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Illini vs Ohio State

The Buckeyes have several players who can score, and Illinois has to be conscious of Lenzelle Smith out of the corner and take away angles in the post. But to beat Ohio State, you have to limit Deshaun Thomas. The 6-foot-7 lefty is a natural scorer who OSU will screen into the post and use in pick-and-pop situations, and he has a quick release on his shot. Thomas leads the Bucks in scoring and rebounding, averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds per game, while shooting 47 percent from the field, 40 percent from deep and 80 percent from the line. To limit Thomas, you must force him to be a 2-point shooter, don't foul him and make him work hard as a defender by involving him in ball screens and going at him. He will get his shots, but if he has to take mostly 2s and is not fouled, he has to work harder to produce big numbers.

Jay Bilas

Filed under: Illini Basketball, Ohio State Buckeyes


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