High Point-Ohio St. Preview
With a mainly lackluster slate before Big Ten play starts, Ohio State can afford to remain patient with its two struggling senior starters, especially if its underclassmen continue to shine.
Ohio State (6-1) will face just high-profile opponent before its conference opener versus Iowa on Dec. 30 - traveling to Chicago to face No. 21 North Carolina on Dec. 20. That gives Scott and Thompson some time to end their recent woes.
Scott has a combined 14 points on 6-of-24 shooting in the past three games after averaging 9.8 points and shooting 54.8 percent in the first four contests this season.
Thompson has totaled nine points in his two games this month while missing 10 of 12 shots. He averaged 12.0 points on 64.1 percent shooting during Ohio State's 5-0 start.
The Buckeyes had little difficulty bouncing back from their 64-55 defeat at then-No. 5 Louisville on Saturday despite getting a combined six points from those two players. They beat Colgate 70-50 with freshman guard D'Angelo Russell's 19 points leading the way.
"You need your teammates to pick you up when you're in a slump. That's what we have going for us right now," Williams said. "When anyone's in a little slump, we're a close enough team that we can get them out of it."
Russell, averaging 20.8 points in his past five games, will next try to lead Ohio State past a High Point team that's off to its best start since 2005-06. The Panthers (6-2), though, haven't faced a team with the Buckeyes' pedigree so far this season and will take on their first ranked opponent since a 75-54 loss at No. 2 Syracuse on Dec. 20, 2013.
They're 0-6 all-time against current Big Ten teams while Ohio State is 12-0 versus Big South Conference opponents. This is the first meeting between the schools.
High Point, which opened its season by winning the eight-team Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half Saturday for a 66-63 victory over William & Mary. John Brown scored 21 points - topping 20 for the third straight game - and had season highs of nine rebounds and five blocks.
The junior forward and reigning Big South player of the year is averaging 19.6 points on 56.6 percent shooting, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.