There was a Q&A with the Buckeye Blog Eleven Warriors. Check it out.
Tip Time: Around 9:45
Announcers: Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery with Lesley Visser
Spread check: OSU -7.5
Coach: Mick Cronin 113-87
Vs Ohio State: 4-5
Vs Ohio State in NCAA Tournament: 2-0
NCAA Touranment Record: 43-24
G: Sean Kilpatrick - The sophomore guard is playing 35 minutes a game, but it's been more like 38 minutes a game lately, with 14.2 points per. He's using 20.5% of the Bearcat possessions with a 115.3 offensive rating. That was 12th in the BE. Kilpatrick hit 42.6% from the field while making the 10th most FGs in the BE and attempting the 12th most. He made and attempted the most 3s in the league, 30th and 24th nationally, as he went 89-237, 37.6%. That percentage was 4th in the conference. Kilpatrick doesn't get to the line much, 20.9 rate (20.9 FTs for every 100 FGAs.) Kilpatrick is a good foul shooter at 75% though. SK pulls in 4.7 rebounds per game. He gets 4.5% of all the available offensive rebounds and 10.8% of the defensive. He has 76 assists to 53 turnovers for a 1.4 A/T ratio. Kilpatrick has 49 steals and 12 blocks. He a quiet 8 point game against Texas before bringing the thunder for 18 against Florida State. He is pulling in 5 boards a game in the tournament, with 3 assists and 2 steals. He's hit 5-9 from 3 in the big dance.
G: Dion Dixon - The senior guard from Chicago is playing 34 minutes a game with 13.1 points per. He's using 23.1% of the UC possessions with a 101.4 offensive rating. Dixon is 13th in the BE in FGs attempted with 419. He's hitting 37.2% overall. He's 46-175, 26.3% from 3. He's 10th in 3s attempted. Dixon gets to the line a 39.1 rate. He's hitting 70%. Dixon is 7th and 6th in the BE in FTs made and attempted. Dixon is pulling down 3.4 boards a game. He's getting 5.8% of the offensive boards and 5.4% of the defensive. Dixon has 75 assists to 65 turnovers for a 1.2 A/T ratio. Dixon is 66th nationally and 8th in the BE with 59 steals. His 1.6 a game and 3 steal pct rank 10th and 16th in the BE. Dixon has blocked 17 shots this season. He's scored 13.5 a game in the tournament, 15 against FSU, but on 9-23 shooting. he's 1-7 from 3. He only has 1 assist per game against 3 turnovers per. Not great. He had 3 gigantic steals against FSU. He's hit 8-10 at the foul line. No one has played more games in a Cincinnati uniform than Dion Dixon.
G: Cashmere Wright - The junior point guard is playing 31 minutes a game with 10.7 points per. He's using 21.9% of the UC possessions with a 104.7 offensive rating. Wright is 40.6% from the field. He's 36% from 3. He was 12th in the BE in 3s made. Wright is flat out not getting to the line. He has a 17.3 rate. He was 40-61 at the line, 66%. Those are the fewest attempts of his career in the most games he's ever played. Wright is getting 3.8 rebounds a game. He's pulling in 2.6% of the offensive rebounds and 11.3% of the defensive. Cash has 166 assists, 8th BE, to 80 turnovers for a 2.1 A/T ratio, 5th BE. Wright is a hell of a defender. He has 74 steals, 15th NCAA, 4th BE. His 2.1 a game rank 32 and 4 and his 4.1 steal pct is 39 and 6. He showed off his steal prowess big time on Sunday by getting 5 steals against FSU. Wright is putting up 8 points a game, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals a game. He has just 3 turnovers. He's playing some great ball.
G: JaQuon Parker - Parker is playing 26 minutes a game, more like 32 in the tournament, with 9.3 points. He's using 19.5% of the Bearcat possessions with a 109.7 offensive rating. Parker is hitting at 41.7% from the floor. He's a pretty good 3 shooter at 37.9%. Parker has an ok FT rate, 35.5, and is hitting an ok 69%. Parker is pulling home 5.6 rebounds a game. He's pulling in 7.5% of the offensive rebounds and 16.5% of the defensive. That's pretty good for a 6-3 guard. Park has 36 assists to 28 turnovers for a 1.3 A/T ratio. Parker has 16 steals. He's blocked 2 shots. He's averaging 11 a game in the tournament. He's shooting a bit too much, 8-23, 1-6 from 3. Parker is killing it on the class. He's averaging 8.5 boards. He had 11 against FSU. He has 7 assists against 3 turnovers. He plays his balls off no matter where he is or who he's guarding. Give 'em hell, Park.
