The Ohio State Buckeyes have had an out-of-character season so far this year.
The Buckeyes started the season 2-0 before dropping games to University of Texas-Arlington (73-68), Louisiana Tech (82-74), Memphis (81-76) and then-No. 10 Virginia (64-58). Those were all home games. After beating up on VMI and Air Force, the Scarlet and Gray went to UConn and got shelled. They lost to the Huskies by a final score of 75-55.
Ohio State responded by knocking off No. 4 Kentucky just over a week later. It won five in a row after that game before traveling to play Indiana. The result was the same as when the Buckeyes went to Storrs. Indiana blasted the Buckeyes, 85-60.
Now we know what kind of team we're dealing with. Ohio State is inconsistent and doesn't play well against good teams on the road.
Marc Loving is Ohio State's top scorer, but the more important player for Maryland to watch out for might be freshman guard JaQuan Lyle. Lyle just put up the fifth-ever triple double in Ohio State men's basketball history against Rutgers on Wednesday. He scored 16 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and had 11 assists. He scored 29 points and grabbed eight boards in the blowout loss to Indiana. The guy can really play.
For all of their inconsistency throughout the course of the season, Ohio State tends to play good defense. The Buckeyes allow less than 65 points per game and only three teams have topped 80 against them.
Maryland struggled against Michigan because it turned the ball over a lot early on. Michigan shot well from behind the arc, and Melo Trimble very well might have played the worst game of his Maryland career.
Purdue provided a blueprint for how to beat Michigan. Pound the ball inside and your frontcourt will win the game for you. The Terps failed to make the adjustment until it was too late. That is one of the key reasons that they lost to the Wolverines.
Maryland should go to Diamond Stone early and often in this game. By getting him going, they'll open up the offense and create easier, open looks for Maryland's three-point shooters.
Ohio State beat Maryland by 24 points in Columbus last year. This season, the Terps will be looking to return the favor.
Rankings and records:
Ohio State (12-6, 4-1 Big Ten) is not ranked.
Maryland (15-2, 4-1) is ranked No. 3 in the country.
Line: Maryland opened as a 10.5-point favorite.
How to witness
Date, time and location:
January 16th at 12:00 p.m.
College Park: Xfinity Center.
TV: ESPN2 - Bob Wischusen (Play-by-Play), Dan Dakich (Analyst).
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Chris Knoche (Analyst), Walt Williams (Sideline); Flagships - WJZ-FM (105.7) / WJZ-AM (1300) / ESPN 980 (D.C.) Sirius 83, XM 195, WMUC Sports
Online streaming: WatchESPN