Expert Cappers Picks
Men's College Basketball
Preview
Bucknell at Ohio St.
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 15, 2018
Where: Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

After a 10-day break for final exams, Ohio State eases back into game action at home against non-conference opponent Bucknell on Saturday afternoon. The No. 14 Buckeyes would like to pick up where they left off after opening Big Ten play earlier this month with wins over Minnesota and Illinois.

Ohio State has exceeded expectations so far, similar to last year when Chris Holtmann led the Buckeyes to a second-place Big Ten finish in his first season, with multiple contributions from a young roster. A different player seemingly steps up each game, with graduate transfer Keyshawn Woods the latest to take the lead with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot off the bench in a 77-67 victory over Illinois on Dec. 5 at Chicago's United Center. Sophomore Musa Jallow played one of his better games with a season-high 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Tough freshman guard Luther Muhammad returned from a dislocated shoulder after missing only one game and contributed six points, four boards and two steals.

TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT OHIO STATE (8-1): Holtmann has successfully meshed the newcomers with the experienced returnees. Sophomore Kaleb Wesson, the Buckeyes' leading scorer and rebounder with averages of 14.3 points and 6.2 boards, and senior point guard C.J. Jackson (12.7 points per game) are surrounded by players such as Jallow, Andre Wesson and Kyle Young (70.3 percent from the field, 5.1 rebounds) who bring energy and a defensive-minded mentality to the court. Freshmen Duane Washington Jr. (41 percent 3-point shooting) and Jaedon LeDee have come off the bench to make an impact and provide depth.

ABOUT BUCKNELL (4-3): The Bison return from a longer layoff than the Buckeyes, having last played Dec. 4 when they beat La Salle 92-79. Bucknell's top players are senior Nate Sestina, who averages team highs of 17 points and 11.5 rebounds, and senior Kimbal Mackenzie, who averages 16.1 points. After starting 1-2, the 2018 Patriot League champion Bison have won three of their last four games.

TIP-INS

1. Wesson reached double figures in scoring for the seventh time this season with 13 points against Illinois.

2. Ohio State's opponents are shooting only 36.7 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range, and averaging 60.9 points per game.

3. Woods has led Ohio State in scoring twice this season and failed to score a point in two games.

PREDICTION: Ohio State 87, Bucknell 65
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Bucknell 4-3 W2 1-3 3-0 0-0 2-0 2-3 0-0
Ohio St. 8-1 W2 5-1 2-0 1-0 2-0 6-1 2-0
Last Meeting
Bucknell Ohio St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Bucknell N/A
Ohio St. N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Bucknell N/A
Ohio St. N/A
Assists Player  
Bucknell N/A
Ohio St. N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Bucknell K. MacKenzie 113 38.4 31
Ohio St. K. Wesson 129 51.9 44
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Bucknell N. Sestina 45 10 35
Ohio St. K. Wesson 56 18 38
Assists Player  
Bucknell J. Sotos 36
Ohio St. C. Jackson 28
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Bucknell Off vs  red bar Ohio St. Defense
blue bar 74.7 Points For
red bar 60.9 Points Against
blue bar 45.5 FG%
red bar 36.7 FG%
blue bar 30.3 Reb
red bar 29.2 Reb
red bar Ohio St. Off vs  blue bar Bucknell Defense
red bar 78.2 Points For
blue bar 72.3 Points Against
red bar 48.1 FG%
blue bar 41.7 FG%
red bar 33.7 Reb
blue bar 32.4 Reb