C: Yancy Gates - The senior is playing 32 minutes a game with 12.4 points. Gates is using 21.2% of the UC possessions with a 107.5 offensive rating. Gates is hitting 47.5% from the field, a career low. He's hit 60% at the foul line though, a career high. Gates has hit 19-28, 68% since the Marquette game. Gates is pulling home 9.1 boards a game, 45th nationally, 4th BE. He has pulled in 98 offensive rebounds, 45/4, 3.3 a game, 34/6, and 11% of them, 16th. Gates is 8th in the BE in total of defensive rebounds, 174, 67/6 at 5.8 a game and 4th in the BE at 21%. Yancy has 22 assists to 33 turnovers. He has 21 steals. He's blocked 28 shots. Gates has been on a tear lately. He had 16-9, 23-8, 18-7, 9-6, 15-10 and 10-5. The Florida State numbers don't look great, but Yancy played his ass off in that game and made huge free throws. He's 10-19 from the field in the tournament. He has lived up to the challenge all year. He's got a big one tonight.
Bench: Justin Jackson - Jackson is playing 15 minutes a game in the tournament. He's scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting. He's 1-4 at the foul line. Jackson had 4 boards against Texas, then was blanked against Florida State. He had an assist, a steal and 2 blocks against the Noles. He's not played a lot of minutes in the tournament because he's been a fouling machine. He's a fouling machine in the regular season, but more so now. He's been called with 8 in just 29 minutes of play. He's kind of killing the bench. I think Jackson has a big day tonight.
Ge'Lawn Guyn - Guyn is playing 6.5 minutes a game. He's 0-1 from the field. He had a steal and an assist against FSU. He's in to buy Cash minutes when Dixon is running the point and guard. He does that.
Cheikh Mbodj - Justin Jackson's foul problems have gotten big 13 more minutes. He's played 9 in both games so far. He's 1-1, 2 points. He pulled down 3 boards against Texas, none against FSU. In fact, he did nothing against FSU statistically except turn the ball over and commit 2 fouls. He does offer size and a different defensive look for UC.
Jermaine Sanders - Sanders has been the surprise of the tournament. After not playing a second in the BET, he's played 11 and 5. He's scored 2 points in both games. He's pulled down a board in both. He blocked a dunk against FSU. He has committed 3 turnovers. I like seeing him get minutes.
Coach: Thad Matta 219-64
NCAA Tournament: 43-22
G: William Buford: The 75th year senior guard is playing 34 minutes a game with 14.7 points. Buford played all 40 against Gonzaga, he's going to play all 40 tonight. He uses 23.1% of the OSU possessions with a 106.6 offensive rating. Buford is a good shooter, but hit a career low 42.5% from the field. It wasn't for lack of trying, he was 6th in the B10 in shots made and 4th (37th in the nation) in shots attempted at 459. Buford shot a career low from 3, going 57-161, 35.4%. His career low is still pretty good. He was 11th in the B10 in 3s made and attempted. Buford doesn't get to the line much, 21.7 rate. He is a good foul shooter at 83-100. Do the math. Buford pulls in 4.8 boards a game. He gets 2.7% of the offensive rebounds. He's a very good defensive rebounder. His 4 a game ranked 8th in the B10. He pulled in 14.2% of them. Buford has 100 assists to 76 turnovers for a 1.3 A/T ratio. William has 29 steals and 9 blocks. He's 13th in the nation in plus/minus at 390. Buford has struggled lately. He's shot under 41% in 7 of the last 10 games. Of course, one of those 3 was 25 point game where Buford put OSU on his back against Michigan State.
