IU/OSU Preview

The Indiana Hoosiers have been on a roll lately, winning six of their last seven games, and have opened up the Big Ten Season with a 3-1 record, good enough to be in second place. Indiana has been sparked by the play of their freshmen, as the team has continued to gel throughout the year. The Hoosiers will look to continue their positive play this Saturday when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

New Buckeye coach Thad Motta has improved the Buckeyes by leaps and bounds over their play last year with old coach Jim O'Brien. Ohio State has played like a team this year, and had a very successful preseason. After last weekend's loss to LSU, the Buckeye's hold a 11-3 record in non-conference games, however they have struggled in conference play, beating only Iowa for a 1-3 record. Ohio State has also struggled on the road this year, going 0-4 when away from their home court. Fortunately for the Hoosiers, they will be defending their home court on Saturday night when they look to extend their winning streak and continue the Buckeye's losing streak.

The leader for Ohio State this year has been the same man that beat the Hoosiers last year in Assembly Hall. Junior Terence Dials has been averaging 16.3 points per game, and over 8 rebounds. He has been a monster on the interior, shooting almost 60% from the field to boost the Buckeye's interior. He is flanked on the interior by former McDonald's All American Ivan Harris. Harris has developed much better this year than he did last year, and his improvement may be the #1 reason for the Buckeye's improvement.

Harris has been effective from both the interior and the 3-point arc, but hasn't completely developed his game yet. Nearly half his shots have come from behind the arc, but his biggest problem has been that he has only been to the free throw line 4 times this year, playing in 18 games. Harris needs to become more physical on the inside to take his game to the next level.

When Thad Motta became the coach at OSU, it became important for the guards on the team to develop their quickness and stamina. Motta likes to run a fast paced game, and the play of guards Tony Stockman, JJ Sullinger, and Brandon Fuss-Cheatham have been the most important part of his plan. Fuss-Cheatham has run the offense for Matta, averaging more than 3.5 assists per game. Their main weapon however has been quickly getting the ball into Dials, and if there is no shot, then kicking it out for a three pointer. The Buckeye's have been shooting very well from behind the arc, averaging 40.2% from three point land.

With a team shooting as well from the field as Ohio State, how could they be 1-3 in Big Ten games? They can't shoot free throws, only averaging 62% from the charity stripe. A lack of interior depth has also plagued the Bucks. Dials is excellent, but there is a steep drop-off after him in the depth chart. No one else on the team has the dominating presence in the paint, so Indiana can use DJ White to his full potential when Dials is resting. It is important though that White stay out of foul trouble so that he can be effective. The Buckeye's should play man to man defense when Dials is in the game, but when he is resting, they could go with a zone, so the Hoosiers will have to prepare for both.

Whenever Indiana and Ohio State get together, you usually see a pretty good basketball game. This is the 167th meeting between the two teams, with Indiana owning a 97-69 all time record, and having won three of the last four contests. OSU however has had some good games at Assembly Hall recently, winning three of the last five. The Hoosiers will have to hold their home court and play well against a fast-paced high scoring Buckeye team. Ohio State is averaging nearly 13 points more per game than the Hoosiers, and have been shooting 80 points higher from the field. IU will have to play tough defense and defend the perimeter to win the game on Saturday.

The game will be broadcast on the ESPN+ network at 8pm from Assembly Hall. If you can't be near a TV, the game will, as always, be broadcast on the IU radio network with the legendary Don Fischer providing the play by play. Indiana is 8-7 on the year and 3-1 in the Big Ten. They will play Minnesota next from Minneapolis on Wednesday night.

Peegs.com Top Stories