Preview: Butler Bulldogs vs Ohio State Buckeyes
Sunday, November 26 at 3:30 ET
Butler found their way to the consolation side of their PK80 bracket after a tough loss to Texas and a close win against Portland State on Black Friday. Now they will go up against Ohio State and a familiar face in former Butler head coach Chris Holtmann in their final game of the tournament.
Holtmann, in recent interviews, has commented on the matchup with his former team, saying that playing Bulter is not ideal and that it will difficult to keep his composure; now both Ohio State’s team, and their coach, will be challenged on Sunday.
Ohio State lost in the first round of the PK80 tournament to Gonzaga, and followed up with a win against Stanford to put them in this matchup with Butler. The Buckeyes’ leading scorer, Keita Bates-Diop (averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game) was shut down by Gonzaga, but came back strong in the matchup against Stanford with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Kelan Martin will likely be charged with stopping Bates-Diop, the 6’7” junior.
Also off to a strong start for the Buckeyes is senior guard Jae’Sean Tate. Standing at just 6’4” but 230 pounds, Tate does most of his work finishing inside, averaging nearly 15 points per game. Butler’s interior defense should be able to keep him from being a difference maker in the Buckeye offense.
Butler’s offense bounced back in the narrow victory against Portland State on Friday, scoring a solid 71 points. Kelan Martin continued to struggle from deep, going 0-5 in the contest but scoring 16 points. Tyler Wideman lead Butler in scoring 18 points on 9-10 shooting in just 25
Look for Butler to try to move the ball a lot on offense in this game, especially into their post players. Part of Butler’s’ offensive struggles have been due to their lack of ball movement, assisting on less than half of their made baskets on the season. This should be a tough game for the Bulldogs, but good opportunity to turn it around and a great win to have under your belt come March.
Players to Watch-
Tyler Wideman was filling it up for the Bulldogs against Portland State, leading the team in points and rebounds. Look for Butler to feed it into the post and let Wideman go to work. He should be the key to Butler’s defensive scheme as well, when it comes to stopping Bates-Diop and Tate.
C.J. Jackson is the junior point guard for the Buckeyes and does a little bit of everything. Averaging 13 points, four rebounds and four assists per game, Jackson can shoot it and can take the ball into the lane. In their last game against Stanford, Jackson scored an impressive 23 points. Keep an eye on Jackson in this matchup.
Photo credit: The Butler Collegian