Looking forward to tonight’s game against Ohio State? Plenty of Cuse Country collaborators will be at MSG to “scout the team” (i.e., “drink $9 beers”) and I know they’ll have plenty of insight to share. So just when you thought you’d have nothing to say tomorrow besides “pass the turkey,” we come to the rescue. You can thank us later. Save us some sweet potatoes.
In the meantime, check out this preview of the game over at Nick’s 2 Cents. He’s just a little worried about Kosta Koufos, the Buckeyes’ 7-foot freshman. Koufos is was a McDonalds All-American and has averaged 18 points and 7.5 boards in Ohio State’s first two games. The only Ohio State blog not still obsessing over the Buckeyes’ football victory over Michigan declares that he is “far more advanced at this stage of his freshman year offensively than Greg Oden was at the end of his rookie campaign.” In other words, he can hit the three.
But before we get all freaked out, let’s review a few key points.
1) Big hype? Koufos has demonstrated his devastating prowess with the outside shot by going 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. That means he’s averaging precisely one trey per game. Not exactly a deadly assassin from long range. For comparison, Donte Greene — who is himself nearly 7 feet tall — is averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds. He’s also shooting 42% from downtown on 8-of-19 shooting. So don’t sleep on Koufos, but don’t forget that we’ve got our own weapons.
2) Ball control. We’ve had a little trouble hanging onto the ball so far this year. Well, as it happens, Ohio State is one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to forcing turnovers on a per-possession basis. Assuming we don’t make a lot of unforced mistakes, one of our biggest weaknesses should partially cure itself versus the Buckeyes.
3) Strength of schedule. In a side-by-side comparison, it’s easy to look at SU and OSU and see two pretty evenly matched teams. Just keep in mind that we’ve beaten St. Joseph’s, a team a lot of people expect to win its conference, and Siena, which just knocked off Stanford, one of the better teams in the Pac-10. Meanwhile, Ohio State has beaten Columbia and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. That really puts that Donte Greene-Kosta Koufos comparison in context, eh?