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Men’s basketball: Ohio State battles Stanford at PK80 after suffering first loss of season

Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) dunks the ball during the second half of a game against Texas Southern at the Schottenstein Center on Nov. 16. Credit: Nick Clarkson | Social Media Editor

The Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1) go back to the court in Portland, Oregon, against the Stanford Cardinal (3-3) in the PK80 Invitational Friday night at 9 p.m. Chris Holtmann had his first loss as the Buckeyes’ head coach Thursday night in an 86-59 loss against No. 17 Gonzaga, while the Cardinal were dominated by No. 7 Florida, 108-87.

Here’s a rundown of the Buckeyes’ matchup with Stanford at the Moda Center.

Projected Starters

Stanford:

G – Daejon Davis – Freshman, 6-foot-3, 175 lbs., 7.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.8 apg

G – Isaac White – Freshman, 6-foot-1, 185 lbs., 11.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.3 apg

F – Oscar da Silva – Freshman, 6-foot-9, 210 lbs., 7.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.5 apg

F – Reid Travis – Redshirt junior, 6-foot-8, 245 lbs, 21.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.2 apg

F – Michael Humphrey – Senior, 6-foot-9, 245 lbs., 11.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.7 apg

Ohio State:

G – C.J. Jackson – Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.8 apg

G – Musa Jallow – Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 7.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.8 apg

F – Jae’Sean Tate – Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.2 apg

F – Keita Bates-Diop – Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 16.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 0.6 apg

F – Kaleb Wesson – Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 11.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.4 apg

Scouting Stanford

Ohio State was exposed inside against Gonzaga on Thursday. The Bulldogs were taller at every position matched up against the Buckeyes and much will be the same in the frontcourt versus Stanford.

Forwards Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey are the two most experienced members of a young Cardinal team. They attack the glass almost every possession, but can also stretch the floor. Humphrey and Travis each attempt more than two 3s per game.

Ohio State forward Jae’Sean Tate often subdues any physical disparities with his aggressive play on the glass and in the post, but where the Buckeyes will have to play sound defense is when 7-footer Josh Sharma (4.5 ppg) enters off the bench. Sharma played 20 minutes against Florida and scored nine points while grabbing six rebounds.

If sophomore center Micah Potter’s ankle injury holds him out for a second straight game, freshman Kaleb Wesson will have to play extended minutes against a big lineup.

Stanford is without senior guard Dorian Pickens, who is nursing a foot injury, which forced head coach Jerod Haase to start three freshmen. Pickens is averaging 10.5 points in two games.

The Cardinal had the 13th-best 2017 recruiting class, according to 247Sports, but they’re an inexperienced group. Against Florida, Stanford struggled to get back in transition and defend the 3-point line. Florida shot 65 percent in the first half and made 15-of-22 3-point shots versus the Cardinal.

Like Ohio State, Stanford is often overmatched against top teams. But unlike Ohio State, the Cardinal have a bad loss on its resume to Eastern Washington.

In that game, the Cardinal shot 34 percent and were 2-of-16 from the 3-point line.

Stanford is ranked No. 77 and Ohio State is No. 74, according to KenPom statistical ratings.

Where the game is won

Ohio State and Stanford have both struggled turning the ball over so far this season. Both the Buckeyes and Cardinal were gouged in transition by their first opponent in the PK80 Invitational, which makes that an area that can decide the game Friday night.

Stanford turned the ball over 18 times versus Florida. Ohio State had 15 turnovers against Gonzaga. The Gators converted those into 32 points and the Bulldogs scored 17 off turnovers.

Florida and Gonzaga were faster and more athletic than the opposition and it showed when the two teams were running down the floor. Ohio State and Stanford are both relatively young teams and will likely improve in transition defense as the season wears on, but that’s an area Holtmann has prided himself on in coaching the Buckeyes. It could be the deciding factor Friday.

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