The 6-7 forward leads the Big Ten in scoring at 20.2 per game and is coming off his best performance of the season, a 35-point, 13-rebound effort in a tight win Sunday over IL. Now, in early February, the No. 14 Buckeyes sit at 11-1 in conference play - just one game out of first place. "They're a terrific team".
Two ranked Big Ten Basketball teams will get together Wednesday night from West Lafayette Indiana.
Keita Bates-Diop has been the man offensively for the Buckeyes.
Tonight's conference game is no regular task for the No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes. "It starts with the game (Wednesday), and of course we're not going to look to the game Saturday because (Wednesday) is the most important one, in my opinion". Comebacks like that, tough shots, rebounding margin, whatever it might be. Forward Kaleb Wesson was a real presence in the paint, posting his own double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, with seven of those rebounds coming on the offensive end.
At the epicenter of this epic week is Purdue, which is the midst of a season for the ages.
All season, Purdue opponents have sought an answer for Isaac Haas, in the context at least of the Boilermakers' no-good-option nature offensively.
The matchup with last-place Rutgers was a flawless example of a team playing well above its head against the Boilers.
"The biggest thing was reimagining Jae'Sean as the player that he really is and not the player that he felt he had to be a year ago because they weren't very good", DeCourcy said.
The Purdue Boilermakers are seeking their 20th straight win. Purdue is 23-2 on the season and have won all 12 of their Big Ten games to this point. Purdue is scoring 84 points per game, and allowing just 64 points per game. Michigan State is trying to track them both down.
What a huge game.
While Ohio State likely has the best player in the conference, Purdue has the next two. With the Buckeyes holding the tie-breaking head-to-head win in that scenario, OSU winning out would secure them the Big Ten title.
"It's going to be a unique game in a lot of ways just because of what they force you into", Holtmann said. When Ohio State saw Purdue last season, Tate scored 17 points, points that would be very big if he can find them tonight.