G: Aaron Craft - The sophomore point guard is playing 32 minutes a game with 8.8 points. Like Buford, he's playing all 40. Craft uses 16.8% of possessions with a 113.3 offensive rating. Craft gets most of his points driving. He was 108-209, 51.7% from the field this year. He was just 20-57, 35.1% from 3. As a result of the penetrating, Craft goes to the foul line a lot. He was 3rd in the B10 in FT rate at 55. He hit 71%. Aaron pulled in 3.3 boards a game, 2.2% of off rebs, 10.1% of d-rebs. Craft had 169 assists (2nd B10) to 76 turnovers for a sparkling 2.2 A/T ratio. That is 61st in the nation. Craft is one of the best on ball defenders in America. He had 88 steals, 4th in the NCAA. He set the OSU record for steals in a season. His 2.4 steals per game was 12, as was his 4.6 steal pct. Craft doesn't look for his shot enough, but when he does, he adds an element. He is coming off a 17-10 assist game against Gonzaga. He took 6 FTs in the first game. He's had 3 steals in 4 straight games. Be ready, Cashmere.
G: Lenzelle Smith Jr - The sophomore guard is playing 25 minutes a game with 6.1 points per. He's using 15% of the OSU possessions with a 109.2 offensive rating. Smith is 46% fromthe field. He hit 34% from 3. He has only attempted 163 shots this season. He's a very poor foul shoote at 59%. Smith is a very good rebounder at 4.6 a game. He's getting 6.6% of the offensive rebounds and 15.8% of the defensive. Smith has 73 assists to 45 turnovers for a 1.6 A/T ratio. Smith has 32 steals. He can be a little foul happy, 2 a game. Smith has scored 10 points in the 2 tournament games, but has 13 rebounds. He doesn't do it a lot, but sometimes he will put up a lot of shots. He put up 12 twice and scored 28 and 17 points in those games. He's the least threatening Buckeye, but Dion Dixon is going to have to work on him.
F: Deshaun Thomas - The sophomore is averaging 31 minutes a game, but the last month he's played 40 minutes three times and 39 minutes once. He's playing all 40. Thomas averages 15.9 points a game. He's using 21.8% of the Buckeye possessions with a 124.3 offensive rating. That was 35th nationally and 5th in the B10. Thomas is a great shooter. He was 225-423, 53.2%. He was 16th in the nation in FGs made. He was 2nd, 6th and 7th in the B10 in those categories. Thomas can hit the 3, 46-131,35.1%. He doesn't get to the line a ton, but hits 74.5%. Thomas is pulling in 5.3 boards a game. He's a good offensive rebounder, 92, 2.6 a game (both 2nd in the B10) but pedestrian on the defensive glass at 10.4%. Thomas has just 33 assists to 42 turnovers. He has 14 steals and 8 blocks. Thomas is 11th in the nation in plus minus at 406. He's kind of important. And he's been scorching hot. Thomas went for 31-12 in the first round and 18-7 in the second. He's 20-37 and 4-10 from 3 in tournament. The defense the Cats play on him I think will decide the game. Can't let him take 15 shots in this one.
C: Jared Sullinger - The Buckeye All American is playing 30 minutes a game with 17.4 points per. That was 3rd in the B10. Sullinger was 5th in the B10 by using 27.3% of Buckeye possessions and 10th with a 118 offensive rating. Sullinger was 3rd in the B10 with 211 made field goals. He hit 53% from the field. Sullinger can step back from 3 every once in a while. He was 16-36, 44%. He dropped a couple on Gonzaga. Sullinger gets to the line at a 50.7 rate. He's hitting 76% of his free throws. That's pretty good. Sullinger is pulling home 9.1 rebounds a game, 2nd in the B10. He is the top offensive rebounder in the conference in numbers and per game, 102, 3, and 2nd by getting 12% of them. He is 2nd in the B10 in every defensive rebound stat. 209 total, 6.1 per game and 24.4%. The 24.4% is 34th nationally. Not a lot better than him. Sully has 40 assists to 66 turnovers. He has 40 steals and 35 blocks. He ranks 10th in the B10 in blocks. Sullinger was called for 100 fouls, 2.9 a game. That's a part of the reason he plays 30 minutes a game. Sullinger is very important to the Buckeyes. He's 9th in plus minus, 5th in plus minus average. He's had a string of big games in March. He had 22-18, 14-10, 30-12, 24-6, 18-9, 12-11 and 18-4. He's an All American American for a reason.
Bench: Shannon Scott - The freshman guard is playing 11 minutes a game with 1.2 points a game. He's using 16.2% of possessions with a 68.2 offensive rating. It's hard to have a rating so bad. He's 19-67, 28.4% from the field. 1-18 from 3. 2-8 at the foul line. That will do it. He's getting 1.1 boards a game, 1.3% offensive, 10.7% defensive. He has 57 assists to 35 turnovers. 17 steals and 2 blocks defensively. He played heavy duty against Loyola, 20 minutes and 11 against Gonzaga. He's 1-5 from the field. He is not a scoring threat at all. He scored 4 against MSU in the B10 title game. He hadn't scored before that since January.
