Ohio State at Indiana Gameday

There are few teams in the country – let alone the Big Ten – any hotter than Ohio State, which has won seven out of its last eight. Hoosier Nation previews Wednesday's game against the Buckeyes, complete with match-ups, statistics, keys to the game, and quotes from both players and coaches about the contest…

Game Particulars: Indiana (9-13/3-7) vs. Ohio State (18-6/8-3)
First place is on the line for Ohio State tonight as it looks to complete the season sweep over Indiana. With last night's Purdue victory over Michigan State, the Spartans dropped back into a tie for the conference lead with Illinois. Ohio State can make it a three-way tie atop the conference with a victory over the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes had little trouble with Indiana when the two teams met last month in Columbus, winning 79-54 in Evan Turner's first game back from his back injury. Indiana committed 14 of its season-high 24 turnovers in the first half, which helped land Indiana in a 38-20 deficit at intermission. Jon Diebler made 5-of-8 3-pointers while leading Ohio State with 21 points, and Indiana was led by Verdell Jones' 22 points.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 205-134 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Ohio State, meanwhile, is coached by Thad Matta, who is in his sixth season at Ohio State and in his 10th year as a head coach overalll. Matta owns a 145-52 mark at Ohio State, and a 247-83 record overall.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Gus Johnson (play-by-play) and Shon Morris (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

Ohio State 2009-10 Schedule

Indiana (9-13/3-7)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 38.3% FG shooting
SG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 14.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 40.4% FG shooting, 72% FT shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 12.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 40.1% FG shooting, 81% FT shooting
PF –Derek Elston (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.4 apg, 45.6% FG shooting, 41.2% 3 pt. shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 4.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 62.5% FG shooting, 46.2% FT shooting

Jordan Hulls (6-0, 172, Fr.) – 5.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 36.8% 3 pt. shooting, 78.6% FT shooting
Devan Dumes (6-2, 192, Sr.) – 6.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 32.9% 3 pt. shooting
Bobby Capobianco (6-9, 238, Fr.) – 2.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.3 apg, 40.9% FG shooting

Ohio State (18-6/8-3)
PG – William Buford (6-5, 200, So.) – 14.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 35.6% 3 pt. shooting, 78.9% FT shooting
SG – Jon Diebler (6-6, 210, Jr.) – 12.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 43.5% 3 pt. shooting, 87.1% FT shooting
WG – David Lighty (6-5, 225, Jr.) – 12.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg, 37.2% 3 pt. shooting, 61.4% FT shooting
SF – Evan Turner (6-7, 210, Jr.) – 19.7 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.0 spg, 55.8% FG shooting, 72.8% FT shooting
PF- Dallas Lauderdale (6-8, 260, Jr.) - 7.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 76.7% FG shooting, 45.6% FT shooting

P.J. Hill (6-1, 170, Sr.) – 4.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 39.4% 3 pt. shooting
Jeremie Simmons (6-2, 175, Sr.) – 5.9 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 39.7% 3 pt. shooting
Kyle Madsen (6-9, 250, Sr.) – 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.2 apg, 57.8% FG shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Ohio State 2009-10 Statistics

Will Indiana find a way to get a prominent Buckeye or two in foul trouble? – Few would argue with the suggestion that Ohio State has the most talented starting five in the Big Ten. Evan Turner is a can't miss first-team All-American, Jon Diebler is one of the nation's best 3-point shooters, while David Lighty and Will Buford are versatile playmakers who do a little bit of everything. Add in shot blocker extraordinaire Dallas Lauderdale, and Thad Matta's first five is without many weaknesses. But if you can somehow figure out a way to get into Ohio State's bench, there's a significant drop-off. Since Big Ten play opened, no Buckeye reserve is averaging 3.0 points or more or than 13 minutes/game. The bench has also steadily shrunk, to the point that in last weekend's 68-58 win over Iowa, Diebler, Turner, Lighty and Buford all played 40 minutes and Matta used only six players (Kyle Madsen played 22 off the bench). If Indiana is going to get someone in foul trouble Crean's team is going to need to be aggressive off the dribble, get into the lane and force the officials to make some calls.

