What to Expect: Ohio State

  • 01/14/2012 1:06 pm in

The No. 7 Hoosiers, coming off a disappointing 77-74 home loss to Minnesota on Thursday, hit the road for Value City Arena in Columbus and a showdown with No. 5 Ohio State. Indiana won the first meeting, 74-70, on Dec. 31. 

The game will be shown on CBS (Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg) and broadcast on the IU radio network:

Indiana’s schedule to begin conference play has been, in a word, challenging. Three of five games against the league’s top tier. And it doesn’t get any easier on Sunday afternoon as the Hoosiers face an Ohio State team that can not afford to fall behind any further in the conference standings. Both teams already own a pair of Big Ten losses and a third will put IU or OSU three behind Michigan State (assuming they emerge victorious today in Evanston) in the loss column.

The payback factor is also in-play as the Buckeyes are looking to avenge a New Year’s Eve loss in Bloomington. Whether it was the atmosphere in Assembly Hall or just a bad game, that loss produced several subpar individual performances from Thad Matta’s club. Aaron Craft had six turnovers. William Buford never established a presence on offense due to foul trouble. Likewise for Deshaun Thomas.

Both teams are coming off surprising losses. For the Hoosiers, a lackluster defensive effort was their ultimate undoing against Minnesota. For Ohio State, a once-in-a-lifetime performance from Brandon Paul (43 points on 11-of-15 shooting) led Illinois to a 79-74 upset on Tuesday. And I don’t use that terminology to describe Paul’s play lightly. He was incredible, but also unlikely to play that well ever again. The Buckeyes ran into a buzzsaw.

DEFENSE SEPARATES THESE TEAMS

Through five league games, Ohio State owns the league’s best defense. They’re allowing just 0.86 points per possession. They’re also ranked No. 1 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency by Ken Pomeroy. Indiana, on the other hand, is allowing 1.12 points per possession in league play. That’s last in the Big Ten.

In the Hoosiers’ last two, they’ve allowed Penn State, who is scoring .98 points per possession in conference play, to score 1.15 and Minnesota, who is scoring 1 point per possession in conference play, to score 1.15. This is a trend the Hoosiers must reverse or cold shooting nights will produce more losses. As Tom Crean said about the Hoosiers following Thursday’s loss, “They’re shooting the ball well and getting a lot of attention for winning and things like that, but teams that take the next step totally get that defense is what comes first in every situation. Defense creates the offense, defense creates more opportunities, defense creates the fast break, you name it. The best teams gain confidence from their defense, not the other way around.”

The above illustration depicts conference numbers to-date for both teams defensively. Granted, Indiana’s Big Ten schedule has been tougher than Ohio State’s. But besides 3-point defense and block percentage, the Buckeyes have been much better.

AN UPHILL BATTLE

Ohio State’s last home loss came on Feb. 17, 2010 to Purdue. This is the toughest game remaining on Indiana’s schedule. Pomeroy gives the Hoosiers a 16% chance and predicts Ohio State 77, Indiana 65. Sounds logical.

As we’ve outlined above, Indiana’s defense is going to be a storyline for the foreseeable future. Crean’s message to his team was clear: Defense must create offense. It hasn’t happened thus far in Big Ten play. And I’m not sure it will Sunday. But there are things that can be corrected on a game-by-game basis. Ryan outlined several of them in Film Session earlier today.

From the optimistic side of things, Indiana still possesses one of the elite offenses in college basketball that Ohio State must contend with. Thursday’s shooting performance is unlikely to be replicated very often. The Hoosiers have won four of five game away from Assembly Hall. Granted none of the wins have come against an opponent the caliber of Ohio State, but this group’s confidence away from home has increased significantly.

CREAN, PLAYERS ON OHIO STATE

Crean on the game

“This will be a high-level, intense game. A game where both teams will know each other very well and will come down to how well each team adapts to how they are being played.”

“OSU is a well coached and talented team that can score the ball in a lot of different ways. They can play inside out, they can drive but more than anything they have a lot of different weapons you have to defend at all times.”

“It’s important that we limit our turnovers and not allow them to get out in transition and get easy baskets.”

On playing OSU twice in five games

“Every game is different whether you played each other two weeks ago or two months ago. More importantly, as a team we need to have great communication and awareness and focus on the things that have made us successful thus far.”

