Game Particulars: Indiana (19-3/8-1) vs. Ohio State (16-7/7-3)
Indiana is hoping to pick up its 20th win of the season, but it won't come easily in Columbus. Indiana has lost four of its last five at Value City Arena, including 74-67 a year ago in the two teams' only meeting. A victory would not only enable IU to keep pace with the winner of Saturday night's Purdue-Wisconsin game for the Big Ten lead, but it would also give IU its first win over a Big Ten foe with a winning record. IU's eight conference victories have come against teams that are a combined 16-49 in Big Ten play. The Ohio State game, meanwhile, is the start of a four-game stretch against teams that are a combined 33-7.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 40-14 record in Bloomington and a 495-271 career mark Ohio State, meanwhile, is coached by Thad Matta, who in his fourth season as the Buckeyes head coach and eighth season overall. Matta owns a 97-29 mark in Columbus and a 199-60 career mark.
The game will be televised by CBS with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Clark Kellogg (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2007-08 Schedule
Ohio State 2007-08 Schedule
Indiana Hoosiers (19-3/8-1)
PG- Armon Bassett(6-1, 176, So.) – 10.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.2 apg, 47.6% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 21.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 41.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 7.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.3 apg, 41.4% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) 5.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 spg, 35.5% 3 pt. shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 17.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 61.7% FG shooting
Ohio State Buckeyes (16-7/7-3)
PG- Jamar Butler (6-1, 185, Sr.) – 14.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.7 apg, 41.1% 3 pt. shooting
SG – David Lighty (6-5, 215, So.) – 9.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 37.7% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Evan Turner (6-6, 200, Fr.) – 7.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 apg, 51.2% FG shooting
PF – Othello Hunter (6-8, 225, Sr.) – 9.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 57.2% FG shooting
C- Kosta Koufos (7-0, 265, Fr.) 13.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 47.7% FG shooting
Indiana 2007-08 Statistics
Ohio State 2007-08 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Indiana keep Jamar Butler from going for 20-plus?– Ohio State goes as point guard Jamar Butler goes, and the Hoosiers can ill-afford to have him going off for a career night. The Buckeyes have plenty of capable scorers with Kosta Koufos, David Lighty, Evan Turner and others, but their most important player is clearly Butler. The senior point guard is averaging a team-high 16.2 points and 7.0 assists in Big Ten play, meaning he has a hand in nearly half of OSU's 66.4 points/game. He has also made 27 3-pointers in conference games, which is three times as many as anyone else on the OSU roster. He has been a bit hot-and-cold, scoring 20 or more points five times and going for single digits four times in Big Ten games. He's also just 8-of-26 from the field in his last two games, but he's still capable of scoring points in bunches. Don't be surprised to see IU start off in a zone, but if Butler knocks down some shots early they may be forced to return to man-to-man to keep him from getting easy looks.
Will Indiana rely on the zone or go back to its man-to-man defense? - A week ago, Northwestern abused the Hoosiers' man-to-man defense with its backcuts and forced Sampson to switch to a zone to take away some of those opportunities. After the zone's success against the Wildcats IU decided to stick with it against Illinois, but Demetri McCamey went off for 31 points and seven 3-pointers Thursday and prompted Sampson to switch back to man. So which way will the Hoosiers go against the Buckeyes? Ohio State is shooting only 32.2 percent from 3-point range in Big Ten play, ranking them 10th. But it's a risky proposition to hope that the Buckeyes go cold from deep. Don't be surprised if IU rotates its defenses more often than it normally does, in an effort to keep Matta's team from getting comfortable against one defensive look.
What sort of success will Indiana have against Ohio State's match-up zone? - Ohio State lost the most defender in college basketball a year ago in Greg Oden, but the Buckeyes are still extremely tough on the defensive end. The Buckeyes rank No. 5 nationally in field goal percentage defense (37.4 percent) and their defense has been even better in league games (36.8 percent), which also leads the Big Ten. They do it with a match-up zone, and Indiana will need to figure out a way to score against it. OSU has versatile athletes at the top, and also has the luxury of the presence of a couple of shot blockers on the baseline in Kosta Koufos and Othello Hunter. That duo that ranks second and eighth, respectively in the conference in blocked shots. Indiana wants to try to get to the free-throw line as much as possible, but Ohio State commits only 14 fouls per game (which ranks No. 5 nationally) and its foes have attempted more than 100 less free throws than OSU (373-269).
Can Indiana put up big numbers in second-chance points? One of the Buckeyes' Achilles Heels has been its inability to keep foes from cleaning up on the offensive glass. Ohio State is giving up 13.5 offensive rebounds/game, and Indiana will need to do a good job of capitalizing on second-chance opportunities. The Buckeyes have given up some big offensive rebounding numbers to a handful of foes, including 20 by Michigan State, 18 by North Carolina and 17 by Illinois. While 20 offensive rebounds is a stretch, the IU staff likely thinks the team is capable of coming away with 15 and getting at least 33 percent of their misses on the offensive end. Doing so would be huge for the Hoosiers as they seek their most impressive win of the season.
"They're really good at home. Ohio State…they do a great job of controlling the flow, and the five guys can all score. But the key to their team, their best player, and I think he's a first team all-league guy is Jamar Butler. He's having a great year." – Kelvin Sampson
"(Hunter's) a lot more talented than you'd think because when you think about their team, last year it was Oden and Conley and Cook and Butler…and he kind of did the dirty work for them…Hunter is long and big and strong and athletic. He's a good player. " – Sampson
"(comparing Indiana and Purdue) I haven't seen Indiana a ton. I heard (Gordon is pretty good), and obviously with D.J. White being there, and they have some others that have been in the program. Purdue is probably more balanced across the board, where Indiana with Eric and D.J., those guys kind of lead them." – Ohio State Coach Thad Matta
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