Hoops Preview: Buckeyes Back Home For Matchup Vs Penn State

The No. 16 Buckeyes (10-4, 4-2) host Penn State (8-6, 3-3) on Sunday afternoon in Value City Arena. Ohio State is looking to get back on the winning side of things after a frustrating Thursday night loss at Wisconsin. Penn State, meanwhile, has won three of four, with their lone loss being just a 7-point defeat to No. 3 Purdue. The Nittany Lions last played on Tuesday, which was a 66-49 win over Rutgers at home.

Opening Tip

Who: Penn State at Ohio State
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
When: Sunday – 12:00 pm – BTN
Why: Because it’s time for a new winning streak.
Line: Wisconsin -3, O/U 139

The Buckeyes​

Buckeye Game Notes​

  • Ohio State returns home to start a three-game home stand on Sunday by hosting Big Ten rival Penn State. Ohio State officially leads the all-time series with Penn State 39-18, and that includes a 20-5 mark here in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won five of the last six meetings in Columbus dating back to 2015. The Buckeyes won the first meeting this season 76-64 on Dec. 5 in State College in the conference opener for each team. Jamari Wheeler was great in his first game against his former team with nine points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. Kyle Young was a career-best 4-of-4 from long range and led the team with 16 points. Ohio State is looking to sweep the season series with the Nittany Lions for the second consecutive season.
  • Freshman Malaki Branham has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week each of the last two weeks. He has scored in double figures each of the last four games after hitting the 10-point mark just once in the first 10 games. The 35 points Branham scored this season against Nebraska are the most by an OSU freshman in a Big Ten game and second only to Jared Sullinger who scored 40 vs. IUPUI as a freshman in 2010. The 35 points also tie Keita Bates-Diop for the most by any OSU player in a Big Ten game since 2000.
  • E.J. Liddell has been one of the best players in the country this season. He is averaging 19.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 2.6 assists per game. He has been in double-figures in every game and has posted six 20-point games. He has blocked multiple shots in a game 10 times and has also dished-out three or more assists in a game seven times. He is fourth in the conference in points per game (19.9). He is second in the conference and 20th nationally in blocked shots per game at 3.1

The Penn State Nittany Lions

What You Need To Know​

  • The average age of Penn State’s 15-man roster on the official Nov. 9 start date of the 2021-22 college basketball season (Penn State opened on Nov. 10) was 21.61 years old. Penn State is believed to be the sixth-oldest Division I team in the country this season, oldest Power 5 team, and oldest team in the Big Ten.
  • Team Avg. Age on Nov. 9
    Eastern Kentucky … 22.02
    Drake … 21.82
    Chattanooga … 21.69
    Buffalo … 21.67
    Richmond … 21.63
    Penn State … 21.61
    Cincinnati … 21.56
    Ohio State … 21.54
    Miami … 21.38
    Seton Hall … 21.33
  • First-year head coach Micah Shrewsberry has the Nittany Lions at 3-3 in Big Ten play through the first six conference games of the season. The 2021-22 season is Penn State’s 30th year in the Big Ten, and this is just the ninth time the Nittany Lions have started .500 or better through the first six league games. The Nittany Lions have gone on to make the national postseason in six of the previous eight times that Penn State has started .500 or better through the first six games of conference play (2 NCAA, 4 NIT including two NIT Championships).
  • Penn State’s defense has held eight of its last 11 opponents at least 10 points under their season scoring averages entering the game.
  • Team Season Avg. …vs… PSU
    Rutgers 70.4 … 49 (-21.4)
    3 Purdue 85.9 … 74 (-11.9)
    Indiana 77.2 … 58 (-19.2)
    Wagner 69.0 … 54 (-15)
    Miami 73.3 … 63 (-10.3)
    Oregon State 69.2 … 45 (-24.2)
    LSU 85.4 … 68 (OT) (-17.4)
    Cornell 87.8 … 74 (-13.8)
  • Tuesday’s game against Rutgers was Penn State’s 14th game of the season and the first time head coach Micah Shrewsberry had his entire roster available. Starter Greg Lee missed the first nine games of the season with an injury and has since returned to make a large impact, averaging 6.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. His six rebounds per game ranks second on the team. Junior college transfer Jevonnie Scott saw his first action of the season Tuesday against Rutgers after working his way back into form after clearing NCAA transfer red tape. Scott provides key big-man depth.
  • Senior transfer Jalen Pickett is the only Big Ten player averaging at least 17.5 points and 4.2 assists per conference game thus far this season. Pickett owns the only points/assists double-double in a Big Ten game this season after registering 21 points and 10 assists against #3 Purdue Saturday. The guard is averaging 17.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per Big Ten contest while shooting 45.7 percent from the field. Pickett came to PSU after three seasons at Siena, where he earned MAAC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore in 2019-20 and MAAC Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman in 2018-19. The Rochester, N.Y. native was a three-time first-team All-MAAC selection with the Saints.