Just three days after chomping the #8 Gators in the Schottenstein Center, the Buckeyes’ shooty hoops squad returns to action to play host to the Jackson State Tigers. This game is part of the Global Sports Shoot-out round robin tournament that, with an Ohio State victory over Florida on Tuesday, is basically Ohio State’s jog to the finish line and into the rest of the non-conference schedule.
Jackson State (from the capital of Mississippi) has been in Ohio for a few days now, playing the Wright State Raiders yesterday in Dayton. The Tigers dropped that decision by a final score of 56-39. Its third game on the season, the Tigers have yet to put forward a decent effort in its 0-3 stumble out of the gates. Florida butchered Jackson State in Gainesville (99-59) and Baylor did Baylor things to the Tigers in Waco, defeating Jackson State, 92-59. We try to avoid hubris with respect to the football team (certainly this year), but we should be fairly confident that Jackson State is going to get a-paddlin’ in Columbus.
With the idea in mind that this is a “ceteris paribus” type of game for the basketball team, it is still useful to draw attention to the Jackson State squad. Jackson State appears to start four guards and a center, though one of those guards and the center are worth noting. Jenirro Bush (#1) is a 6’7 guard, though 10lbs shy of the 200lb mark that would make him a viable forward option against bigger and better squads. If David Lighty were still on this squad, he would probably be given the task of eating his lunch. And he would. Reason: Bush is the team’s leading scorer through three games (14.7ppg) and is obviously a viable rebounding candidate (5rpg), but is just woeful shooting from the floor (32.6%). If putting the biscuit in the basket is the whole point of shooty hoops, expect Jackson State to struggle throughout non-conference play into league competition. The Tigers shot a woeful 26% from the field against Wright State Wednesday, turning the ball over 21 times on top of that. We might not see this team as a 15-16 seed in March.
It looks like Jamarious Sykes (#34) will start in the pivot for the Tigers, but it’s weird. He averages just six minutes a game and has no meaningful statistical production to note. Worth noting, though, is the fact that he is 7’2 and 270lbs, which just might be the tallest (albeit most ineffective per inch) that Sullinger will see all season. Sykes will probably get a block into the stat sheet this game, but that might be it. Seriously, he had an 8 trillion against Florida! 8! A starter! 8! Davon Jones (#25) will come off the bench to spell Sykes, but averages only 3.7ppg and 3.3rpg in 15 minutes of game time.
Other starters include Kelsey Howard (#12), Derrell Taylor (#2), and Christian Williams (#13). Both Howard and Taylor are freshmen. Howard is the team’s second leading scorer through three games, averaging 10.3ppg. Williams chips in over 8 ppg while Taylor adds about five points a game. Season is young, but these numbers are so low in part because of the competition (Florida, Baylor) and the woeful effort against Wright State. I’m not quite sure what is the guard substitution rotation for Jackson State from aggregate statistics, since a lot of those numbers just might be garbage time minutes against Florida and Baylor. It likely won’t matter. That’s the hope.
(if there is one *cough*The Buckeye Battle Cry*cough*) may be added shortly is below. Death to Michigan.