Indiana vs. Ohio State Gameday

HoosierNation.com previews the matchup pitting No. 15 Indiana (9-2/1-0) and No. 18 Ohio State (11-0/1-0), which tips off Saturday at 4 p.m. at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Ohio State
No. 16/15 Indiana (9-2/1-0) hosts 18th-ranked and undefeated Ohio State (11-0/1-0) at 4 p.m. Saturday at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Ohio State is one of only six unbeaten teams in college basketball, joining No. 1 Duke (13-0), No. 3 Villanova (10-0), No. 5 Florida (13-0), No. 6 Illinois (15-0) and No. 22 Pitt (12-0). Indiana owns a 98-70 edge in the all-time series, and the two teams have split their regular season meetings in each of the past four seasons. A year ago, Indiana used 18 second-half points from Bracey Wright to post a 67-60 win in Bloomington. Three weeks later, though, Indiana was limited to a season-low 44 points in a 57-44 loss to the Buckeyes in Columbus.

IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 105-69 career mark. Indiana has been to the postseason in four of Davis' five seasons (three NCAA invitations). Ohio State, meanwhile, is coached by Thad Matta, who is in his second year in Columbus and owns a 31-12 record at the Big Ten school. Before taking the Ohio State job, Matta compiled a 102-31 record while spending one year at Butler (2001, 24-8) and three years at Xavier, and he earned invitations to the NCAA Tournament each season. He advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his first three seasons as a head coach, and then took Xavier to the Elite Eight in 2004.

The game will be televised by CBS, with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2005-06 Schedule

Ohio State 2005-06 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
#15/16 Indiana (9-2/1-0)
PG- Lewis Monroe (6-5, 192, Sr.) – 4.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 apg
SG-Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 13.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg,, 2.3 apg, 51.0% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) 15.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.0 apg, 51.9% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 243, So.) 10.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 54.8% FG shooting
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 18.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 62.7% FG%

#18/18 Ohio State (11-0/1-0)
PG- Jamar Butler (6-1, 200, So.) – 9.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.1 apg, 50% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Je'Kel Foster (6-2, 210, Sr.) – 15.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 54.5% 3 pt. shooting
WG – J.J. Sullinger (6-5, 210, Sr.) – 10.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 53.2% FG shooting
SF- Matt Sylvester (6-7, 230, Sr.) – 6.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
C – Terence Dials (6-9, 260, Sr.) – 13.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 54.7% FG shooting

Indiana 2005-06 Statistics

Ohio State 2005-06 Statistics

INJURY UPDATE
Indiana – James Hardy remains absent from the team. IU Coach Mike Davis said the 6-7, 215-pound forward remains out with a myriad of injuries dating back to the football season. A.J. Ratliff, meanwhile, rolled his ankle in the first half of the Michigan game, but was at practice Friday and could be able to play against the Buckeyes.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How Will Ohio State Respond on the Road? – It would be going overboard to call the Buckeyes paper lions, but their 11-0 start includes a 9-0 record at home and only one win over a team ranked in the RPI's top 50 (Iowa State). The Buckeyes have played only one true road game, knocking off a mediocre St. Joseph's team 81-74 in front of just 7,200 fans, and they were just 2-8 on the road a year ago despite winning 20 games. Indiana's Assembly Hall will likely have 17,000-plus in attendance, as Indiana looks for its second win in three tries against ranked teams this season (W vs. Kentucky, L vs. Duke). While last year's road record and the near absence of any road tests thus far is working against the Buckeyes, one thing in their favor is the fact it is a veteran team. Ohio State starts four seniors and all five starters have played in Assembly Hall before.

Who Defends the 3-point arc better? - Indiana has received a lot of attention thanks to its proficiency from behind the 3-point arc, but Ohio State is equally dangerous. The Buckeyes have three starters shooting at least 50 percent from 3-point range, and they will almost always have four players on the floor that are a threat from deep. Indiana, meanwhile, usually has three players on the floor that can shoot the deep ball, and sometimes a fourth – Marco Killingsworth – who wants to shoot it as well. These are the two leading 3-point shooting teams in the Big Ten (Indiana – 47.7%, Ohio State 43.8%), and each averages around 20 3-point attempts per game. Whichever team does a better job of limiting the number of open looks that the other gets will have a huge leg up in this battle.

Does Indiana force Ohio State to go big…or will Ohio State make Indiana go small? - Ohio State wants to keep both D.J. White and Marco Killingsworth off the floor at the same time by using a lineup that features four players who can shoot the 3-pointer – a very difficult defensive assignment for either Hoosier big man. Indiana, meanwhile, would love to have early success going inside and ultimately force Ohio State to play someone such as backup center Matt Terwilliger more than usual to combat Indiana's frontcourt tandem. One thing working in Indiana's favor is that if Indiana has to go small, it has already had plenty of success with a lineup that features Robert Vaden at the power forward position. That was the grouping that had the most success in Indiana's win against Michigan.

Who Is the Game's Best Big Man? - On paper you'd think both D.J. White and Marco Killingsworth would have an edge over Ohio State's Terence Dials, but the Buckeyes' 6-9, 260-pound center has had a slew of big games against the Hoosiers during his career. That includes an 18-point, 13-rebound effort in Bloomington a year ago and a 22-point, nine-rebound outing as a sophomore in the Big Ten Tournament. Dials has been up-and-down this season. He is averaging a more-than-respectable 14 points and seven rebounds per game, and he's led Ohio State in scoring in three of its last four contests. But he's also had a handful of games this season where he's either gotten into foul trouble or been a non-factor offensively, and that's not something Thad Matta can afford to have happen if Ohio State hopes to spring the upset.

QUOTABLES
"The horn goes off and your mind goes to Indiana." – Ohio State Coach Thad Matta after his team's 104-69 win over Penn State Thursday.

"We hope we can contain (Dials) because he's definitely a key for them. But their guards can really shoot the ball. They are athletic, strong and quick. They beat an unbelievable LSU team. LSU probably has three pros in their starting lineup, and they beat them. They beat Iowa State at Iowa State which was ranked at the time. It's going to be a tough game for us." – Indiana Coach Mike Davis.

DID YOU KNOW…
Indiana's five-game winning streak is its longest win streak since the 2003-04 season. After opening the '04 Big Ten season with a 34-point loss at Wisconsin, Indiana won five straight before having its streak end at Michigan State. The last time Indiana won at least six in a row was in 2002-03, when the Hoosiers opened the year 8-0…J.J. Sullinger was 8-of-8 from the floor in the Buckeyes' 104-69 win against Penn State, marking just the eighth time in OSU history that a player was perfect from the floor with at least eight field goals. The others were Brian Brown (2000, 9-9 vs. Florida State), John Havlicek (9-9 vs. Michigan, 1961) and Jerry Lucas (8-8 vs. Wisconsin, 1960)…this marks the 16th time Indiana and Ohio State have met when both teams are ranked. Ohio State has won eight of the previous 15 encounters…Bowling Green transfer Ron Lewis might come off the bench, but he's one of the team's most reliable offensive contributors. Lewis has scored in double figures in a team-best 10 of 11 games this year and is coming off a 26-point, 10-of-11 shooting effort against Penn State…Ohio State averages 26.6 bench points/game, compared to Indiana's 20.7…Marshall Strickland needs 16 points to pass Michael Lewis for 50th on IU's all-time scoring list. Strickland has 872 points…Strickland scored in double figures in three of his first four career games against Ohio State, but has averaged only 5.3 points in his last three efforts against the Buckeyes.

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