Sam Thompson - The freshman is playing 11 minutes a game with 2.2 points. He's using 15.9% of the OSU possessions with a 98.2 offensive rating. Thompson is 48.5% from the field. Just 1-14 from 3. He's 12-22 at the foul line. He's pulling in 1.1 boards a game. 10 of his 40 rebounds were offensive. He has 27 assists to 19 turnovers. 6 steals and 14 blocks defensively. Thompson didn't see many minutes in 2 of the last 3 games. He played 13 in the Loyola NCAA opener. He hasn't attempted more than 2 shots in a game since Valentine's Day.
Evan Ravenel - The junior is playing 10 minutes a game with 3.6 points. He's using 19.3% of the OSU possessions with a 103.7 offensive rating. He's hit 54% from the field. All of those are 2s. He's 38-55 from the foul line, 69%. He's pulling in 2.2 boards a game, 9.6% offensive, 16.1% defensive. Ravenel has 9 assists to 28 turnovers. That's not good. He has 10 steals and 8 blocks. Ravenel has played 10.5 minutes a game in the tournament with 2 boards a game. He has 3 points.
Amir Williams - He played 4 minutes against Gonzaga, none against Loyola. If Sullinger is in foul trouble, he might see time. He hasn't scored since the February 21 Illinois blowout.
The two teams previous meetings in the tournament were in NCAA title games. You might not have heard that this week.
This the 50 year anniversary of the 1962 title team.
The Bearcats are 1-1 all time in tournament games in Boston.
UC is 4-3 against the Big 10 in the NCAA tournament. Their last game was a win against Iowa in 2005. Jason Maxiell hit a 3 in that game.
Ohio State is in the Big 10 and the Big 10 has a reputation for playing slow, but the Bearcats actually play slower than the Buckeyes. UC playes 64.9 possessions, OSU 66.7. The style the Bearcats forced on FSU really hurt the Noles. If you saw the first half of the Gonzaga game, you could tell OSU likes to get up a bit.
The Bucks scored 1.12 points per possession offensively, 16th in the nation. The Bearcats scored 1.05. OSU hit 48.2% from the field, 14th. UC hit 42%, 248. Ohio State drops off in effective FG % (counts 3s) and true shooting % (3s and FTs) to 52.5% and 55.8% respectively. UC is at 47.9% and 50.3%. The gap is still wide but not that wide.
That's because Ohio State isn't a good 3 point shooting team. They average 5-15.1 a game from deep, 32.9%. UC is 7-20.6, 33.9%. That is a clear area of the game where the Bearcats have to take advantage. It's a must.
OSU is one of the best teams defensively. They gave up 0.89 ppp, 3rd in the NCAA. UC gave up 0.94, 40th. It's going to be a struggle. OSU opponents hit 40.4%, UC's 41%. The Bearcats effective FG pct, and true shooting pct are both better, 45.9% and 48.7% to 46.1% and 49.4%.
Ohio State gives up 18.6 three attempts a game. Opponents hit 32%. UC gives up 17.3 attempts game. Opponents hit 32%.
OSU doesn't have a great FT rate, 37.1, and they aren't really great at the line, 70.3%. That's 123 nationally, about average. UC is at 64.4%. That's 302. I think that's bad. Neither team gives up a lot of free throws. Ohio State's defense has a rate of 29.1, 33rd best. Cincinnati's is elite at 25.7, 7th best.
Cincinnati gets more offensive rebounds per game, 13.4-11.9. The Buckeyes get 36% of their misses, 49th, compared to 35.9%, 51st, for Cincinnati. The difference comes in defensive rebounding. Cincinnati gets 65.6% of the defensive boards. Ohio State gets 75.2%. That's the 2nd best in the nation. Offensive rebounding is huge for UC. They need to get on the glass.
Both teams take great care of the ball. OSU has a 1.26 A/T ratio, UC 1.23. Both point guards are great with the ball. Cincinnati relies on steals to get turnovers. UC gets 8.1 a game. OSU opponents get under 5.
Cincinnati will be wearing these uniforms