Basketball Preview: Ohio State Hosts Eastern Illinois in Final Warmup Before Maui Invitational

Ohio State has another warmup on the docket earlier than heading to Maui for an actual check subsequent week.


Eastern Illinois (0–3)

Schottenstein Center

7 p.m


After dominant wins over Robert Morris and Charleston Southern to open the 2022-23 season, the Buckeyes host an 0-3 Eastern Illinois crew at 7 pm on the Schottenstein Center Wednesday. Ohio State has the 345th-ranked power of schedule in the nation by way of two video games, per KenPom, and Wednesday’s contest will not assist enhance that determine. The Panthers are sitting at No. 354 in KenPom’s adjusted effectivity margin, which makes them one of many 10 worst groups in the nation.

But throughout a season in which groups like Syracuse, Louisville and TCU have all dropped purchase video games in opposition to mid-majors, Chris Holtmann has made it a degree to emphasise that each sport should be taken critically.

“Getting prepared, clearly, for our subsequent sport versus Eastern Illinois. Had an opportunity to observe them fairly a bit. They play some frequent opponents,” Holtmann stated Tuesday. “They performed rather well in their opener in opposition to Illinois, it was aggressive for many of the sport. Got a very robust, defensive-minded group and notably in the backcourt. They flip folks over at a very excessive charge, which is – as we talked about after the final sport – is one thing we proceed to work on with this group. So trying ahead to tomorrow evening.”

The Fighting Illini blew the Panthers out by 30 in their season opener, and that’ll be the usual by which Ohio State is measured, no less than so far as the oddsmakers are involved.

In Eastern Illinois’ second sport of the season, it suffered a five-point loss to Illinois State, which longtime Ohio State assistant Ryan Pedon now coaches. Holtmann stated he spoke to his former right-hand man in regards to the Buckeyes’ opponent, which served as the primary crew Pedon notched a win over as a school head coach.

The remaining rating should not be as shut in Wednesday evening’s matchup because it was for Pedon and firm, although, and Holtmann stated Ohio State nonetheless has loads of stripes to earn because it finds its identification early in the season.

“I’m sure our guys perceive we now have loads to show, and tomorrow’s one other alternative,” Holtmann stated.

What to Watch For

Bad capturing by Panthers

Frankly, Eastern Illinois displayed one of many worst offenses in the nation by way of three video games. KenPom lists the Panthers because the fifth-least environment friendly crew in the nation in the case of adjusted offense. Eastern Illinois has the 344th-ranked scoring offense in the nation, with 55.3 factors per sport, and it is pulling down simply 33.1% of its subject targets (No. 346). From 3-point vary, the Panthers’ 22% clip is just a little bit higher in phrases of the nationwide rankings, however not by a lot because it comes in at No. 336

Brown nonetheless sidelined

Ohio State shall be with out third-year wing Eugene Brown III for the third straight sport to open the season, because the returning upperclassman remains to be working his means by way of the concussion protocol. The Buckeyes could not want Brown to get a win over Eastern Illinois, however would certain prefer to have him prepared for the Buckeyes’ journey to Maui on the finish of the week.

Three Important Buckeyes

Zed Key

The beginning Buckeye huge man is contemporary off among the finest performances of his profession, as Key turned the primary participant in three years to have a double-double by halftime of any single sport. With 17 factors and 13 boards in opposition to Charleston Southern, Key joined Buckeye greats Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger and Keita Bates-Diop as the one Ohio State gamers since 2004 to report double-doubles in back-to-back video games to open a season. Against Eastern Illinois, Key ought to have loads of alternative to maintain that momentum going in the early non-conference schedule.

Brice Sensabaugh

Two video games into the 2022-23 season, true freshman Brice Sensabaugh is the main scorer (15.5 factors per sport) for the Buckeyes. That’s an attention-grabbing growth, provided that hypothesis surrounding who Ohio State’s go-to scorer shall be is more likely to comply with it a lot additional into the yr. So far, although, Sensabaugh has proven he has little hassle placing the ball in the online, even when his two huge scoring days have come in opposition to subpar competitors. That will not change on Wednesday.

Bruce Thornton

Thornton is the one true freshman with a beginning function for the Buckeyes by way of two video games, however he has not matched the offensive success of Sensbaugh or Roddy Gayle early on. While Sensabaugh leads the Buckeyes in scoring and Gayle has been profitable coming off the bench to place up eight factors per sport, Thornton is averaging simply 5.5 factors and three.0 assists per sport in his first two video games. Thornton ought to solely get extra snug because the season continues, however he actually hasn’t hit an actual groove up to now.

Three Important Panthers

Kinyon Hodges






2021-22 Stats





7.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG





12.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG





4.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG





5.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG





3.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG

The lone Panther averaging double-digit factors this season, Kinyon Hodges is in his first season at Eastern Illinois after three years at Three Rivers Community College in Missouri. A 6-foot-2 guard, Hodges has put up no less than 10 factors in three video games this season, and 14 apiece in opposition to Illinois and Illinois State. Hodges can also be pulling down 50% of his 3-point makes an attempt up to now this season.

Yaakema Rose

In his fourth cease throughout yr six of his school basketball tenure, Yaakema Rose has been Eastern Illinois’ second-leading scorer with a mean of seven.7 factors by way of the primary three video games. Despite being simply 5-foot-9, the Illinois native was one in all two Panthers to hit no less than 10 factors in opposition to the Fighting Illini in the season opener. Rose has struggled to shoot the ball constantly, hitting simply 35.7% of his pictures, and he has but to knock down a 3-pointer.

Sincere Malone

Eastern Illinois does have some dimension to throw at Ohio State, with three gamers standing no less than 6-foot-8, and Sincere Malone is the most efficient of the bunch up to now. Malone hardly has stellar numbers, however his 5.0 factors per sport make him the third-leading scorer on the crew up to now, regardless of capturing simply 27.8% from the sector. Malone cracked the beginning lineup for the primary time this season in Eastern Illinois’ most up-to-date sport and appears possible to take action once more versus the Buckeyes.

How It Plays Out

Line: OSU -30, O/U: 132.5

Eastern Illinois does not have practically sufficient offense to maintain up with an Ohio State crew that ranks 18th in the nation in adjusted offensive effectivity, per KenPom. We ought to see a 3rd straight show of dominance in Columbus on Wednesday.

Prediction: Ohio State 84, Eastern Illinois 55

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