I’m going to tempt The Fates and do a Preview; hopefully the results are better than previous games that I’ve previewed. Tonight the Conference co-co-champion Buckeyes 25-6 (13-5) square off against the Purdue Boilermakers 20-11 (10-8). Purdue has actually played pretty well (5-2) since the teams last met in Columbus, with OSU winning, of course.
Ohio State’s B1G home and away records are 7-2 and 6-3, respectively, so that’s not bad. The Buckeyes are 1-0 on neutral floor, which is great, but a pretty small sample size.
When OSU feels like it, their game runs through Jared Sullinger (16.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg), Wil Buford (15.1, 4.9) as long as it’s not a weekend game, and DeShaun Thomas (15.1, 4.9) pretty much whenever he wants to. Of course, this show is ring-mastered by Aaron Craft who can play some defense, distribute the ball, lately taking/making some shots, and is generally hustling whistle-to-whistle.
Just for fun, I wandered to a Purdue blog to get their early perspective on the game. Be warned, what you read may shock you, below:
Game 8: Purdue vs. Ohio State
I have wanted another shot at Ohio State since that whiny petulant child Jared Sullinger got every call in Columbus. I want a chance to defend William Bufird again since he did play an impressive game and closed that one out in Columbus.The Buckeyes have won two straight Big Ten Tournements. Someone needs to step up and end their run. If we're allowed to actually play defense on Sully, we win, because Ohio State is a much different team when he doesn't get calls and starts to sulk. If he s getting the calls and we let Buford run wild, we lose. Pick: Purdue
This was not an unexpected perspective, since H&R is a Purdue blog, but compared to one of Mali’s catches at tBBC, seemed curious, below, emphasis mine.
He’s getting fouled about 20 percent less often this season than last,
although he is most certainly being challenged by defenders in greater numbers
and it would appear he is being contacted more. He is attempting and making
roughly the same number of shots as last season, but he is getting fewer
calls. That’s a heck of a sophomore jinx.
To summarize the Preview, I’d like to turn it over to friend of the blog, Jethro Tull.
In terms of what I’d like to see, it would have to be Ohio State play for 40 minutes like they did the last 30 minutes against MSU. Craft showed that indeed does have a jump shot, Ravenal showed that he can be meaningful on offense and defense and the team showed they can play tooth and nail. Despite Robbie Hummel being one of my two favorite non-Buckeyes, his Conference days come to and end tonight. Ohio State by double digits. Vegas has the line at Ohio State -7.5.