Feb 8, 2014; Iowa City, IA, USA; Michigan Wolverine guard Nik Stauskas (11) fouls Iowa Hawkeyes guard-forward Aaron White (30) during the game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa defeated Michigan 85-67. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball: Michigan at Ohio State -- Preview

GBMWolverine Basketball TidbitsPosted at 7:30am — 2/11/2014

Michigan Basketball: Michigan at Ohio State — Preview

Nuts are Rolling

Two weeks ago, Ohio State’s basketball team was like an old wooden vessel of antiquity floating through the doldrums and horse latitudes. The ship was not sinking but little motion was evident. Now, as is common in Big Ten basketball, things have changed and plenty of air is in Ohio State’s sails. Ohio State is one of the teams that gets an advantage with the schedule playing Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin once. Columbus folks would interpret this as being in Michigan’s favor.

Feb 9, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye plays up to the camera during a timeout in the game against the Penn State Lady Lions at the Schottenstein Center. Penn State won the game 74-54. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

But in the glee, Ohio State lost games to Minnesota, Penn State, and Nebraska. Do not feel too sorry for this bunch; much like Michigan last year, Ohio State could finish 4th or 5th in the league and make a big tournament run. Why? Ohio State has tremendous athletic ability and the once sour offense has clearly improved as shots start to fall and critics continue to quite.

Ohio State is not a good match-up for Michigan. There is a big difference in pure athletic ability, a big difference in size, and a defensive, physical style that Michigan is growing to detest. Michigan cannot guard a note-able point man breaking down the defense on top and going to the hoop. Michigan will be hard pressed to even come close in the paint match-up of bigs in rebounding.

Feb 9, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Members of the Ohio State Buckeyes cheerleads dance against the Penn State Lady Lions at the Schottenstein Center. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State will nudge (hip and body) inside guys out a full foot or so by contact. Ohio State will nudge or impede curls. One factor in this game is how the whistles will work. If the result is brutal ball, Michigan is in trouble and may get hammered. Ohio State’s offensive woes have been due to teams that spend energy on defense. These guys are good enough shooters that if invited to put up wide open shots, they will fall enough to be problematical. Ohio State can resort to bad shot selection if a defense can make life miserable for more than 25 seconds.

Michigan knows that Ohio State relies on an extended defense out past the three point line to score easy points on turnovers. Michigan must not get trapped and have the offense looking for desperation bail out passes under pressure like at Iowa. Look for Ohio State to play a similar defensive style.

Michigan has made a habit of identifying an opponent’s top scorer and making their night a grand event. There are many OSU candidates who would love to ascend that mountain, including Ross, Craft, Williams, and Smith.

OSU loves the slug it out, ugly style and is at home. Ohio State will run if invited by opponent weakness. Michigan needs to make big improvements or the result will be again ugly. The faithful will be waiting for the banquet.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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