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  1. #1

    MBB: Duke v Ohio State (Wed 11/30, 7:15 pm, ESPN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    With just one starter returning, 4 new freshmen, and a few key transfers, things have been a little up and down to start the season. I should note that I am talking about the Ohio State Buckeyes. THE Ohio State University lost 4 starters, including All-Big Ten performer E.J. Liddell. Head Coach Chris Holtmann most likely entered last season expecting Liddell to leave for the NBA following his junior year. He probably didn't expect freshman Malachi Branham to be drafted in the 1st round. The loss of Branham, Liddell, and several other experienced veterans and starters have led to a summer of restocking the roster in Columbus. The new players include a deep recruiting class of 4 top-100 players as well as experienced transfers from both high- and mid-majors. So far, the formula has been a success as Ohio State jumped into the Top 25 of the AP Poll.

    One year ago, a surging Duke, fresh off wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga, came into Value Center Arena and, after a disjointed start, collapsed down the stretch to tOSU. This year, it is the Buckeyes that will visit Duke on November 30th. Will a young Duke team repeat a second-half collapse or did they already get that out of their system?

    The headliner for the Buckeyes is 6'8" 245 lb JR C Zed Key. The big man has a below-the-rim game that torched Duke and Mark Williams last season. Key has gotten into better shape and conditioning in the offseason and has added a 3-point jumper to his arsenal. He had been taking mid-range jumpers but has taken a few steps back for a modest volume (8 attempts in 6 games) with decent success (3-8 / 37.5%) so far. His bread-and-butter, though, is around the rim. He's an old-school big man that uses angles and his strength to get his shots. When Key is out, Holtmann will turn to 6'11" FR Felix Okpara, a very different type of big man. Okpara can run and jump. He provides a little bit of rim protection as well in his ~15 minutes per game. Key is going to see a lot of minutes if the game is close and he isn't in foul trouble. Okpara will spell him, but Key is the center on this team, much like Zach Edey is the man in the middle for Purdue.

    If we are looking at Ohio State, we are going to talk about wings. They have so many and they all do different things. Let's start with one of the freshmen, Brice Sensabaugh. The 6'6" F is a very unique player. He's a big body, about 240 lbs, but can score from all three levels. Through the first 6 games, he is leading tOSU in scoring at 15.8 pts and doing so off the bench. While he's athletic, he's not necessarily a high riser. The starting wings for tOSU include 6th-year SR 6'7" Justice Sueing and the ultra-versatile Oklahoma transfer and 5th-year SR 6'5" Isaac Likekele. Sueing is a jack-of-all-trades kind of player. He missed all but 2 games last year with an abdominal injury, so the Buckeyes are delighted to have him back. He has been productive for them and shows little rust from missing the last season outside of his dreadful shooting from deep (14.3% on 3.5 3PA). Likekele is not a shooter but does almost everything else. He can even run the team as a point guard and leads tOSU in assists so far this season. He can be a pest defensively and has been vital in that area for Holtmann. Ohio State has not been a stout defensive unit, giving up a lot of points against the two Quad-1 opponents they have faced so far this year (an 88-77 loss to San Diego State and a 80-73 win over a short-handed Texas Tech). Another wing off the bench is 6'6" SR Tanner Holden, a transfer from Marshall. Holden was a big-time scorer at Wright State and was a 2-time 1st-team All-Horizon league player. He is looking to make his mark at the high-major level this year but has been relegated to a reserve role so far. Holden has done most of his scoring inside in his career, rarely taking 3's.

    One of the keys for Ohio State this year is replacing the scoring of Branham in the backcourt. Holtmann has an all-new cast of guards, including former West Virginia G Sean McNeil and a pair of top-100 recruits. The starting PG is 6'2" FR Bruce Thornton. The Alpharetta, GA native can shoot the ball and will be given every opportunity to prove he can run a team. So far, he's done a good job and is shooting the ball very well at 47.4% from 3. McNeil is known as a gunner but has a more well-rounded game than that. He's plugged right into the Buckeyes offense and is leading the team in 3-point attempts. The reserve is another top-100 recruit, FR Roddy Gayle, Jr. Thornton and Gayle are the present and future of the Ohio State backcourt and are getting lots of game action right from the start.

    Holtmann runs a relatively deliberate pace of play on offense and knows how to get his teams to score the basketball. Defense has been a bit of a bugaboo for the past 2 seasons. This year's squad is no exception. So far, the Buckeyes have excelled at generating second-chance opportunities, ranking 17th in the nation in OREB%. That stat might have been padded to some degree by some noise. In three of their six games, they have grabbed nearly half of their misses while have faired much worse against San Diego State and Texas Tech. Duke is going to have a pretty significant size advantage in this one. They don't have players with the height and length to deal with Filipowski and Mitchell at the 3 and 4. The big key for Duke, though, is finding its shooting touch again. Simply put, the team cannot afford to be so inconsistent from 3. Hopefully the home environment will help with that.

