Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Ohio State
Indiana has its sights set on a berth in its first Big Ten Tournament title berth in five years as the fifth-seeded Hoosiers (18-10/9-7) square off with top-seeded Ohio State (24-4/12-4) in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Saturday at 4 p.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Indiana advanced to the semifinals with a 61-56 win over Wisconsin Friday, while the Buckeyes overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to knock off Penn State 63-56.
The winner of the IU-OSU match-up will face the winner of Saturday's first Big Ten tourney semifinal which features sixth-seeded Michigan State (21-10/8-8) and second-seeded Iowa (23-8/11-5). Michigan State knocked off Illinois 61-56 while Iowa advanced with a 67-57 victory over Minnesota.
Ohio State owns a 9-7 record all-time in the Big Ten tourney, including winning the 2002 championship. This marks the second time OSU has earned the tourney's top seed (2000), and it is trying to make its third trip to the tournament championship game (2002, 2003). Indiana, meanwhile, is 8-8 all-time in the conference's postseason tourney. IU has never won the tournament, losing to Iowa in its only tournament championship game appearance in 2001.
IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth and final year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 114-77 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 44-16 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.
Indiana 2005-06 Schedule
Ohio State 2005-06 Schedule
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 162, Jr.) – 4.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 35.5% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 12.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 48.8% 3 pt. shooting
WG – A.J. Ratliff (6-2, 183, So.) – 3.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 31.3% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) – 13.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 41.3% 3 pt. shooting
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 17.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.6 bpg, 55.7% FG shooting
Ohio State (24-4/12-4)
PG- Jamar Butler (6-1, 200, So.) – 10.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.6 apg, 43.9% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Je'Kel Foster (6-2, 210, Sr.) – 13.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 43.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – J.J. Sullinger (6-5, 210, Sr.) – 9.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 43.1% 3 pt. shooting
SF- Matt Sylvester (6-7, 230, Sr.) – 7.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 34.6% 3 pt. shooting
C – Terence Dials (6-9, 260, Sr.) – 15.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 57.3% FG shooting
Indiana 2005-06 Statistics
Ohio State 2005-06 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Killingsworth keep himself from trying to do too much?– Everyone attention will be focused squarely on what's going on in the paint as 6-8, 265-pound Marco Killingsworth and 6-9, 260-pound Terence Dials battle in a match-up of two of the league's best pure post players. Both are coming off huge senior seasons, with Dials earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors and Killingsworth garnering second-team all-conference accolades. In their first meeting in Bloomington, Dials finished with 25 points and eight rebounds, but Killingsworth had the last laugh by totaling 26 points, five rebounds and four blocks in IU's 81-79 win.
While Indiana needs another big game from Killingsworth, the concern for IU Coach Mike Davis could be whether if Killingsworth tries to turn this into a statement performance, one in which tries to make the point that he was in fact the best big man in the conference. If he tries to force the action against double teams instead of kickinig the ball back out to open shooters it could be a long day for Killingsworth and the Hoosiers. But if he can instead wait for his one-on-one opportunities he'll give the Hoosiers a great chance at springing the upset.
Which team doubles the post? - This a matchup of teams that mirror each other in their approach – they both have high-scoring centers who command double teams, and once the double comes they kick it back out to the perimeter to a slew of capable 3-point marksmen. With that in mind, both OSU Coach Thad Matta and IU Coach Mike Davis will have a decision to make when it comes time to decide whether or not to double the post.
In Ohio State's 63-56 win over Penn State Friday, the Buckeyes launched 30 3-point attempts out of their 55 shots, knocking down 10 of them. OSU played seven players, and with the exception of Dials, every other OSU player attempted at least 3-point shots against the Nittany Lions. With that in mind, there isn't an easy person to leave open in an effort to double Dials. From Ron Lewis to Jamar Butler to Je'Kel Foster to Matt Sylvester, Ohio State always has four capable 3-point shooters on the floor, and it will burn you for doubling the post. Indiana, meanwhile, will counter with at least a trio of players on the floor at most times that can knock down the open shot if left open. Marshall Strickland and Rod Wilmont have been the Hoosiers' best from deep as of late, while Robert Vaden still leads the team in 3-pointes made this season.
There will be plenty of attention given to the point production of Dials and Killingsworth, but if either proves to be capable of containing the other one-on-one without getting into foul trouble, that will go a long way towards determining this game's outcome.
Big Ten's Best Off the Bench? - Iowa's Doug Thomas might have won the conference's sixth-man of the year award, but that's only because Indiana's Rod Wilmont and Ohio State's Ron Lewis didn't qualify because they started a few too many games earlier this season. But Wilmont and Lewis will be the first two off the bench for their respective teams, and both teams count on big efforts from their No. 1 subs.
Wilmont continues to be an energy guy for the Hoosiers, providing plenty of emotion when he comes on the floor. He's also been a steady double-digit scorer over the last month as well, and he came up huge in IU's win over Wisconsin. Not only did he finish with 11 points, but he did the job defensively on UW's Alando Tucker down the stretch that helped turn the game in the Hoosiers' favor.
Lewis, meanwhile, scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half yesterday against Penn State, and he scored 13 in 30 minutes against the Hoosiers the first time the two teams met. He can be streaky – he shot only 32.7 percent (33-of-101) from 3-point range during the regular season – but if left unattended he can score points in bunches.
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