December 10, 2019

Ohio State Hoops Notebook | 12/10/19

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s basketball team, one of the top defensive teams nationally, put together an impressive offensive showing in its Big Ten-opening 106-74 victory over Penn State Saturday at Value City Arena. The 9-0 Buckeyes, one of eight undefeated teams in the country and two in the Big Ten, eclipsed the 100-point mark in a Big Ten contest for the first time since a 104-69 victory over Penn State Jan. 5, 2006.

Kaleb Wesson notched his third double-double of the season with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Andre Wesson totaled 15 points and five boards and Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. scored 14 apiece as the Buckeyes earned their third win over a KenPom Top 25 team. The three victories have come by an average of 27.3 points.

Ohio State has been balanced offensively on its way to the 8-0 start, putting at least three players in double figures in scoring in eight of the nine contests as eight Buckeyes are averaging at least seven points per contest. Kaleb Wesson paces the Buckeyes with 14.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while Washington Jr. averages 11.4 points and D.J. Carton pours in 9.9 per game. Kyle Young (8.9 ppg), Andre Wesson (8.6), Luther Muhammad (8.0), CJ Walker (7.8) and E.J. Liddell (7.2) also have been steady performers on the offensive end for the Buckeyes.

Buckeyes in NCAA, Big Ten Statistical Rankings: 

Category Statistic Big Ten Ranking NCAA Ranking
Scoring Margin +26.2 1 1
FG% Defense 33.3% 1 2
Scoring Defense 54.7 ppg 1 5
Defensive RPG 30.6 1 11
3FG% 41.3% 1 14
3FG/Game 9.6 1 30
Rebounding Margin +9.8 3 12
Scoring Offense 80.9 ppg 3 30
Assist-to-TO Ratio 1.3-to-1 3 34
3FG% Defense 29.3% 3 67

Kaleb Wesson has put together an impressive junior campaign, ranking third in the Big Ten with 7.1 defensive rebounds per game, fourth with an 81.6 free throw percentage, tied for sixth with 9.3 total rebounds per contest and tied for ninth with 1.6 blocks per game. Washington Jr. leads the Big Ten with a 53.7 3-point percentage and ranks fourth with 2.4 made 3-pointers per contest.

Locking down the opponents’ leading scorer has been a key to Ohio State’s success. The Buckeyes’ nine opponents’ leading scorers have shot 31.7 percent (34-for-107) from the field and 27.5 percent (11-for-40) from 3-point range. Ohio State has limited the group, which is averaging 15.7 points per game on the season, to 10.8 points per game.

Some more numbers to consider:
– With the win over North Carolina, the Buckeyes became the fourth team in AP poll history to beat two Top 10 teams by at least 25 points in the same season. Ohio State, which became the first team to accomplish the feat prior to its conference tournament, also topped No. 10 Villanova, 76-51, Nov. 13 in Columbus.
– Penn State (74) is the only opponent to score more than 56 points against the Buckeyes.
– Ohio State joins No. 4 Maryland (10-0, 1-0 B1G) as the remaining two undefeated Big Ten teams.
– Ohio State’s 14 made 3-pointers and 30 made free throws vs. Penn State Dec. 7 are the second-most by any Big Ten team this season.
– The 16 made field goals by Stetson against the Buckeyes Nov. 18 are tied for the fewest allowed by a Big Ten team this year.
– The Buckeyes held No. 7 North Carolina to 17-for-62 (27.4 percent) from the field Dec. 4, marking the second-best defensive effort by a Big Ten team this season and the lowest field goal percentage by North Carolina in the history of the Dean Smith Center. Purdue held Jacksonville State to 27.1 percent from the field Nov. 23.
– Ohio State’s bench is outscoring its opponents 276-138 through nine games.

The Buckeyes travel to Minnesota for a 6:30 p.m. ET tip Sunday at Williams Arena.