Clemson looks to start with six wins in seven games for the first time since 2013-14 when it visits Ohio State on Wednesday night as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Tigers recovered from their lone loss to Temple in the championship game of the Gildan Charleston Classic by shooting a season-high 61.2 percent from the field to turn back Texas Southern 84-77 on Friday, and they are averaging 83 points in their wins.
“I think we played better than what the score indicates here at the end because this is a talented team,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell told reporters after Friday’s triumph. “For us to have a 17-point lead late, we were playing pretty well.” The Tigers must put together another strong effort on both ends of the floor against Ohio State, which lost two of three at the Phil Knight Invitational and was beaten 67-66 in overtime by Butler after leading by 15 in the second half last time out. The Buckeyes have outrebounded six of seven opponents and boast four players scoring in double figures, but are turning the ball over too much (15.1) in the early going. Junior forward Keita Bates-Diop has led the way for Ohio State while averaging team highs of 16.9 points and 10.3 rebounds and shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ABOUT CLEMSON (5-1): Junior forward Elijah Thomas registered career highs with 26 points and 16 rebounds in the victory over Texas Southern - pushing his averages to 13 and a team-high 9.2, respectively. Senior forward Donte Grantham tops the team at 16 points per contest and is shooting a robust 69.8 percent from the field while senior guard Gabe DeVoe (11 points) scored a career-high 21 last time out. Junior guard Shelton Mitchell (11.8 points, team-best 4.7 assists), who has been dealing with a sore knee, suffered a neck/head area injury against Texas Southern and his status is uncertain.
ABOUT OHIO STATE (5-2): Bates-Diop recorded his fifth double-double of the season and 11th of his career against Butler with 16 points and 11 rebounds, giving the Buckeyes a 10-1 overall record when he accomplishes the feat. Junior C.J. Jackson has contributed 14 points a game but coach Chris Holtmann could use more from fellow shooting guard Kam Williams, who is averaging 6.7 points in the early going after finishing at 9.4 in 2016-17. Senior forward Jae’Sean Tate is filling the stat sheet in the first seven games, averaging 13.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while draining 55.6 percent from the field.
1. Ohio State freshman F Kaleb Wesson has scored at least nine points in his first six college games and is shooting 57.6 percent from the field.
2. Clemson junior G Marcquise Reed, who is averaging 11.7 points, must rebound from a 1-for-9 shooting effort against Texas Southern.
3. The Tigers won the only meeting against Ohio State 80-73 at home in December of 2004.
PREDICTION: Ohio State 72, Clemson 69