Campbell-Ohio St. Preview

Highly touted freshman D’Angelo Russell confessed he didn’t even know who Ohio State’s opponent was in the opener of the Buckeye Classic, he was just determined to dominate.

It could be a similar story for Russell and the 16th-ranked Buckeyes on Wednesday night against another seemingly overmatched opponent in Campbell.

Ohio State (3-0) had little trouble against Sacred Heart on Sunday, rolling to a 106-48 win. Russell scored 32 in 25 minutes for the second-most points by an Ohio State freshman.

”I honestly didn’t know who the opponent was,” he said. ”I just prepared the best way I could and told myself whoever was guarding me I was going to destroy.”

Coach Thad Matta was impressed that Russell was able to bounce back from his first bout with adversity after finishing with six points and seven turnovers in last Tuesday’s 74-63 win over Marquette.

"We want him to be aggressive and we want him to score," Matta said. "I thought throughout the flow of the offense he found shots that were good for him. He’s a heck of a basketball player. For him to come back from the Marquette game, I think speaks volumes of who he is as a basketball player."

Russell’s starting backcourt mate Shannon Scott also excelled, setting a school record with 16 assists. The senior has established an Ohio State mark with three consecutive games with at least 10 assists and leads the nation at 13.7 per game.

”It doesn’t mean a lot,” he said of the records. ”It’s good to say you have it. But I can’t really (hang) my hat on that. We want to win a lot more games.”

Another victory certainly seems within reach against Campbell (1-2), which has lost all 11 games against ranked opponents since becoming a Division I program in 1977-78.

After beating NAIA opponent Barber-Scotia 97-58 in their opener, the Fighting Camels’ offense has struggled in totaling 99 points in losses to Davidson and Colgate. That doesn’t bode well for keeping up with Ohio State, which is one of the nation’s highest scoring teams at 90.7 points per game.

The Buckeyes are shooting 60.8 percent and only one of the 10 Ohio State players that has played this season is shooting below the break-even mark – Keita Bates-Diop at 45.5 percent.

Campbell guard Kyre’ Hamer has had a hot hand, averaging 14.0 points on 63.2 percent shooting after missing the opener with an injury. The sophomore guard made 5 of 8 shots Saturday in Campbell’s Buckeye Classic opener, but his teammates shot 31.0 percent in a 54-48 loss to Colgate.

The Camels led 46-45 with 1:21 to play but were eventually undone by going 8 of 22 from the free throw line.

"We executed the game plan like we wanted on both ends of the floor, but it came down to free throws," coach Kevin McGeehan told Campbell’s official website. "We worked really hard on correcting several things defensively, and on offense we were super aggressive, our starts were clean and played downhill, but we missed our foul shots."

This will be the Camels’ first matchup with the Buckeyes, and it will be a tall order to leave Columbus with a victory.

Ohio State has reeled off 51 consecutive home wins over unranked opponents since losing to West Virginia on Dec. 27, 2008. With a 91-8 record in Columbus since the 2009-10 season, the Buckeyes have more home wins than any team in the country.