Happy Monday! Hopefully this is a short week for most of you. Thanksgiving is going to look a bit different this year, but I hope you find a way to make it memorable and special regardless! However, don’t let Turkey Day overshadow the second biggest event happening this week. The Ohio State men’s basketball team tips off their season against Illinois State at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and we’ve got you set with lots of preseason coverage here at Land-Grant Holy Land, which I’ve listed below along with the rest of the day’s headlines. Let’s get into it!
Get caught up before tip off...
Connor Lemons, LGHL
Connor caught up with Dan Pitts, who has been the director of the Buckeye Nuthouse for the last two seasons, to get an idea for how the infamous Ohio State basketball student section will adjust to a season without fans.
Connor Lemons, LGHL
With Seth Towns out indefinitely due to injury, Connor explains why letting Justin Ahrens get some early playing time until Towns can return makes sense. Ahrens may be a one trick pony, but when that one trick is shooting three-pointers, why not let him get some reps in?
Gene Ross, LGHL
Gene took a look at all the new faces on this season’s roster so you won’t miss a beat.
Gene Ross, LGHL
And he also took a look at the data to determine how productive the Buckeyes will be with their returners and what exactly they lost the most in departures.
Listen to this...
Per usual, we have some awesome podcast episodes for you to start your week.
Matt Tamanini, LGHL
First, listen to the uncut audio from the Buckeyes’ post-game presser.
Matt Tamanini, LGHL
Next, Matt sat down with Kirk Herbstreit to discuss Fields, Michigan and all things college football.
What Chris Holtmann is saying...
During his media availability this afternoon, Holtmann addressed some injuries, starting with the redshirt junior wing, Musa Jallow, who underwent season-ending reconstructive ankle surgery last January.
Holtmann said Musa Jallow is a game-time decision.— Lantern Sports (@LanternSports) November 23, 2020
As for the redshirt junior forward, Seth Towns, the answer is a little less clear. Towns is recovering from a January surgery for a knee injury he endured in the 2018 Ivy League championship game, and while he’s making “good progress,” Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch expects him to return “December- Januaryish.”
Holtmann said he couldn't make a determination on when Seth Towns would be ready for game action.— Lantern Sports (@LanternSports) November 23, 2020
In regards to the possible effects on the season due to COVID-19, Holtmann said the team understands that games will more than likely be canceled or postponed, and that it’s helped to observe other sports going through this.
#Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said both OSU and Illinois State will be tested Tuesday and Wednesday and a positive test would result in the game being postponed/canceled.— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) November 23, 2020
For more on the Hoops’ season starting up, check out Ohio State Athletics’ season previews for both the men and women’s teams.
What Illinois is saying...
On preparing to play Ohio State this Saturday, Illinois coach Lovie Smith said they’re “getting ready to play who a lot of people would say is the best team in college football,” while also naming Justin Fields “one of the best athletes in college football”
He went on to discuss the Buckeyes’ defense, saying they’re not going to throw the ball 70 times a game (even though I think that would be more efficient? But hey, what do I know).
Lovie Smith said that even though Ohio State's run defense has been stronger than its pass defense, that's not going to change Illinois' philosophy on offense. “We want to establish the run ... we're not going to throw the ball 70 times a game.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 23, 2020
Next at the podium was Illinois OC Rod Smith, who may have been given last year’s tape on accident?
Illinois offensive coordinator Rod Smith: “You can see why they're one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the country.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 23, 2020
He said “there's not a weak spot anywhere” on Ohio State's defense. (Ohio State fans might disagree with that assessment after this past weekend.)
Last but not least, Illinois QB Brandon Peters— the realist of the group.
Illinois QB Brandon Peters: “I don't think there's been a game since I've been here that we haven't been underdogs to a Big Ten team, so that's nothing new for us. That's just the way it goes when people think about Illinois football.” He said that “puts a chip on your shoulder.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 23, 2020
That’s the stuff...
Ohio State will sport an all-white uniform against The Fighting Illini on Saturday. What do we think?
Sources tell me Ohio State is set to unveil an all-white uniform, similar to the Nike Rivalry set worn in wins at Michigan and Penn State in 2013 and 2014, respectively, but with the standard helmet and striping pattern. pic.twitter.com/cZe3vXvdjO— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) November 23, 2020
Players of the game...
Ohio State announced their champions from Saturday’s win over Indiana. It’s not often you see one of these without Justin Fields’ name at the top.
Ohio State champions from the win over Indiana: pic.twitter.com/eNxMonZmyK— Lettermen Row (@LettermenRow) November 23, 2020
Mark your calendars...
I am a fan of this week’s lineup. Inject Penn State/Rutgers into my veins.
I guess you don’t really have to mark your calendars because its pretty easy to remember. Noon kickoffs the rest of the way, folks! As someone who goes to bed at 8:00 p.m. every night, this is fantastic news.
Saturday, November 26: Noon kick at Illinois— Tom Orr (@TomOrr4) November 23, 2020
Saturday, December 5: Noon kick at Michigan State
Saturday, December 12: Noon kick vs. Michigan https://t.co/5uca4EChdi
The Big Ten released its women’s basketball schedule just two days before Ohio State’s season opener against Akron. The Buckeyes will play 20 Big Ten games and open up conference play against Iowa on Dec. 19 in Columbus.
The Big Ten has released the 2020-21 #B1GWBBall schedule, with the conference tournament dates adjusted to March 9-13 at @TheFieldhouse. Which matchup are you most excited for? https://t.co/8Ah0MXkth6— Big Ten Women's Hoops (@B1Gwbball) November 23, 2020
From around the league...
This section is not a happy one. My heart absolutely breaks for Joe Burrow.
MRI revealed more damage than anticipated: Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow tore his ACL, MCL, and suffered other structural issues in his knee as well, per @Ben_Baby and me.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
And after a great game against the Titans on Sunday, J.K. Dobbins has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning he will not take the field on Thanksgiving Day.