“Right now players are getting into a routine with two games a week, classes, practices and travel. That’s what makes conference play so tough, especially in the Big Ten.”

On Cody Zeller’s play and how he is improving

“I think every time Cody plays, he learns something and he adapts that to his game. I think defensively he needs to continue to work on his verticality. Offensively, I thought he looked to make plays, Thursday.”

On Will Sheehey’s contributions

“Will did a great job with his rehab. He paid attention while he was out and kept himself mentally ready. He was much more vocal than he has been and also trying to help his teammates play as hard as they can. Every day he gets better and his presence will increase competition in the games and more importantly in practice.”

“I think when you have something taken away, it gives you a different appreciation and Will has certainly come back with that type of attitude.”

Matt Roth on the game

“I think both teams will be coming in with an edge, both coming off tough losses this past week. I think both teams will make adjustments based on the game two weeks ago.”

On learning from the Minnesota game

“We have done a good job throughout the year of communicating and helping on defense and for whatever reason, we did not do that as well last game. It’s something to learn from and take with us as we move forward.”

On playing an opponent a second time in two weeks

“It’s tough to say whether it is an advantage or not. It’s fresher in our minds and we remember how we played them, but we know teams make changes and we have to prepare for them like we always would.”

On playing off the team’s defense

“We have to continue to understand that the best things happen for us when we play great defense. We are going to get deflections, we are going to get rebounds, fast break opportunities, layups and that makes the game easier.”

Christian Watford

On playing an opponent a second time in two weeks

“At this point, it really doesn’t matter. You just have to be ready to go.”

On Sunday’s game

“We have to be more active on defense and our communication level has to go up. I think they will try and pound the ball inside, but we also know they have so many players who can hurt you.”

On playing off the team’s defense

“It’s what has gotten us to where we are right now. If you get easy baskets in transition, then that turns into confidence on offense.”

QUICK FACTS ON OHIO STATE

All-time series: Indiana leads 102-77
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Student Enrollment: 56,867
Established: 1870

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  • IU_Redzone09

    I think it is a very important game to see how IU responds to the loss on Thursday. I hope they play better defense and give a good showing. No shame in losing @ OSU but I hope they make it a competitive the whole way.

    Let’s shock the world again on Sunday. Go Hoosiers.

  • This game is really going to say a lot about both teams, we are going to find out how much fight this Indiana team has in them, and how good Ohio State really is as they are coming off of a very frustrating road loss and a recent loss to IU. I’m really interested to see who steps up for IU in this game. I feel like the motivation, heart, and fight from Jordy, VO, Watford, Verdell, and Sheehey should just be through the roof. In the end it doesn’t really matter for me whether IU wins or loses. I just want to see some damn effort from tip-off to the final buzzer. 

    If we won I would be ecstatic, but I really just want to see some heart and fight. Bring that intensity on Sunday boys!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    On paper OSU should win based on being at home. Outlined very well in the above article. On the other hand if there is a role this team can embrace….it is being the underdog. With a chip on their shoulder we will see if they are ready to rise to the occasion once again. I think we are in for a good one on this January Sunday. Go get em boys. I bet we are hungry once again.

  • Andrew

    The only thing we can really expect in this game is horrible commentary from Verne Lundquist.  Jim Nantz is certainly no treat (he’d always rather be in the Butler Cabin), but since CBS’ “No. 1” broadcast team isn’t together until Semifinal Saturday at the B1G Tournament, college basketball fans have to suffer thru extra heaps of Verne.  No matter how many mistakes he makes, he’s courtside, looking like Jaba the Hut in glasses.  As awful as he is at broadcasting football, he’s even worse at hoops, since the game moves so much faster.  Not a Clark Kellogg fan either, but of course anything trumps Billy Packer, so there ya go.

    C’mon Hoosiers, beat those Huskers!  Wednesday has become pretty much a must-win.  All I want to see tomorrow is some toughness and pride on the defensive end.

  • Andrew

    The only thing we can really expect in this game is horrible commentary from Verne Lundquist.  Jim Nantz is certainly no treat (he’d always rather be in the Butler Cabin), but since CBS’ “No. 1” broadcast team isn’t together until Semifinal Saturday at the B1G Tournament, college basketball fans have to suffer thru extra heaps of Verne.  No matter how many mistakes he makes, he’s courtside, looking like Jaba the Hut in glasses.  As awful as he is at broadcasting football, he’s even worse at hoops, since the game moves so much faster.  Not a Clark Kellogg fan either, but of course anything trumps Billy Packer, so there ya go.

