Ohio State vs. Kansas: Thomas Robinson Will Dominate in Jayhawks Victory
What should have been one of the best individual showdowns of the college hoops season has been short-circuited by back spasms. Jared Sullinger, the All-America leader of the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, will miss this afternoon’s game at No. 13 Kansas.
With Sullinger gone, the only superstar power forward on the floor will be Jayhawks Thomas Robinson. The former super-sub has exploded in his first year as a starter, averaging 17.4 points and 12 rebounds a game (third-best in the country) for the season.
Battling against Robinson will be Evan Ravenel (making his second career start in Sullinger’s place). The 6’8” junior is averaging just 12.6 minutes a game on the season, posting 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds a night in that time.
Ravenel is a perfectly respectable backup, but he’s no match for Robinson (who could easily be an All-American himself at season’s end). OSU has more weapons than just Sullinger, so the offense will still work well enough, but on defense, they have no answer for an athlete like Robinson.
That’s not to say the game will be a walkover for the Jayhawks, even on their home floor. Ohio State PG Aaron Craft is as good a defender as Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor has faced all year, and Taylor is fighting a knee injury himself.
Look for William Buford to take over as the leader of the Buckeyes offense. Buford is a 6’6” three-point shooter who has posted 16 points a game even with Sullinger in the lineup.
Despite Ohio State’s remaining talent, though, the hole in the middle will be too big to overcome. Look for the Buckeyes to take their first loss behind a superlative showing from Robinson.
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