Hoops Preview: No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Kansas

Date: December 22 Time: 4:00 PM ET
Venue: Value City Arena (19,049) Location: Columbus, OH
TV: CBS with Tim Brando, Greg Anthony and former Buckeye Clark Kellogg.
Radio: Ohio State IMG Sports Network with Paul Keels and Ron Stokes. For a list of stations, click here.

Game Preview

Amir Williams, Deshaun Thomas

Finally, a meaningful and competitive contest in the month of December as No. 7 Ohio State hosts No. 9 Kansas at Value City Arena later today. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on your local CBS affiliate.

The Jayhawks will have their first test on the road after going 7-0 at home and 2-1 on neutral courts. Kansas has won eight straight and is 9-1 on the season after a 87-59 win against Richmond on Tuesday. KU’s other wins have come against Southeast Missouri State (74-55), Chattanooga (69-55), Washington State (78-41), Saint Louis (73-59), San Jose State (70-57), Oregon State (84-78), Colorado (90-54), and Belmont (89-69). Their lone loss was a 67-64 setback to then-No. 21 Michigan State at the Champions Classic in Atlanta.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self, who is in his tenth season leading the Jayhawks and has an overall record of 278-54 with nine NCAA tournament appearances, advancing to two Final Fours with one national championship in 2008.

Through 10 games so far this season, Kansas is averaging 77.8 points per game and is giving up 58.5 for a Big 12-leading +19.3 scoring margin. KU is also outrebounding their foes 38.8 to 33.1 and averages 7.9 steals while also leading the conference in field goal percentage at 49.1, blocked shots at 8.7 and assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.4.

Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 15.9 points per game, which is tops among Big 12 freshmen and third overall in the conference. He leads KU with 17 three-pointers made and is second on the team with 12 steals.

Senior center Jeff Withey leads Kansas in rebounding (8.1 rpg), field goal percentage (59.2 percent) and blocked shots (5.4 bpg), which also leads the nation. Withey has four double-doubles on the year and is second on the team in scoring averaging 14.1 points per game.

This is the third meeting between the two schools in just over a year. Kansas won both times last season, defeating Ohio State 78-67 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence on Dec. 10, 2011, then again on March 31, 2012, in the NCAA national semifinals at the Superdome in New Orleans, 64-62, a game the Buckeyes should of won.

Ohio State also enters the game at 9-1 riding a five-game winning streak, though the Buckeyes looked far from impressive in their 65-55 win over Winthrop on Tuesday. Deshaun Thomas scored 21 points, though he missed nine straight shots at one point. Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who shot just 38.6 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three-point range against the Eagles.

Today’s game is going to be a good one and I expect Ohio State to win, though it’s going to be very close and low scoring.


2012-13 TEAM STATISTICS

Ohio State Buckeyes
9-1, 0-0 Big Ten
AP: 7
USA Today: 7
RPI: 38
SOS: 180
OSU
OPP
Points Per Game
78.6
57.2
Field Goals Made-Att.
277-591
197-530
Field Goal Pct.
.469
.372
3-Pt. Field Goals Made-Att.
77-199
58-189
3-Pt. Field Goal Pct.
.387
.307
3-Pt. FGs Made Per Game
7.7
5.8
Free Throws Made-Att.
155-217
120-169
Free Throw Pct.
.714
.710
FTs Made Per Game
15.5
12.0
Rebounds Per Game
38.8
31.6
Assists Per Game
15.8
8.7
Turnovers Per Game
10.2
15.0
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio
1.5
0.6
Steals Per Game
7.6
3.7
Blocks Per Game
4.3
2.5

Kansas Jayhawks
9-1, 0-0 Big XII
AP: 9
USA Today: 8
RPI: 4
SOS: 7
KU
OPP
Points Per Game
77.8
58.5
Field Goals Made-Att.
285-580
204-581
Field Goal Pct.
.491
.351
3-Pt. Field Goals Made-Att.
59-174
68-221
3-Pt. Field Goal Pct.
.339
.308
3-Pt. FGs Made Per Game
5.9
6.8
Free Throws Made-Att.
149-198
109-159
Free Throw Pct.
.753
.686
FTs Made Per Game
14.9
10.9
Rebounds Per Game
38.8
33.1
Assists Per Game
17.0
9.5
Turnovers Per Game
12.6
14.5
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio
1.3
0.7
Steals Per Game
7.9
6.3
Blocks Per Game
8.7
3.2

PROBABLE LINEUPS & INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Ohio State Buckeyes
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. MPG PPG RPG APG FG% 3FG% FT%
F 30 Evan Ravenel 6-8 250 Sr. 18.7 6.6 4.9 0.2 .591 .700
F 1 Deshaun Thomas 6-7 215 Jr. 31.5 20.4 6.9 1.6 .459 .409 .861
F 12 Sam Thompson 6-7 200 So. 22.8 7.9 4.0 1.2 .509 .267 .808
G 32 Lenzelle Smith Jr. 6-4 210 Jr. 27.6 11.5 5.2 2.1 .482 .487 .700
G 4 Aaron Craft 6-2 195 Jr. 30.8 9.1 3.1 4.8 .377 .333 .793
Key Reserves:
G 3 Shannon Scott 6-1 185 So. 20.6 6.4 2.5 4.7 .451 .455 .619
F 10 LaQuinton Ross 6-8 220 So. 19.8 9.6 4.4 0.7 .461 .308 .857
C 23 Amir Williams 6-11 250 So. 15.2 4.4 3.3 0.2 .737 .485
Kansas Jayhawks
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. MPG PPG RPG APG FG% 3FG% FT%
C 5 Jeff Withey 7-0 235 Sr. 28.3 14.1 8.1 0.7 .593 .688
F 40 Kevin Young 6-8 190 Sr. 18.3 6.7 6.7 1.0 .575 .000 .636
G 24 Travis Releford 6-6 210 Sr. 32.3 13.0 3.2 3.3 .580 .357 .929
G 23 Ben McLemore 6-5 195 RFr. 29.5 15.9 5.7 2.3 .491 .395 .850
G 15 Elijah Johnson 6-4 195 Sr. 29.1 9.6 2.8 5.3 .427 .348 .769
Key Reserves:
F 34 Perry Ellis 6-8 225 Fr. 15.8 6.2 3.1 0.7 .489 .000 .696
G 1 Naadir Tharpe 5-11 170 So. 17.1 4.6 1.7 2.3 .370 .360 1.000
F 31 Jamari Traylor 6-8 220 Fr. 12.9 2.7 3.0 0.5 .478 .455