Zed Key left the Purdue game after just four minutes of aggravating A.J Shoulder sprain It’s been a hit with him all season, and both Diebler and Chris Holtmann haven’t released an update on the starting center’s health after the fact. That means Okpara, who scored a career-high 30 minutes in Kei’s absence against Purdue, could make his first real season start on Sunday.

to update: Key (Shoulder) will not be available against Maryland, on the program’s Sunday morning edition.

Bruce Thornton

His starting point guard was dealing with an illness going into the Purdue game on Thursday, Holtman said, and as a result Thornton played his fewest minutes in six games. But against a team like Maryland, which is led by several strong and experienced senior guards, Ohio State will need a freshman to operate at a high capacity. After posting double-digit scoring numbers in six straight games from November 30 to December 29, Thornton has failed to do so in each of the last 10 contests, and the Buckeyes could use a bump in their offensive production as the conference schedule continues.

Brice Sensabaugh

The Ohio State junior star is far from flying under the radar. Sensaboo averages 20.2 points per game on 58.1% shooting in his past five performances, and he had his fourth 20-point night of the season against the top team in the country on Thursday. It is no longer impressive when Sensabaugh leads the Buckeyes in scoring. It’s an expectation. And there are no signs that it will slow down anytime soon.

Three important soils

Jahmer Young

expected starting line





Season stats

Jahmer Young




13.9 parts per gallon, 4.5 rpg

Hakim Haret




11.9 PPG, 4.9 APG

Noah Batchelor




2.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG

Donta Scott




12.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG

Julian Reese




10.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG

After dominating their Conference USA opponents with Charlotte over the past three seasons, Young hasn’t seen much calm since stepping up to the competition. The 6-foot-2 big guard is the Terps’ leading scorer averaging 13.9 points per game, hitting nearly 42% of his shots and 30.4% of his 3-point attempts, and he put up 4.5 rebounds and three points. Night helps. The Maryland native already has two 20-point games under his belt this season, and the Terps have only lost one game in which Young scored at least 18 points.

Donta Scott

The 6-foot-7 big forward has 109 appearances and 94 games in a Maryland jersey, and has been a solid contributor to the Terps for the most part. Scott scored double digits in both his sophomore and junior seasons, averaging 12.2 points per game as the second-leading scorer for Maryland as a senior. Scott connects on 50.5% of his 2-point shot attempts and is second best on the unit with 5.9 per night.

Sage Hart

Another fourth-year Terp, Hart is not far behind Scott averaging 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for Maryland. The 6-foot-6 guard is a more effective kicker than Young and Scott, hitting 53.9% of his field goals and 37.3% of his 3-point attempts. Among the Terrapins who average at least two trips to the foul line per game, he is the most accurate free throw shooter on the team (81.4%).

How it works

Font: OSU -1.5, O/U: 141

The Terps have struggled mightily to mount offense against the last two of their Big Ten opponents, and even their solid defense hasn’t been enough to keep them in games lately. Ohio State has the most effective offense Maryland has played all season, and even if Key isn’t fit, the Buckeyes should end the week with a road win.

prediction: Ohio State 75, Maryland 67

Leave a Comment