Game Particulars: Indiana (23-4/12-2) vs. Ohio State (17-10/8-6)
Dan Dakich got his first win as IU's head coach Saturday over a winless Northwestern team, but now the challenges get much more daunting. It starts Tuesday night when IU hosts an Ohio State team that has dropped three out of its last four and is suddenly in serious danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament. After a fast start Ohio State has really struggled as of late and has only one win over a Big Ten team that has a .500 record or better – Minnesota. Coach Thad Matta's team is in desperate need of a quality win or two to impress the NCAA Selection Committee, and they likely figure IU could be ripe for the picking considering the turmoil the Hoosiers have faced as of late.
IU is coached by Dakich, who is in his second game as Indiana's head coach and owns a 1-0 record in Bloomington and a 157-140 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 98-32 mark in Columbus and a 200-63 career mark.
The game will be televised by ESPN with Brent Musberger (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (color commentary) and Erin Andrews (sideline reporter) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2007-08 Schedule
Ohio State 2007-08 Schedule
Indiana Hoosiers (23-4/12-2)
PG- Armon Bassett(6-1, 176, So.) – 10.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, 48.6% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 21.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg, 39.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 7.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.4 spg, 40.6% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) 4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.8 spg, 36.1% 3 pt. shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 17.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 62% FG shooting
Ohio State Buckeyes (17-10/8-6)
PG- Jamar Butler (6-1, 185, Sr.) – 14.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.2 apg, 38.2% 3 pt. shooting
SG – David Lighty (6-5, 215, So.) – 8.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 34.8% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Evan Turner (6-6, 200, Fr.) – 8.1 ppg, 4.0 ppg, 2.4 apg, 37.3% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Othello Hunter (6-8, 225, Sr.) – 9.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 58.1% FG shooting
C- Kosta Koufos (7-0, 265, Fr.) 13.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 48.4% FG shooting
Indiana 2007-08 Statistics
Ohio State 2007-08 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Indiana get off to a better start than it did Saturday?– Understandably, the Hoosiers struggled out of the gates against Northwestern, falling behind by nine early before eventually escaping Evanston with an 85-82 lead. The slow start shouldn't come as a surprise considering the drama that had engulfed the program during the preceding 10 days, culminating in the resignation of Coach Kelvin Sampson. But…that was winless Northwestern. Now, the Hoosiers have to bounce back for their first home game without Sampson and it comes against a much better foe in Ohio State. The Buckeyes have lost four out its last six and haven't had an impressive victory since December. They're desperate for a quality win, and another slow start could spell trouble for the Hoosiers. While they were able to overcome that against Northwestern, it won't be as easy to do against the Buckeyes. It's not imperative that IU jump out to a big lead in the opening 10 minutes, but it's important it doesn't dig itself a big hole.
Has Ohio State figured out a way to combat IU's zone? - Indiana had mixed results with the zone earlier this month, but it was probably at its absolute best in the Hoosiers' 59-53 win in Columbus. The Hoosiers went almost exclusively with a 2-3 zone, and the Buckeyes shot just 39.6 percent from the floor and 25.6 percent from 3-point range. Indiana managed to force OSU to launch better than 50 percent of its field attempts from 3-point range (27 of 53 attempts), which isn't a recipe for success since OSU ranks eighth in the league in 3-point percentage. The question now becomes whether or not Indiana once again leans on the zone, and what answers Thad Matta has come up with to combat it. Ohio State has shot less than 30 percent from 3-point range in three out of its last four games, so it's a good bet the Buckeyes won't simply settle for 20-footers all evening long.
Can Indiana cut back on its turnovers? - Ohio State doesn't make it easy for anyone to score thanks to its aggressive match-up zone, and things were no different for IU when it was in Columbus. IU shot just 42.1 percent overall and 22.2 percent from 3-point range, but still managed to come away with a six-point win. One of the ways IU made up for some offensive woes was it didn't squander possessions, turning the ball over only seven times. That was in the midst of a three-game stretch (at Ohio State, vs. Wisconsin, vs. Michigan State) where IU committed only 22 turnovers (7.3/game). But the Hoosiers have struggled in each of the past two games in that category, turning it over 23 times against Purdue and 17 at Northwestern. Indiana still managed to come away with a couple of victories, but if Indiana is up in the 15-20 turnover range again it will put itself in jeopardy of dropping a very important game in their quest for a Big Ten title.
"Any adult knows when you've been through a lot, you're able to handle more. And these kids have been through a lot." – IU Coach Dan Dakich
"I think this time of year…I think kids like to play games. They don't need 10 days of practice in between games. I think coaches do, I think fans do…I think the kids just want to play games this time of year – the good ones do, anyway. " – IU Coach Dan Dakich
"For whatever reason with this team, in crucial parts of games, we just haven't been able to knock that shot down." – Ohio State Coach Thad Matta
"I love what D.J. White is brining to his basketball team. He's extremely productive, both scoring, rebounding, and he's playing great defense...I love the energy and enthusiasm D.J. brings to that team." – Ohio State Coach Thad Matta
DID YOU KNOW
Jamar Butler didn't start in Sunday's loss to Wisconsin, bringing an end to a streak of 95 consecutive starts for the senior guard. He still played 36 minutes, though, and led OSU with 14 points in the 58-53 loss…Thad Matta is in jeopardy of missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a head coach when he team was eligible to compete in it. In his previous seven seasons, he's earned six NCAA trips – one at Butler (2001), three at Xavier (2002-04) and two at Ohio State (2006-07). Matta's first OSU team (2005) went 20-12 but didn't participate in the NCAA tourney due to a self-imposed ban in the wake of the Jim O'Brien recruiting violations…Butler has a chance to set a new OSU school record for 3-pointers. Butler has made 73 this season, ranking him fourth on IU's single season list. Sconnie Penn set the school record of 88 in 1999…Eric Gordon (21.5 points/game) and D.J. White (17.1 points/game) are trying to become the first teammates to rank 1-2 in the Big Ten in scoring since Michigan's Gary Grant and Glen Rice did it in 1988…Gordon and White combine to average 38.6 points/game, which makes them the eighth highest-scoring tandem in school history…Dan Dakich has become the fourth former IU player to become the school's head coach, joining Everett Dean, Branch McCracken and Lou Watson…Indiana hasn't swept the season series against Ohio State since 1998, when it won all three meetings against the Buckeyes…the Hoosiers trailed at half for the seventh time this season at Northwestern, but managed to overcame a halftime deficit for the fourth time this year.
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