Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast with a preview of the upcoming game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Redhawks of Miami of Ohio to be played at Noon on Saturday, December 30th in Columbus, Ohio at the Schottenstein Center.

The Miami Redhawks are currently ranked Number 127 on the Team Rankings website of all 351 Division 1 Men’s basketball programs, just behind Indiana who is ranked Number 123. This team is NOT a cupcake. The Buckeyes have fallen from Number 44 to Number 59 following the loss to North Carolina last Saturday.

This game against Miami should be a good one. Miami last played on Thursday, December 21st in Chicago against DePaul and lost by the score of 66 to 83. Looking at the box score of that game, the statistic that stood out was the 25 turnovers by the Miami Redhawks. In an earlier win against Fort Wayne, they had 18 turnovers, and yet still won. Look for Ohio State to apply some full court pressure to Miami early and often. In fact, the full court pressure that the Buckeyes applied against North Carolina was effective at the end of the game and helped Ohio State cut the lead. Miami can shoot the 3-point shot effectively, and they also are a strong rebounding team. And, they have a habit of fighting back in the second half when they are down, so let’s hope our Buckeyes will get a lead and not get complacent with this team. Let’s see if our Buckeyes can flash some killer instinct.

The starting Lineup for the Miami Redhawks will be:
Number 11 6-9 Senior Forward Logan McLane
Number 20 6-7 Freshman Forward Dalonte Brown duh-LON-tay
Number 1 6-3 Freshman Guard Nike Sibande NYEkee suh-BAND-dee
Number 3 6-5 Freshman Guard Jalen Adaway, and
Number 12 6-2 Junior Guard Darrian Ringo

Number 11- Forward Logan McLane is their leading rebounder and second leading scorer.
Number 1 – Nike Sibande is their leading scorer.

Miami is coached by Jack Owens in his first year as a Head Coach having previously worked at Purdue as the Associate Head Coach under Head Coach Matt Painter. Coach Owens looks to bring to Miami that Purdue tradition of winning.

For the Buckeyes, the Starting Lineup will likely be known only to Coach Holtmann. Will he start Mussa Jallow again, or return Kam Williams to the starting line-up? Here’s the Buckeyes lineup:
Number 34 – 6-9 Freshman Center Kaleb Wesson
Number 33 – 6-7 Junior Power Forward Keita Bates Diop
Number 3 – 6-1 Junior Shooting Guard or Point Guard CJ Jackson, and
Number 1 – 6-4 Senior Jae’Sean Tate, Point Guard or Small Forward, and either

Number 2 – 6-5 Freshman Guard Mussa Jallow, or
Number 15 – 6-2 Senior Guard Kam Williams

The Buckeyes are coached by Chris Holtmann in his first year at Ohio State.

Coming up next, my discussion of why I’m glad to see Miami of Ohio on our schedule.

New Head Coach Chris Holtmann has fielded many questions about this season’s schedule, and, of course, he had nothing to do with it as it was planned by former coach Thad Matta last year before Holtmann was named as head coach. Earlier this year, on October 4th, Coach Holtmann announced that Ohio State would be playing the University of Cincinnati in a home-and-home series that will start with the 2018-19 season. That’s the year after next. It will be the season opener for both teams. This has added excitement to the Buckeye program and is a major upgrade for the non-conference home schedule.

Other Ohio teams that have had success in the NCAA tournament are Dayton and Xavier. But these schools would also want a home-and-home arrangement, which makes scheduling more that one of these teams a year difficult. By scheduling Miami, Ohio State has been able to bring in a team that should draw a crowd. And, Miami has been willing to play in Columbus as they did in 2014 also without requiring a return game in Oxford. There are enough Miami alumni in Central Ohio to help fill the Schott. To my astonishment, the alumni association of Miami has not tried to tie in any event with this game. Pre-season games against The Citadel and Robert Morris are not going to draw crowds. Miami and other Ohio colleges would be better draws because of their local alumni.

Here are the rankings for all of the Ohio Colleges that play Division 1 Mens Basketball:
2 – Xavier
59 – Ohio State
68 – Dayton
72 – Cincinnati
126 – Miami
143 – Wright State
187 – Toledo
All of the above are ranked higher than Stanford, currently at 204.

Also in Ohio are:
218 – Bowling Green
220 – Ohio University
252 – Akron
277 – Kent State
All of the above are ranked above Appalachian State and The Citadel

And, finally, Cleveland State is ranked at Number 328.

I would like to see Ohio State schedule 3 home games for every away game with these Ohio colleges, other than Cincinnati, Dayton and Xavier who would insist on a home-and-home arrangement.

My goal is to fill up the Schott, and the Ohio colleges will help us do that more so than The Citadel, Texas Southern or Appalachian State.

This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast. Let’s fill up the Schott! See you at the game!