    C’mon Hoosiers, beat those Huskers!  Wednesday has become pretty much a must-win.  All I want to see tomorrow is some toughness and pride on the defensive end.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Damn…Zing

  • JerryCT

    Thats funny.

    Oddly enough I spent considerable time with Verne in Norway last summer over a 2 week period. If you knew him and had drinks with him I think you would be more charitable. He is a warm , friendly , wonderful and humble man who would readily admit to you that he is not an analyst but a broadcaster and relies heavily on others in the entire crew.

    He is so self deprecating that he would probably enjoy your post.

    A Story from Verne:

    Nick Faldo wins his first major and phones his wife and offers to buy her anything she wants. She says she wants nothing. Faldo suggests jewelry, a car , anything. She then says well yes, she wants a divorce. Faldo says he was hoping to get her something less expensive

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Jordan Hulls had a similar second half last year in the home win against Illinois.  It propelled him to one of his best games of the year at MSU.  He really started to show that old, late 2010-11 Jordy on the offensive end where he could separate and make plays Thursday against Minn.  I expect that to continue. 

    CWat plays his best ball and shows up against big opponents in big games!

    Zeller will play his heart out again against Sullinger.

    If, and this is a big if, if the zebras let them play a little, I expect IU to come out and play with all they have and punch OSU in the mouth.

    Because of this, and because I think they may not call it so tight since there was so much media backlash after the foul fest at AH, I am going out on a huge, huge limb and saying that IU upsets OSU in Columbus tomorrow night!

    Everyone has to lose at home eventually.  We’ve seen huge streaks come to an end this year and I’m taking a leap of faith saying IU is in prime position to pull the upset and pop right back up into the top ten!  This team has heart and has passion and I think they saw that ranking, panicked a bit, but they’ll want it back badly.

    HOO HOO HOOSIERS!!!

    P.S. – I’ll forgive Verdell for all his poor games if he just has his best game as a Hoosier tomorrow night!  –  Like it matters what I think! HA

  • Looks like I jinxed Michigan State.

  • Stlbam

    Yup, the B1G race remains wide open! Iowa over Michigan too. This league has more parity then I can ever remember. Makes it fun to watch non IU conference games, but makes every IU game nerve racking as heck.

  • Dolfandad13

    Yea. It makes me think that Minnesota loss will come back to bite us

  • eph521

    What announcers do you like? Just curious.

    I have an allegiance to Verne because of his role in ‘Happy Gilmore’. I love golf and Adam Sandler, so you get the idea.

    In my opinion, Clark Kellogg is one of the best analysts in the game. Comes off as incredibly qualified and rarely talks about his past glory days like so many others do. Stand up guy.

  • Kelin Blab

    Would not surprise me if IU won the game. It would be a big road win but not a surprise. IU is a deeper team, can score with OSU, and when they want to defend well they are very good. Will come down to:
    + Christian Watford
    + FTM/FTA
    + Rebounding
    + Bench play
    + Making Sullinger play defense
    + With Will back, you can throw him and watford at Buford. Victor/Remy play Croft

    Prediction…You kids ready for this? IU by 2 Verdell Jones your pick click winner and scores 22pts 4 asst 4reb

  • Kelin Blab

    Love Clark too…any guy that can work in the word delicious into a bball game is alright with me

  • Andrew

    Wow, very interesting, Jerry.  Of all the places to meet old Verne, you go and do it in Oslo (just a guess).  I remember reading once that his dad was a Lutheran minister and was disappointed when VL decided on a life of broadcasting.  Oh how I wish he listened to his father.

    I’m glad he’s a nice guy, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s 100% terrible at his job.  Broadcasting is one of the hardest jobs to lose—you just have to avoid saying anything racist or homophobic or the like.  I like Dick Enberg b/c of his IU ties, and I’m sure he’s a great guy too (Oh, my!), but his last few years doing basketball were downright embarrassing.  Watch the 2002 IU/Duke game if you don’t believe me.  It’s frustrating b/c you know there’s talent out there, but it’s easier to go with the name, the old man, forever and ever.  Wish there were more Sean McDonoughs and Dan Shulmans and Mike Tiricos and Gus Johnsons doing play-by-play out there (Gus actually makes his fair share of mistakes but overcomes that with off-the-charts enthusiasm).  Big Mondays are a joy just b/c of the banter among McDonough, Raftery, and Bilas.  Those guys are the best crew by far, in my opinion.

