Pick with Analysis
It’s been a funny season for Ohio State, and that’s not a good thing. The Buckeyes lost Four-straight Games in non-Conference play early in the year, but then followed that up with a seven-Game winning streak entering Big Ten play, which includeda win over Kentucky. Needless to say, this team is by no means a lock for the NCAA Tourney.
The same can’t be said about Maryland, who have been methodical in the early going and is living up to the preseason hype of the best team in the Big Ten. The Terps are coming off a loss, but road losses in the Big Ten are normal and shouldn’t be downgraded much in the rankings. They have struggled at times on the road, no doubt, but this Game is at home and Ohio State has been even worse on the road.
The Buckeyes lost last weekend by 25 points to an Indiana team that just lost James Blackmon for the season. They were down by 30 points at halftime and simply didn’t come to play. If that’s the case here, Maryland will run away with the Game much like Indiana did.
The first issue for Ohio State in this Game will be stopping Melo Trimble, Maryland’s leading scorer and one of the best players in the country. Trimble is the main reason the Terrapins are so good as he is clutch down the stretch. Not to mention, Trimble is coming off one of the worst Games of his career (two points) so he’ll be eager to shed that performance. OSU has had a problem guarding good point guards (Yogi Ferrell) and this Game will be no different.
That’s not the only thing the Buckeyes have to worry about. Maryland has loads of size, none bigger than freshman stud Diamond Stone, who dropped 39 points and 12 rebounds a few weeks ago. Considering Stone comes off the bench, the Bucks don’t really have an answer for that.
One of Ohio State’s main issues is consistency and in this environment against a top team, that could shine. They aren’t a good shooting team, meaning they can’t get into a shootout with the Terrapins because they just cannot Scorethat much. The Buckeyes average 71.1 points per Game and win with defense. Stopping Trimble and Stone may be out of the question.
For the Buckeyes to have a chance, they’ll need a big Game from at least two of their players. Freshman JaQuan Lyle is a likely option, but his best Game of the year scoring wise came in the 25-point loss to Indiana. Keita Bates-Diop is usually a matchup problem for opposing defenses, but may draw Maryland’s Jake LAyman, who is a solid defender. Bates-Diop was having a solid season before scoring six points total in two Games last week. And that leaves us at Marc Loving, Ohio State’s leading scorer at 14.7 points per Game. If Loving isn’t on his Game, it will mean trouble for the Bucks.
A win here would be nice for the Buckeyes, but they may have to wait until the end of the month when they host the Terrapins. With how they looked in their last road Game, there’s no reason to back Ohio State in this Game.
Predicted Score- Maryland 76 Ohio State 66