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Men’s basketball preview: Ohio State versus Fairleigh Dickinson

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OSu freshman center Micah Potter grabs a rebound against Navy on Nov. 11, 2016. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

OSu freshman center Micah Potter grabs a rebound against Navy on Nov. 11, 2016. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

The Ohio State men’s basketball team will look to get back on track this Saturday as they take on Fairleigh Dickinson at the Schottenstein Center.

The Buckeyes are coming off a tough fought match in which they fell to No. 6 Virginia, losing by a final score of 63-61, in a game in which they once held a 16-point lead.

“Obviously we were disappointed that we lost and in the way that we lost,” said sophomore guard C.J. Jackson. “I feel like we are encouraged as a team and we know how much better that game made us and how much closer we got. We connected more than we have ever since I been here and it was good to see.”

The biggest issue OSU faced in the game was turnovers. The Scarlet and Gray turned the ball over 20 times compared to the Cavaliers 10. There was also a big discrepancy when it came to fouls, with the Buckeyes committing 20 to Virginia’s 11.

“With the turnovers we had the other night, we have to play smarter,” said OSU coach Thad Matta. “I don’t want guys to not take risks but they have to be more calculated. When you have 20 turnovers and you shoot 50 percent, I am trying to explain to these guys that it is problematic.”

OSU will hope to correct these issues as they take on Fairleigh Dickinson.

The Knights enter the game with a 2-4 record. They are currently riding a two-game losing streak, coming up short against both Saint Peter’s and Army.

Fairleigh Dickinson is led by guard Darian Anderson. The junior out of Washington, DC is averaging 19.7 points per game on 54 percent shooting. Anderson also leads his team in steals, averaging 1.7 a game.

The Knights also receive valuable play from their big man, forward Mike Holloway. The 6-foot-7 sophomore is averaging 14.7 points per game and six boards.

“We are going to see a team that is going to try and push the basketball,” Matta said. “We are going to see a ton of ball screens. We are going to see handoffs. They are going to change up defenses and press a little bit. It will be a good gauge to see how we take care of the basketball.”

Despite the loss in their last time out, the Buckeyes did have some positives that they hope will give them something to build off of moving forward.

“It just shows how good we really are right now and how much better we could become,” said freshman center Micah Potter. “We were down a starter, we had some silly mistakes and just didn’t execute our offense. If we can get it to where we can execute the entire game and play Ohio State basketball the entire game we will be really good. We can compete with anyone in the country.”

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