Preview: Ohio Prepares For No. 11 Ohio State< < Back to
The Ohio Bobcats (1-0) took care of a good Northern Iowa team in their first game, but it does not get any easier for them, as they take on No. 10 Ohio State (1-0) Tuesday.
Ohio State opened up the 2013-14 season with an 89-50 win over Morgan State. Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. led the Buckeyes with 18 points and nine rebounds in the win. Ohio State ripped down 55 rebounds in the game. Ohio head coach Jim Christian explained that rebounding will be a point of emphasis for Ohio against Ohio State.
“Easy baskets in transition, easy baskets on put-backs, those are the ways that teams go on runs, so (rebounding) is going to be huge in this game,” Christian said.
The Buckeyes’ leader is senior point guard Aaron Craft, who posted 5 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in Ohio State’s win against Morgan State. He provides the Buckeyes with leadership and a great defensive presence, as he is considered to be one of the best all-around defenders in all of college basketball.
“He’s a good defensive player, period,” Christian said. “He’s just a guy that has a great nose for the ball.”
The matchup between Craft and Ohio point guard Stevie Taylor will be particularly interesting because the two have played against each other for most of their careers.
“I know his game. He knows my game,” Taylor explained. “I feel like I have to raise my game to compete with him. If I do that, I think we’ll be fine.”
Taylor, along with seniors Nick Kellogg and Jon Smith, is from Columbus, so this game will be special for them. They remain focused on the game, however.
“We circled this (game) at the beginning of the season,” Taylor said. “We’ve just got to come out here and play hard.”
“Obviously it’s exciting, but at the end of the day, it’s just a game,” Kellogg added. “I know guys are focused. Guys are ready.”
Tipoff for the matchup between Ohio and Ohio State is set for 8 p.m. in the Value City Arena. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.