(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, cleveland.com, 247sports.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)

Ohio State (16-8, 6-7) ended their three game winning streak with an abysmal performance on Thursday, losing to Illinois (10-15, 6-8), 63-56.  This was Illinois’ first road win of the season and their first win in Columbus in a decade. 

Illinois took advantage of Ohio State’s poor ball handling, shooting and game awareness to gradually pull away from Ohio sate in the second half. With 8:30 remaining in the game, a Duane Washington, Jr “dunk and one” gave the Buckeyes a 45-44 lead. Which lasted for 15 seconds.

The Buckeyes had three players in double figures.. They were C.J. Jackson (17) and the Brothers Wesson; Kaleb (11) and Andre (10).  Rebounding was distributed with 5 each for Andre. Kaleb, C.J. and Kyle Young. Keyshawn Woods had with 3 assists.

The Fighting Illini had three players in double figures. They were Trent Frazier (15), Ayo Dosunmu (15) and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (13). Giorgi B had a game high 7 rebounds. Frazier and Dosunmu had 3 assists each.

Ohio State shot 36% from the field (17-47), 15% (2-13) from 3-point range and 80% (20-25) from the foul line. 

Illinois shot 44% from the field (24-54), 29% (6-21) from 3-point range and 53% (9-17) from the foul line. 

What Went Right

They were really good at shooting free throws. They shot 20-25 (80%) for the game. 

What Didn’t

Ball handling, shooting, front court defense, and relatedly, the ability of Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young to play a full game.


  • Illinois’ Giorgi B “led” the team with 5 turnovers. Maybe not too surprising with a 6’9″ freshman forward. Ohio State was “led” by C.J. Jackson, a 6’1″ senior guard.
  • Ohio State had an estimated 68 possessions. They turned it over on 26% of their possessions. That’s Ohio State telling their opponent after every fourth FG; “here, you take the ball.”
  • I don’t understand the Jaedon LeDee situation. I’d think that Holtmann would want to get a 6’9″ freshman some floor time, since Kaleb and Kyle persist in getting into foul trouble. It’s not like their small lineup has good ball security.`
  • According to teamrankings.com the Buckeyes are projected to  finish the regular season 19-12 and 9-11 in B1G play. They rank Ohio State as the 35th best team in the country and #8 in the B1G. Their chance to make the NCAA’s is 34%. 


Up Next

The Buckeyes visit East Lansing for a Sunday afternoon 1:00 PM (Eastern Time) game vs the Spartans. In previous meeting this season, January 5th, Michigan State won 86-77 in Columbus. You can watch the game on CBS or listen to it on 97.1 The Fan. Or both.

The Spartans (20-5, 11-3) average 82 points per game while allowing 67 ppg.  They average 42 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 73 and allowing 65 points per game. Ohio State averages 35 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game.

Michigan State has three players that average double figures scoring per game. They are 6’1″ G Cassius Winston (18.6), 6’9″ F Nick Ward (15.5) and 6’5″ G Joshua Langford (15.0). F Kenny Goins averages 8.9 rebounds per game and Winston averages 7.4 assists per game.  

Teamrankings.com gives Ohio State an 11% to beat Michigan State. This game could get ugly in a hurry.