Indiana vs. Ohio State Gameday

Indiana has hopes of ending its six-game losing streak, but it won't be easy as it travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a nationally-televised match-up with the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers could very well be without leading scorer Devan Dumes, who hasn't practiced since spraining his ankle Saturday against Illinois…

Game Particulars: Indiana (5-10/0-3) at Ohio State (11-3/1-2)
It's now been more than a month since Indiana last won a basketball game, and it won't be easy for the Hoosiers to bring an end to their six-game losing streak Tuesday. Ohio State has won 12 straight at Value City Arena, including a perfect 7-0 mark this season. With non-conference wins over the likes of Notre Dame and Butler, the Buckeyes climbed to as high as No. 15 in the national polls before slipping out of the top 25 following back-to-back Big Ten road losses at Minnesota and Michigan State. But this still figures to be a very tall order for an IU team that has lost its four road games by an average of 19.8 points/game this season. Indiana also figures to be without the services of Devan Dumes, who hasn't practiced since spraining his ankle Saturday at Illinois.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 195-106 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Ohio State, meanwhile, is coached by Thad Matta, who is in his 5th year with the Buckeyes and 9th year overall. Matta owns a 116-38 mark at Ohio State and a 218-69 mark overall..

The game will be televised by the ESPN with Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (color commentary)and Erin Andrews (sideline reporter)calling the match-up.

Indiana 2008-09 Schedule

Ohio State 2008-09 Schedule

Indiana (5-10/0-3)
PG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 176, Fr.) – 8.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 41.1% FG shooting
SG – Matt Roth (6-3, 180, Fr.) – 5.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 35.9% 3 pt. shooting
WG - Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr.) – 9.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 spg, 46.3% FG shooting
PF- Kyle Taber (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 4.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 49.1% FG shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 12.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 53.6% FG shooting

Ohio State (11-3/1-2 Big Ten)
PG- Jeremie Simmons (6-2, 170, Jr.) – 7.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 32.2% 3 pt. shooting
SG – William Buford (6-5, 190, Fr.) – 9.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jon Diebler (6-6, 205, So.) – 10.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 38.9% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Evan Turner (6-7, 205, So.) – 15.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.4 spg, 49.7% FG shooting
PF – Dallas Lauderdale (6-8, 255, So.) – 6.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 67.9% FG shooting

Indiana 2008-09 Statistics

Ohio State 2008-09 Statistics

What happens in the game's first five minutes? –This is a repeat of one of the keys to Saturday's game at Illinois, but before Indiana can give itself to win a game in the second half, it has to survive the first five minutes of the game. It was unable to do that last month against Kentucky while falling behind 20-2, and it found itself down 21-2 in the early going Saturday at Illinois. That obviously can't happen in Columbus if Indiana has any hopes to keeping this contest close. The challenge will be to avoid the turnovers in the early going that has led to fast-break opportunities for IU's opponents, and to play with a purpose on the defensive end. Indiana gave up way too many easy looks to Illinois because it wasn't ready to compete on the defensive end. The defensive assignment will be even more difficult because of the likely absence of Devan Dumes, but it's critical that IU not give up the same caliber of looks to Ohio State that it did to Illinois.

Assuming Dumes is unable to go, what will IU do with its starting line-up? - Ohio State basically goes with a four-guard line-up, and it's very possible that IU will do the same even if Dumes is unable to start. If they do that the logical choice would be to start Malik Story, a guard who also has the size to physically match up with Buckeye Evan Turner. Indiana's other choice is to go with forward Kyle Taber in the starting line-up, someone who could give them an edge when it comes to rebounding. Considering the importance of ball handling in this game as IU tries to contend with OSU's match-up zone, it's probably more likely that IU goes with four guards to start out, and then brings in Taber when the Buckeyes bring B.J. Mullens off the bench to team up with Dallas Lauderdale.

What sort of luck will Tom Pritchard have against Dallas Lauderdale? - Tom Pritchard is getting his first chance to return to Ohio to play, but he'll have a tough assignment against Lauderdale. The 6'8" sophomore is averaging a Big Ten-best 2.7 blocks/game despite playing less than 23 minutes per contest. If Lauderdale is on the bench Pritchard won't find it much easier against the 7'0" Mullens, who is averaging better than 1.2 blocks/game as well. Pritchard will find it extremely difficult to shoot over either of the Buckeyes' big men, so it's going to be important that he establishes post position as deep as possible and that he looks to draw some contact when he's going up for his shot to possibly get to the free-throw line. IU's other plays on the floor will also need to be active as well when Pritchard has the ball in the post, as he might wind up doing as much damage with his ability to find cutters or open shooters from the post as anything else.

"We've seen (how Indiana played in) the Iowa game, the first half of the Michigan game. In our minds, it's another Big Ten opponent, here we go." – Ohio State Coach Thad Matta

"A couple of guys have to grow into being the ones that the players can look to, when they walk out of the huddle, that it doesn't all evaporate in the sense of having some confidence coming out of the huddle. That they look at each other and say, ‘you know we're going to be alright. Let's get back at it.' We're trying to develop that, we're conscious of that everyday, but at the same time you can't force feed that. The more you try to force feed leadership, it's not the way it works. It has to be something someone is willing to do, they have to have some confidence with it, and it takes off from there." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"I love B.J. (Mullens) because he asks a lot of questions. At first I thought he was trying to get a break in practice, so he'd ask how guys do that." – Matta

"I always wish the best for coaches, and I think (Tom Crean's) the right guy to do that job over there. Any time you take a new job there's going to be a lot of challenges. But I think things are probably going as well as they could expect for them. I think they are doing a heck of a job." – Matta

"I think the rivalry there, with Coach Knight playing here, and all the teams he brought in here, I think there was something pretty magical about that. But it's funny – I feel like we have 10 rivals left on the schedule. And Indiana is definitely one of those." – Matta

"To play against a school like Indiana that had Isiah Thomas and Steve Alford, tons of good players, and the tradition is amazing. The tradition from the state of Indiana for basketball is amazing." – Ohio State sophomore Evan Turner

"I liked how we practiced and we worked and we figured out what we did wrong, we know what we did wrong. It's all about ourselves – it's not about our opponent. We have to be tougher, and we're looking forward to doing that." – Tom Pritchard

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