  2. #2
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    With just one starter returning, 4 new freshmen, and a few key transfers, things have been a little up and down to start the season. I should note that I am talking about the Ohio State Buckeyes. THE Ohio State University lost 4 starters, including All-Big Ten performer E.J. Liddell. Head Coach Chris Holtmann most likely entered last season expecting Liddell to leave for the NBA following his junior year. He probably didn't expect freshman Malachi Branham to be drafted in the 1st round. The loss of Branham, Liddell, and several other experienced veterans and starters have led to a summer of restocking the roster in Columbus. The new players include a deep recruiting class of 4 top-100 players as well as experienced transfers from both high- and mid-majors. So far, the formula has been a success as Ohio State jumped into the Top 25 of the AP Poll.

    One year ago, a surging Duke, fresh off wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga, came into Value Center Arena and, after a disjointed start, collapsed down the stretch to tOSU. This year, it is the Buckeyes that will visit Duke on November 30th. Will a young Duke team repeat a second-half collapse or did they already get that out of their system?

    The headliner for the Buckeyes is 6'8" 245 lb JR C Zed Key. The big man has a below-the-rim game that torched Duke and Mark Williams last season. Key has gotten into better shape and conditioning in the offseason and has added a 3-point jumper to his arsenal. He had been taking mid-range jumpers but has taken a few steps back for a modest volume (8 attempts in 6 games) with decent success (3-8 / 37.5%) so far. His bread-and-butter, though, is around the rim. He's an old-school big man that uses angles and his strength to get his shots. When Key is out, Holtmann will turn to 6'11" FR Felix Okpara, a very different type of big man. Okpara can run and jump. He provides a little bit of rim protection as well in his ~15 minutes per game. Key is going to see a lot of minutes if the game is close and he isn't in foul trouble. Okpara will spell him, but Key is the center on this team, much like Zach Edey is the man in the middle for Purdue.

    If we are looking at Ohio State, we are going to talk about wings. They have so many and they all do different things. Let's start with one of the freshmen, Brice Sensabaugh. The 6'6" F is a very unique player. He's a big body, about 240 lbs, but can score from all three levels. Through the first 6 games, he is leading tOSU in scoring at 15.8 pts and doing so off the bench. While he's athletic, he's not necessarily a high riser. The starting wings for tOSU include 6th-year SR 6'7" Justice Sueing and the ultra-versatile Oklahoma transfer and 5th-year SR 6'5" Isaac Likekele. Sueing is a jack-of-all-trades kind of player. He missed all but 2 games last year with an abdominal injury, so the Buckeyes are delighted to have him back. He has been productive for them and shows little rust from missing the last season outside of his dreadful shooting from deep (14.3% on 3.5 3PA). Likekele is not a shooter but does almost everything else. He can even run the team as a point guard and leads tOSU in assists so far this season. He can be a pest defensively and has been vital in that area for Holtmann. Ohio State has not been a stout defensive unit, giving up a lot of points against the two Quad-1 opponents they have faced so far this year (an 88-77 loss to San Diego State and a 80-73 win over a short-handed Texas Tech). Another wing off the bench is 6'6" SR Tanner Holden, a transfer from Marshall. Holden was a big-time scorer at Wright State and was a 2-time 1st-team All-Horizon league player. He is looking to make his mark at the high-major level this year but has been relegated to a reserve role so far. Holden has done most of his scoring inside in his career, rarely taking 3's.

    One of the keys for Ohio State this year is replacing the scoring of Branham in the backcourt. Holtmann has an all-new cast of guards, including former West Virginia G Sean McNeil and a pair of top-100 recruits. The starting PG is 6'2" FR Bruce Thornton. The Alpharetta, GA native can shoot the ball and will be given every opportunity to prove he can run a team. So far, he's done a good job and is shooting the ball very well at 47.4% from 3. McNeil is known as a gunner but has a more well-rounded game than that. He's plugged right into the Buckeyes offense and is leading the team in 3-point attempts. The reserve is another top-100 recruit, FR Roddy Gayle, Jr. Thornton and Gayle are the present and future of the Ohio State backcourt and are getting lots of game action right from the start.

