The Ohio State Buckeyes Men's Basketball team has had a very successful season thus far but will look to extend their season Friday March 26th as they take on the Tennessee Volunteers in a Sweet 16 match-up in St. Louis.
In order for the Buckeyes to get to the Elite 8, Evan Turner, one of the front runners for National Player of the Year, will have to step up his game and get others involved to try to subdue the pressure oriented defense of the Volunteers.
In their game against Georgia Tech, Turner had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists but he also had 9 turnovers. If the Buckeyes are going to make it to the Elite 8, Turner has to cut down the turnovers. Tennessee feeds off of turnovers. According to the official Volunteers athletic website, they force their opponents into 16.5 turnovers per game while they commit 13.3 turnovers a game.
The Volunteers use a full court press against their opponents and with the Buckeyes playing only 6 guys this could wear down the Buckeyes rather quickly and make them commit unnecessary fouls. This has to be a huge concern for Coach Thad Matta and the rest of the Buckeyes coaching staff.
If Turner and the Buckeyes can pass out of the press early and create transition baskets out of breaking the press then the Buckeyes could make this a comfortable day for themselves. This is where the Buckeyes team speed will be very beneficial and could prove to be too much for the Volunteers to handle.
Not only will Turner have to have a good game but he also needs to get David Lighty and Jon Diebler involved in the offense. Through the first two games of the tournament, Diebler is 50% from behind the three point line making 11 total in the two games. In the two games, Lighty has had 27 points along with 9 assists.
After the Kansas lose to Northern Iowa, The Buckeyes have become the favorite to come out of the Midwest region and will hopefully make a deep run into the Final Four.