Ds Scholarship

On the NCAA Tournament matchup with Loyola and football scholarship numbers – The Athletic

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State basketball team kicks off the NCAA Tournament play this week with a Friday game against Loyola-Chicago in Pittsburgh (12:15 pm, CBS). Meanwhile, the football team will be back on the field, continuing spring practices, next week. You have questions about each. Let’s get to them.

It feels like the hoops team’s struggles defensively recently had more to do with losing individual matchups. Not to say this team is schematically good on defense but is there some hope that maybe Loyola doesn’t have the athletes/individual scorers to exploit Ohio State’s defensive woes? Ohio State can’t individually guard the ball, but I am not sure Loyola has the players to consistently drive by Ohio State like other teams have done. — Matthew G.

You’re right in that much of OSU’s defensive struggles start with the inability to guard the ball, but the Buckeyes also have lapses in help and team defense that have led to breakdowns. For the second straight year, this is one of the worst ball-screen defenses in the country. Right now, their ability to switch and be versatile is negatively impacted by the absences of Kyle Young, Justice Sueing and Seth Towns. That’s why Young’s status is so important — there’s been no official word on whether he’ll play as of Tuesday night.

Loyola, meanwhile, is No. 21 in the country in points per possession scored out of ball-screen sets, per Synergy. It’s a deliberate offense, to be sure. This will likely be a low-possession game given each team’s preferred pace. But if OSU is without Young, this feels like a tall defensive task based on styles even if the Ramblers don’t appear to be an overwhelming offensive team on paper — they’re No.


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