The undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes are yet to face an opponent ranked among the NCAA’s top 300 basketball teams this season.
The No. 17 Aztecs have already beaten Stanford and BYU this season. Are the Buckeyes ready for tough opponents?
Maui Jim Maui Invitational – Round 1: Ohio State University Buckeyes (3-0, 0-0 BIG 10) vs. San Diego State University Aztecs (3-0, 0-0 MW)
IF: Monday, November 21 – 4pm HST / 6pm PST / 9pm EST
WHERE: Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, HI (2,400)
LIVE BROADCAST: fuboTV (watch for free)
RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / iHeart Radio App
SERIAL RECORDING: This is the fourth duel between the Aztecs and the Buckeyes. SDSU maintains a 2-1 streak lead and a 2-game winning streak.
LAST MEETING: SDSU defeated the Buckeyes on November 24, 2003 in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Maui Invitational 83-61
WEB PAGES: GoAztecs.com, the official San Diego State athletics website; OhioStateBuckeyes.com, the official Ohio State athletics website.
OPPORTUNITIES: Aztec -2.5
ABOUT UNDER: +136
Maui, HI The Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) will play for an upset when they take on the #17 San Diego State Aztecs (3-0, 0-0 MW) at the 2022 Maui Jim Invitational Monday night. The Buckeyes emerge as a 31-point favorite in a 65-43 win over Eastern Illinois. The Aztecs emerge 4.5-point favorites with a 74-62 win over Stanford.
All eyes will be on the Aztecs as the favorite team on Monday. Ohio State has a chance to prove if the defense that held eastern Illinois at 25% shooting and 43 points last Wednesday is legitimate.
Horse chestnuts seek a respectable victory
Ohio State averages 79.3 points per game. They scored 65 points in their last game and made 40.4 percent of their field goals and 28.6 percent of their three-pointers against Eastern Illinois.
In this match Brice Sensabaugh led the Buckeyes with 20 points and four boards. zed key finished with 10 points and 14 boards double-double while Roddy Gayle Jr. eight points and three assists.
Ohio State has looked great defensively against their recent competition, dropping just 50.7 points per game. They dropped 43 points in their last game and will need a similar effort if they want to win this game.
Notably, however, Eastern Illinois ranks 351st and SDSU ranks 17th.
head coach Chris Holtman brought new talent to Ohio State University this summer, building on their March Madness Tournament second-round performance. Holtmann added transfers Tanner Holden, Sean McNeil and Isaac Likekele. Holden is a diamond in the rough. McNeil was strong for West Virginia at Morgantown. He produces behind the arch. Likekele hails from Oklahoma State University and was a top rim guard in the Big-12. Junior forward Key rounds out the front seat.
Senior in sixth year Justice sued reportedly dropped out with abdominal pain.
The Buckeyes are currently the No. 42 defense in the country after finishing 111th last year. Considering they’ve only competed against teams outside of the top 300 this season, it’s unclear if that ranking is solid. Still, Ohio State dominates the glass, averaging 49 boards per game.
Aztecs want to remain undefeated
SDSU has played well so far, winning their first three games – each against solid rivals. They will try to match their record perfectly with a win over the Buckeyes. The Aztecs average 78.7 points per game. They scored 74 points in their last game, made 51 percent of their field goals and 38.1 percent of their three-pointers. San Diego State played extremely well defensively, yielding 64.7 points per game. They gave up 62 points in their last game and need to keep going if they want to win.
The Aztecs have battle-hardened veterans. They have four of five starters from their appearance at the 2022 NCAA tournament. Seattle University star and transfer Darrion Trammel comes into the starting lineup after two seasons averaging 17+ points per game for the Redhawks. Trammell is a versatile Warden who plays much larger than his stature. The Senior heavily attacks the Aztec’s defenses by addressing enemy guards. With his agility, his intense pressure and his quick movements, he makes even the most stable holds swing.
Two-Way Guard Matt Bradleyhas been placed on the preseason watch list for Jerry West Prize, which recognizes the best shooting guards in the country. The 6ft 4 guard can be seen stopping defenders from dribbling and finishing on the edge. Bradley’s skills combined with his experience make him one of the more dynamic two-way guards … in the nation.
With a wingspan of 7’4″, Nathan Mensah will always bounce and shoot with authority. Mensah is doing well for a player his size. Lamont Butler and Keshad Johnson also be in the starting XI. The Aztecs have enough talent to win three games in Maui.
head coach Brian Hollander and the Aztecs are the dark horse in this tournament as forecasters eye Arizona and Arkansas.
What will happen
The Aztecs excelled at ball handling. The Buckeyes are playing well defensively, but they’ll have a hard time containing the Aztecs. The Buckeyes are cleaning up the boards, but they didn’t handle the ball carefully. The Aztecs are averaging over 12 steals per game against tough opponents, and that’s becoming a problem for the Buckeyes. The Aztecs are also keeping opponents under 65 points per game, so the Buckeyes will have a hard time scoring.
The Aztecs were to ensure victory.
Bottom Line: Horse Chestnuts 64, Aztecs 76
Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire