Ohio State basketball needs to win backcourt battle vs Maryland

The Ohio State basketball team squares off against the Maryland Terrapins this afternoon and faces one of the best guards in all of college basketball.
Feb 6, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Bruce Thornton (2) dribbles as Indiana
Feb 6, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Bruce Thornton (2) dribbles as Indiana / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State basketball team looks to end their five-game losing streak this afternoon at home against the Maryland Terrapins. In order to beat Maryland and bounce back from their horrible loss to Indiana, the Buckeyes need to win the battle in the backcourt.

At the top of the scouting report heading into this game, it should mention to contain Maryland's point guard, Jahmir Young. Not only is Young one of the best guards in the Big Ten but also in the entire country. The lefty guard is currently averaging a career-high 20.6 points per game, which ranks 19th in the country among all scorers, on 41.7% from the field.

The bad news for the Ohio State basketball team is that Young has played significantly better on the road compared to games at home for Maryland. In 10 road games this season, Young is averaging 23.5 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field and 35.6% from three. He hasn't been known as a knockdown shooter, but his shooting percentage from beyond the arc has increased compared to last season.

In a game against the Buckeyes last season, Young went for 30 points on 44.4% from the field, and pulled down 11 rebounds. Thankfully for the Buckeyes, this game was at Maryland. In the return game in Columbus, Young only had 9 points on a substandard 30.8% shooting and the Buckeyes won that game.

The Ohio State basketball team has struggled to defend on the perimeter against teams with really talented guards all season long. Texas A&M's backcourt of Wade Taylor IV and Tyrece Radford combined for 42 points in the second game of the year.

Despite beating Alabama early in the season, Mark Sears went for 17 points on 50% shooting. Notably in Big Ten games, Northwestern guard Boo Buie went for 19 points on 60% from the field, and most recently Terrance Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask combined for 46 points in Illinois win over Ohio State last week.

The backcourt for Ohio State will have to play extremely well on both ends of the floor in order to get the win today. I think we see Roddy Gayle Jr. get the start defensively on Jahmir Young this afternoon. His length and athletic ability can disrupt Young and throw off Maryland's offensive attack.

With the Buckeyes likely going to miss the NCAA Tournament again, it's now about getting better and wanting to compete. Ohio State can get better defensively in this game by stepping up their pressure on the perimeter. If they force the ball out of Young's hands and make someone else for Maryland beat them, the Buckeyes have a good chance at ending this losing streak today on their home floor.

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Despite dropping five games in a row, the Buckeyes are currently favored to win today against Maryland with the spread sitting at -2.5 according to FanDuel. The Ohio State basketball team finally gets a break from Peacock as today's game will be televised on FS1. Tip-off is set for 4:00 pm from Value City Arena.