Walter Offutt has high-major experience at Ohio State, what kind of player has he turned out to be in Athens?
Fitzwater: Offutt is an interesting case. After he left Ohio State, he transferred to Wright State before coming to Ohio, so he didn’t play for two years. But Groce said Saturday night that Offutt gives the team its toughness. He’s the team’s best on-ball defender and a floor leader. When it comes down to crunch time, they will look to him to make a play on either side of the court. He can get to the rim, but he has trouble finishing, making up for that with getting to the line and converting. Walt was in a shooting slump for a long time but started to come out of in February.
Nick Kellogg has the famous father (Clark Kellogg) but he’s also a lethal shooter. What role has the sophomore played for this team?
Arkley: He’s a steady player and started every game this season. Has shot over 40% from the 3-point arc the last two seasons. Average defensively, but good basketball IQ. Incorporating more 1-2 dribble pull-ups in his offensive game. His older brother, Alex, transferred to Ohio from Providence but gave up basketball prior to the 2010-11 season. So they never played together at Ohio. Clark has been to a lot of games in the Convocation Center, usually non-conference though as the later the season goes the more his TV schedule picks up.
How do you think OU will counteract a smaller lineup? Do they play a four guard look often?
Fitzwater: Groce doesn’t really change his lineup based on the opponent too much. He likes to have two of Keely/Baltic/Smith out there whenever possible with a few minutes of freshman TyQuane Goard (Ed: Did not play in MAC Tournament, potential transfer/discipline situation) sprinkled in. If the forwards are in foul trouble, you’ll see Johnson and Hall defending the four. Johnson has the length to keep from getting overwhelmed. Four guards on the floor is pretty rare; they don’t space the floor too well when that happens.
If Novak is playing well that would really hurt Ohio. It’s a matchup problem for sure. You don’t want Smith outside the post and Keely is the team’s best defensive rebounder, so the task would go to Baltic. If Groce elects to go small, you would see Johnson or Hall on him.