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Michigan Opponent Preview: Ohio State

How They Are Doing So Far:

When the clock struck midnight and we rung in the New Year, Ohio State was 12-1. It took until Saturday, January 26th before the Buckeyes won another game. That was a five game losing streak. There were losses against Michigan State and Maryland and understandable defeats at Iowa and against Purdue. The really bad one was at Rutgers. That loss looks a little more respectable now after Rutgers has won a couple more games, but for an Ohio State team with tournament aspirations, that one will sting for a while.

 

Last Time Out:

The Buckeyes finally picked up their 13th win of the season on Saturday at Nebraska. That was a big bubble game for both teams and it was Ohio State that pulled away for the much needed 70-60 victory. Freshman Luther Muhammad had his best game of the year, scoring 24 points and adding six rebounds. That is not bad for a player Coach Chris Holtmann hoped could be a defensive stopper this season. Andre Wesson and C.J. Jackson both scored ten points and Keyshawn Woods added nine points off the bench. Ohio State committed 13 turnovers, but their domination on the glass made up for it. They outrebounded the Cornhuskers 45 to 31 and limited the talented Nebraska frontcourt on both ends of the floor.

 

Who To Watch:

Andre Wesson and Kaleb Wesson will be busy against the Wolverines. Kaleb is the team’s top scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.9 points and 6.8 rebounds on the year. However, he has not been scoring nearly that much lately. In the last four games, Kaleb is averaging just 6.5 points per game. He is still doing a lot of work on the glass though and that will be key against Michigan. Andre has stepped up in the scoring department while his brother has struggled and averaged 13 points per game during that same four game stretch. Regardless of where it comes from, the Wesson’s will have to stretch the defense with their outside shooting abilities and be effective on the glass if the Buckeyes want to beat their rivals to the North.

 

Who Else To Watch:

C.J. Jackson is the senior leader of this team. The 6-1 point guard will be tasked with spearheading the defensive effort against the Wolverines. He also needs to keep the offense under control. This is a team that an occasionally have turnover issues. It is not always Jackson’s fault, but it will be up to him to put his teammates in good positions. Jackson can score too and is second on the team with 12.6 points per game. He is the most prolific outside shooter too.

 

Prediction:

Michigan suffered their first loss of the year on January 19th at Wisconsin. Since then they have beaten Minnesota and Indiana. It can be difficult for a previously undefeated team to deal with their first loss of the campaign, but Michigan has gotten past it and are clearly moving forward. That is bad news for a Buckeyes team that desperately needs a resume building win.

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