    Holtmann runs a relatively deliberate pace of play on offense and knows how to get his teams to score the basketball. Defense has been a bit of a bugaboo for the past 2 seasons. This year's squad is no exception. So far, the Buckeyes have excelled at generating second-chance opportunities, ranking 17th in the nation in OREB%. That stat might have been padded to some degree by some noise. In three of their six games, they have grabbed nearly half of their misses while have faired much worse against San Diego State and Texas Tech. Duke is going to have a pretty significant size advantage in this one. They don't have players with the height and length to deal with Filipowski and Mitchell at the 3 and 4. The big key for Duke, though, is finding its shooting touch again. Simply put, the team cannot afford to be so inconsistent from 3. Hopefully the home environment will help with that.
    Well done as always DBA. I guess it should never be a surprise anymore how different teams are season to season, but man this OSU team looks different than last year.

    Considering Key isnít quite as mobile as Liddell (even if he has improved from last year, I remember him being very much a slower big), Iíd love to see us use a lot of pressure on the young guards to try to make it more difficult for them to get Key the ball in ideal spots on the floor. Matching Blakes up against Thornton for spurts could be disruptive. I also think Lively will get a chance at redemption against a more traditional big in KeyÖ Iíd love to see him come out with his hair on fire and try to shut him down. As good as their wings are, if the team is anything like last year Key will be the main cog, and stifling him should have a ripple effect.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Let's start with one of the freshmen, Brice Sensabaugh. The 6'6" F is a very unique player. He's a big body, about 240 lbs, but can score from all three levels. Through the first 6 games, he is leading tOSU in scoring at 15.8 pts and doing so off the bench.
    This kid is averaging 15.8 in less than 20 minutes per game!

    Holtmann is a good coach. They are playing their first away game. Their record is similar to ours, while Texas Tech is ranked they don't profile as much better than Xavier.

    Stuff I am interested in:
    -Is Roach healthy?
    -Will we see any noticable tweaks to the offense, aside from hoping we shoot better at home? Ohio State's defense has not been good this year so far.
    -What is the rotation approach, specifically with Dariq?
    -Will we continue to fight? Young teams can be fragile and K isn't there to be the heat shield. A massive beat down in a big spot is humbling for all involved.

  4. #4
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    I'm predicting a double-digit scoring game from Whitehead.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy12 View Post
    I'm predicting a double-digit scoring game from Whitehead.
    Depends on how much Coach Scheyer decides to play him. Dariq hasn't topped 17 minutes in any game this season. If that shoots up to 22 to 25, then I agree it's likely he'll score more than 10 points.

  6. #6
    My sense is that we are going to see a lot more of Whitehead now. It didn't make sense to shake up the rotations too much heading into the PK85. Now that the team is back home and is about to enter a new stretch of games with ample time off between games to plan and adjust, I won't be surprised to see Whitehead play 25+ mpg. He may even start as soon as Wednesday.

    My hope for Whitehead is that he can take some of the scoring pressure off of Roach and Filipowski. The offense has stalled out after opponents adjust to attacking specific matchups (Everyone vs. Gradey Dick against Kansas or Proctor vs. Edey against Purdue, as examples). With Whitehead being able to both create for himself and others, I hope that can allow the other players to fulfill their best roles. Roach does his best shooting off the catch. Filipowski has been deadly off movement. Proctor has done well at times attacking closeouts. Forcing the other teams to choose between 4 or 5 scoring options is going to open up more variety and easy buckets, hopefully. In that sense, I see Whitehead as a force multiplier.

  7. #7
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    https://www.dukechronicle.com/articl...-state-2022-23

    Tyrese Proctor needs to continue this level of play. No 2 steps forward 6 steps back to quote a Gang of 4 song. Flip is consistent. Grandison if used has to score.Mitchell has to score.

    Play good defense and convert shots into points. If Jeremy was able to play second half, I assume he will be playing Wednesday night. Duke needs a good bounce back game. Higher % shooting and a return to good rebounding should keep Duke in the game hopefully with a Win. Cameron is not a safe haven this season. Duke has to use the crowd energy to play its best game.

    Finally Whitehead and Lively give us more. Lively, I read was really not number 1 HS spring of 2022, he was #11 per The Brotherhood on Twitter.

  8. #8
    Lively has some good moments defensively but offensively he cannot create his own shot and he his production is going to be a work in progress. Scheyer will do what he thinks is best but from an offensive point of view, starting Flip and Young is much more productive at this point in the season. As Whitehead right now is a good fit as the 6th man. Not sure who you'd sit to start him.

