Well – if anyone has followed my previewing of the basketball games I almost nailed the final score on the UConn game in my prediction… but on the UCLA game I must have been sipping spiked coffee. Not only did I predict the Buckeyes would beat the Bruins but I did so in a desperate acknowledgement of reliving last year’s CBS Sports Classic in Brooklyn when the Buckeyes dropped Kentucky. But this was in Las Vegas …. And we know what a sinful joint that place is!
Anyway – as we all know the Buckeyes lost to the Bruins of UCLA 86-73. They played well especially Marc Loving who had 19 points and 6 rebounds. My favorite Buckeye, Keita Bates-Diop, also played well as he added 13 points and 3 rebounds to the Buckeyes final tally. But UCLA, the 2nd team in the Nation, was simply too much for our Buckeyes. But, optimistically, who knows what the future holds for the Scarlet and Gray!
Now they meet up with the Youngstown State University Penguins. The Penguins are currently 6-6 and are 5th in the Horizon League. Each of their six losses haven’t been close ones in any sense. They have lost to Toledo on Nov., 15th, 103-98 (this being their closest loss). On Nov., 18th they lost to Jacksonville 79-54. Nov., 19th it would be South Alabama’s turn to beat up on the Penguins 84-75. On Nov., 26th Canisus won 90-84. Dec., 6th the *ichigan State Spartans handed them a 77-57 loss. And recently, Dec., 10th, American University handed them their 6th loss, 77-62.
The Penguins are led by Cameron Morse in scoring. The Flint, *ichigan native has a respectable 23.8-point average per game. 7-0 SR, Jordan Kaufman, has 7.2 rebounds per game. Francisco Santiago, JR, leads the team in steals with 1.6 per game and also in assists with 5.1. The shot blocker for Youngstown is Devon Haygood, a 6-7 Sophomore who has 1.3 per game.
Their main star, unquestionably is Cameron Morse. Not only does he lead the Penguins in scoring, but comes in second in steals with 1.0, and in assists with 2.4. He is a good and sturdy player who may find work aboard once his professional career materializes, but it won’t be in the good old US of A.
The Buckeyes have five players averaging in double figures in scoring; Jae’Sean Tate – the Leader with 14.0; Marc Loving – 12.2; LaQuan Lyle – 11.0; Kam Williams – 10.6; and Trevor Thompson – 10.4. In rebounding, 7-0 Center, Trevor Thompson leads with 8.5 per game. He is also the block leader with 1.8. JaQuan Lyle is the assist leader with 5.5. And Kam Williams is our thief, stealing on an average of 1.4 per game.
The Buckeyes are 8-3 and in the Big Ten they are currently 10th with that record. They have lost to two nationally ranked teams, Virginia and UCLA. It appears that this game, undeniably will tilt in favor of the Buckeyes. They are hosts to the Penguins, and both in size and statistically are superior. But who would have ever guessed the loss to Florida Atlantic – who are 3-6 in Conference USA?
With that all said – there will be a more cautious step in my prediction of the outcome. But even as I analyze this and that – comparing the two teams – I come back to the same line I mentioned in the previous paragraph – the Buckeyes are superior in size and statistically. But beware! Right?
Let’s go for it – The Buckeyes will go to 9-3 tomorrow with a 81-73 victory over the Youngstown State University Penguins.