Greetings Hoops Fans, this is Dave Horning for Hoops on Lane Fan Podcast, with a preview of the upcoming game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Butler Bulldogs to be played on Sunday, November 26 at 3:00pm Columbus Time and televised on ESPN2 – the final game for both teams in the Phil Knight 80th Birthday Classic – the PK80 Tournament – being played in Portland Oregon.
This is not a game that Buckeye New Coach Chris Holtmann is looking forward to playing. Last year, Chris Holtmann coached the Butler Bulldogs to a second place finish in the Big East Conference and a berth in the NCAA Tournament where they advanced to the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual NCAA Champion North Carolina. When Coach Holtmann accepted Ohio State’s offer to replace Thad Matta, Butler hired former Butler player LaVall Jordan to be its new head coach.
Speaking after Ohio State’s victory over Stanford, when asked about playing against Butler, Buckeye Coach Holtmann said “You know, It’s not ideal. It’s not ideal.” “”Our coaching staff has a lot of affection for those players and certainly for that community. It’s certainly not ideal, not how we would have drawn it up.”
When Coach Holtmann left Butler, he brought his assistant coaches and Top 100 Recruit Kyle Young with him.
Still, when si.com ranked all 351 Division 1 Basketball teams in the preseason, they ranked Butler at Number 37 – ahead of Missouri, Oklahama and Wisconsin, and far ahead of Ohio State who was ranked Number 77. The Las Vegas oddsmakers have Butler as a slight favorite in Sunday’s game – by 1.5 points.
The Butler Bulldogs will feature two returning starters from last year’s team plus their leading scorer and top player, Kelan Martin, who was technically their 6th man last year. The Bulldogs will feature two forwards and three guards in their starting lineup.
Number 30 Kelan Martin is a 6-7 Senior Forward and a Preseason First Team All Big East selection. Watch for Number 30 – the Bulldogs leading scorer – but he has made only 9 of 41 3-point shots so far this year – let’s hope he doesn’t heat up against Ohio State on Sunday.
Other Starters from last year’s team include:
Number 4 – 6-8 Senior Forward Tyler Wideman, and
Number 3 – 6-1 Sophomoe Guard Kamar Baldwin
Number 22 – 6-6 Sophomore Guard Sean McDermott has started every game this year, while the following two players have shared starts:
Number 5 – 6-2 Junior Guard Paul Jorgensen, and
Number 2 – 6-2 Freshman Guard Aaron Thompson
Also, look for their only Center, Number 51 – 6-10 Junior Nate Fowler to play
As for the Buckeyes, I’m unsure who will be starting – but the following three have started all games so far this year:
Number 1 – 6-4 Senior Jae’Sean Tate at Small Forward,
Number 33 – 6-7 Power Forward Keita Bates Diop, and
Number 3 – 6-1 Junior Point Guard CJ Jackson,
and then, at Center, either
Number 0 6-9 Sophomore Micah Potter or Number 34 6-9 Freshman Kaleb Wesson,
and at Shooting Guard, either
Number 2 6-5 Freshman Mussa Jallow or Number 13 6-2 Graduate Student Andrew Dakich who played well in Friday’s victory over Stanford.
The following Buckeyes will also see a lot of playing time:
Number 15 6-2 Senior Shooting Guard Kam Williams,
Number 25 6-8 Freshman Forward Kyle Young, and
Number 24 6-6 Sophomore Forward Andre Wesson.
Let’s hope Coach Holtmann’s knowledge of his former Butler Bulldog players will give Ohio State the edge on Sunday.
This is Dave Horning for Hoops on Lane Fan Podcast.