Will the same mistakes plague the Hoosiers a second time around? -There's a saying that says that if you don't learn from history then you're bound to repeat it. Those are words to live by with the Hoosiers as they prepare for the Buckeyes. When these two teams met on Jan. 6, it wasn't the return of Evan Turner that did in IU in the 25-point defeat. Instead, it was the Hoosiers ineptitude at keeping track of the basketball. Indiana's starting backcourt turned it over 14 times, with Jeremiah Rivers committing six turnovers while Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones had four apiece. Add in the six turnovers by Christian Watford, and the end result was a 24-10 edge for Ohio State in points off turnovers. Afterwards, IU Coach Tom Crean was frustrated with not only the quantity of turnovers, but also the source. Most of Indiana's miscues were of the unforced variety, be it an ill-advised pass or simply not being strong with the basketball. Ohio State's defense causes enough havoc that Indiana can't afford to contribute to its own demise with carelessness. If Indiana is going to give itself a chance, it needs to cut its turnover total in half from the last time these two teams met.

What will Indiana do with its starting line-up? - For three straight games, Indiana has opted to go big. Against Illinois, Purdue and Northwestern, the Hoosiers started Derek Elston in place of Jordan Hulls, giving them a three-forward line-up designed to be more effective on the glass. But considering the make-up of Ohio State's line-up, it would be tough for the Hoosiers to go big Wednesday night. For all intents and purposes, Ohio State starts a four-guard line-up with Lauderdale the fifth player in the post. It's hard to imagine asking Elston to match up with one of those perimeter players out of the gates, so it would seem more likely that IU would go back to the three-guard attack. In Columbus Hulls was that third guard, and he struggled trying to stay with the 6'5" Diebler who wound up making 5-of-8 from 3-point range. While this might seem like a stretch since he hasn't started a game yet this season, if IU wants its best defensive match-up from the opening tip it give the nod to Devan Dumes. He's better equipped to match-up with a Diebler, Lighty or Buford.

"We have to take care of the ball. The biggest thing that hurt us down there offensively was that we had so many unforced turnovers in that game and they forced us to run our offense too far out because we didn't get penetration and we didn't get great screening." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"We're a better team (than the first they we played), there's no doubt about that, but I think they are too because they have a healthy Evan Turner." – Crean

"We have to be in attack mode in this game too. That's going to be crucial. We need to be able to execute and get the ball in the lane, get the ball inside, get the ball reversed, all those things we've been getting better at, we really have to do those things in this game." – Crean

"We have to become a harder team to score against and rebound against for longer stretches in the game. Everyone is going to have lulls – that goes without saying. But we have to cut our lulls down." – Crean

"Confidence comes from working it out. Confidence comes from demonstrating ability. Confidence comes from getting in the gym and practicing things again and again until they become second nature. Confidence also comes from a real will to impose your will and impose your physicality. We don't have all that yet, but we still have to get everything out of us that we possibility can in the sense of how hard we play and how smart we play." – Crean

"We need more people to be that third and fourth scorer for us on a consistent basis. I don't know if it's going to be any one or two people. It might be different people each night. But we have to have more of that." – Crean

"Who's best, who's not best, I don't know. There's voting for those things. The most versatile player I've seen this year? I don't think there's any question it's (Evan Turner)." – Turner

"We feel we've made tons of improvement over the last couple of weeks. We've had all types of games end in different situations and we've learned from each one of those. So we feel we're a totally different team from the first time we played them." – Bobby Capobianco

"The game at Ohio State was real rough for us. I think we've grown a lot, learned a lot since then. I don't think we'll have that type of energy or overall effort." – Jeremiah Rivers

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