    I am not claiming to be any kind of hoops coach but Duke needs to be more balanced offensively. Proctor has been up and down and Lively has not offered much is any production , so as of right now, Flip, Roach, Mitchell (usually) and Young have carried Duke. Proctor has shown some glimpses as has Grandison but not consistently and Whitehead is still getting back into the flow of things. So tbh, I am not sure Scheyer has many options are this point.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKDL19 View Post
    Lively has some good moments defensively but offensively he cannot create his own shot and he his production is going to be a work in progress. Scheyer will do what he thinks is best but from an offensive point of view, starting Flip and Young is much more productive at this point in the season. As Whitehead right now is a good fit as the 6th man. Not sure who you'd sit to start him.
    I think the answer is Mitchell so you'd go Roach, Proctor, Whitehead, Flip, Lively. We'd be counting on Lively's defensive presence to make-up for swapping Mitchell for Dariq and hoping that Dariq's defense comes up to speed.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    I think the answer is Mitchell so you'd go Roach, Proctor, Whitehead, Flip, Lively. We'd be counting on Lively's defensive presence to make-up for swapping Mitchell for Dariq and hoping that Dariq's defense comes up to speed.
    I agree with your conclusion, but what's been wrong with Dariq's defense so far?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I agree with your conclusion, but what's been wrong with Dariq's defense so far?
    Now that you ask, I guess I have no proof that Mitchell's line-ups are better from a +/- perspective than Dariq's. And, judging by the player PER #s you posted in the other thread, to date Mitchell has been the better offensive player. So, swapping Mitchell (and not a different starter) for Dariq really only makes sense because (A) Roach is the captain and presumed leader (B) Proctor is the emerging playmaker (C) Flip is Flip and (D) Lively is going to be the defensive anchor.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    Now that you ask, I guess I have no proof that Mitchell's line-ups are better from a +/- perspective than Dariq's. And, judging by the player PER #s you posted in the other thread, to date Mitchell has been the better offensive player. So, swapping Mitchell (and not a different starter) for Dariq really only makes sense because (A) Roach is the captain and presumed leader (B) Proctor is the emerging playmaker (C) Flip is Flip and (D) Lively is going to be the defensive anchor.
    OK, I agree with your conclusion again.

    FWIW (which isn't much, since +/- is such a flawed stat), in the five games in which Mitchell and Whitehead both played, Mark's +/- is +7 in 111 minutes, while Dariq's +/- is +19 in 68 minutes. Mark's dRating for the full season is 93.4 while Dariq's dRating is 91.1.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    OK, I agree with your conclusion again.

    FWIW (which isn't much, since +/- is such a flawed stat), in the five games in which Mitchell and Whitehead both played, Mark's +/- is +7 in 111 minutes, while Dariq's +/- is +19 in 68 minutes. Mark's dRating for the full season is 93.4 while Dariq's dRating is 91.1.
    Conversely, Mitchell's DBPM is 3.1, while Whitehead's is 0.5 (which is the worst of the regulars, though still not negative). So there's some room for debate as to who has been better on that end. Torvik has Mitchell with a notably better defensive value of the two.

    But I think the true takeaway is probably "we don't really have enough data for Whitehead yet."

  14. #14
    Massive game...why? Because the ACC is shaping up to be terrible again so quality resume wins will simply be hard to come by.

    Sort of similar situation to when we played them last year.

    Lose and we'll drop out of the top 25 and the pressure Scheyer will face in replacing K will start to become a narrative which may impact the team's morale.

    This game...IMO...is a HUGE early season tipping point.

  15. #15
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    ESPN, why?

    Watching the Syracuse game, ESPN keeps showing Duke at OSU tomorrow night?!?!
    I'm planning on going to CIS to watch, hopefully both teams show up.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I agree with your conclusion, but what's been wrong with Dariq's defense so far?
    I think Dariq's defense has been pretty good so far. Does he get lost on occasion? Yes, but so do all the freshmen. I think the starters should be Dereck, Flip, Dariq, Tyrese and Jeremy moving forward.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    I think Dariq's defense has been pretty good so far. Does he get lost on occasion? Yes, but so do all the freshmen. I think the starters should be Dereck, Flip, Dariq, Tyrese and Jeremy moving forward.
    I think that will be the starting lineup as soon as Whitehead is up to speed. But he's been awful so far, and hasn't reached 20 minutes in a game yet. Maybe this week is when they return him to full speed, but I can understand the team taking it slow here. Especially given that Whitehead hasn't played well offensively to force more playing time.

    It'll come. But it might not come until after exams are done.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by azzefkram View Post
    I think Dariq's defense has been pretty good so far. Does he get lost on occasion? Yes, but so do all the freshmen. I think the starters should be Dereck, Flip, Dariq, Tyrese and Jeremy moving forward.
    Try saying that lineup quickly.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Indoor66 View Post
    Try saying that lineup quickly.
    I did, and I think I strained something.

  20. #20
    I doubt if Whitehead had more than one full team practice this year until today.
    Tough to get up to speed without practice and instruction. He will improve steadily.
       

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