Hello TOC, well that last game was great to see. This upcoming game is the last one of the regular season and it comes on the road at Ohio State. This will be my last adjusted stats page until March Madness starts and we find out MSU’s road to the Championship. As usual the stats will be first and the analysis will be right after.
Ohio State comes into the game with a record of 22-8, and a B1G record of 9-8. They use a nine man rotation with 4 guards and 5 forwards. Even though they rotate 5 forwards in the rotation only one of those 5 players is taller than 6-8. Ohio State does not have a good offense and most wouldn’t even call it a mediocre one. Their best quality is steals where they pace the B1G in every category during conference play. They also have a high FT rate in the B1G although they are squandering points by only shooting 70.8% from there. They do not shoot or rebound particularly well, and as a team they have only made 90 threes during conference play which is good for last, and for comparison MSU has made 144 in the same amount of time. How MSU defends the drive will be a big key to this game.
Starting with the backcourt we have Dan Dakitch’s favorite player, Aaron Craft, Senior. He plays by far the most minutes on the team and he is mainly a pass first pg. He mainly looks to drive and kick to open shooters on the perimeter. He leads the team in steal and assist numbers, but he is only a 34% shooter from deep and is only a mediocre rebounder. The other starting guard is Smith Jr., Senior, who is one of the better shooters/ scorers on this OSU team. He would be even more efficient if he were to cut down a bit on threes for easier shots considering he is only shooting 35% from three and yet takes the most threes on OSU. He is a good rebounder for his position, and also rarely fouls.
I’ll start the frontcourt with Williams, Junior, who as I said before is the only one on OSU taller than 6-8. He is only a post player, and is very efficient with the ball when he shoots, although that can probably be attributed to not shooting farther than 10 feet from the basket. He is only an ok free throw shooter at 67%, but is the best rebounder and shot blocker on the team. Next will be Ross who is the scorer for OSU. Ross also has the highest possession numbers for OSU, as well as the highest 3 point numbers at 39%. He is also a good rebounder but is only ok at the free throw line. Finally Thompson, Junior, has only started for the past 9 games. He is one of the lower options on offense, is a bad rebounder for his size, and the rest of his stats are pretty mediocre compared to his team.
The first off the bench will probably be Scott, Junior guard, who did start the first 21 games of the season. He is a slasher looking to give out assists to other shooters, and his other job is to get steals. He is a very poor 3 point shooter at 27%, but is a good rebounder for his size. Next is McDonald, Junior Forward, and he does not look to score very often. He is only a good offensive rebounder and above average shot blocker with the rest of the stats looking average. After that is Loving, Freshman forward, who is the least efficient shooter on OSU and that starts with threes, where he is only 24%. Other than that he is only an ok rebounder with average stats in everything else. Finally the last is Della Valle, Sophomore guard, who does not have good shooting numbers is a ok rebounder and also has pretty average stats in the other categories.
All in all this game is a very winnable one on the road. It was very nice to see the team play so well in their last game, and it would be nice to see MSU continue their momentum into this one and win a most likely to be hard fought game on the road. I can see a few keys to this game with the first being just let Craft dribble however much he wants because he doesn’t want to shoot. If MSU over helps on Craft and leaves some shooters wide open even OSU can hit those shots. The next key would be to try and win the rebounding battle, or at least keep it close and definitely limit OSU’s offensive rebounding to curb any easy baskets. Finally Go Green! It would be nice to see an OSU sweep.