    Speaking of broadcasters, how sad was Dickie V during the Carolina beatdown?  That was fun to watch.

  • Anonymous

    More please

  • InTheMtns

    Hey, it ALWAYS matters what you think, Ace!   Especially since I like your thinking on this one.

    Wow, topsy-turvy B1G. Iowa beat Michigan, NW beat MSU and neither game was close. It’s getting hard to make sense of the world if this keeps up.

  • InTheMtns

    Hey, it ALWAYS matters what you think, Ace!   Especially since I like your thinking on this one.

    Wow, topsy-turvy B1G. Iowa beat Michigan, NW beat MSU and neither game was close. It’s getting hard to make sense of the world if this keeps up.

  • haha!
    I don’t mind Lundquist.  I still have fond memories of his 15 pre recorded lines in my NBA Live 98 game for playstation.  I like Kellogg – disappointed he won’t be calling Pacer games anymore.
    You are dead on with Packer though.  I am so happy he is gone.
    I think the worst in the business are the ESPN studio guys… for all sports – #1 being a tie between Trent Dilfer, Stu Scott, and Keyshawn Johnson.  I think Nance comes across as conceited.  I’m not sure how he is CBS’ marquee announcer.

    On a related note.  Go Hoosiers!

  • Onceafink

    Hope we show improvement in tomorrow’s game. It will be tough to play in Columbus, but if we can correct some of the mistakes from Thurs. it will be good. Would love to see us win & be at Schmidt’s listening to the OSU fans drown their sorrows in some good German beer!

    I was surprised that MSU lost to Northwestern today. What an exciting game to watch! The Big Ten is really rocking this year. The BT Tournament should be terrific this year.

  • NervousWreck

    I would so love if this were to happen.

  • Anonymous

    A week of “upsets” in the B1G…Who would have thought this week would turn out like it has?

    This game could get interesting tomorrow if both teams come in hungry and mad because of their losses earlier in the week. IU will have to step up on the defensive end of the court to have any chance of upsetting OSU on their home court. 

    Good luck Hoosiers!!!

  • Anonymous

    I think our Hoosiers will pull this one off. IU by 4 with Sheehey and Olafipo both having big defensive nights.

  • Anonymous

    Ask  UM and MSU how they liked their games on the road yesterday. IU has a shot if they play a near perfect game and OSU misses some shots…but… Bucks shoot the eyes out at home (especially Buford)…Sullinger will get all the early calls down low putting Cody on the bench..and the home crowd will be looking for payback. Figure IU to be 3-3 when the smoke clears…but with what’s going on in the league this year..they are still in contention. I think yesterday’s upsets proved that there is no such thing as a “gimme” road game. IU needs to get at least two unexpected wins on the road..and hold home losses to 2 more games to reach the promised land of the NCAA tounament..with a decent placement.. Go Hoosiers.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not looking forward to this game. Not the way we’ve been playing the last few games. I hope crean can right the ship. If we are in contention for a B1G championship, it won’t be long before we eliminate ourselves from contention. We are the worst defensive team in the B1G right now. That worries me. Also, am I the only one who is afraid to play northwestern w/ all the screening and back cuts? Gonna eat us alive.

  • HoosierFromCt

    that’s a lot of +’s

  • JerryCT

    Verne always does the 16th hole of the masters. That was the hole Tigers putt hung on the lip with the Nike logo before dropping in. He claimed over drinks however the most exciting 16th hole he ever saw was Nicklaus monster putt to win the Masters when in his mid 40’s.

    As a small world story the wife of my friend having drinks with us was hit by Nicklaus shot off the tee on the 16th hole at that Masters.

    Again, he would not claim to be expert at any of the sports ( except maybe golf ). He relies on spotters , producers and his sidekicks like Faldo, Bradshaw, Danielson and today Kellogg ………… who I am sure will give all the analysis.

  • Andrew

    Just be glad we only play them once…at the Hall.

  • Anonymous

    NW always a nightmare to play..has Shurna been there 7 years or is it just my imagination?

  • Anonymous

    NW always a nightmare to play..has Shurna been there 7 years or is it just my imagination?

  • IUJeff

    The play of our bench will be huge. I think we wear OSU down late in the game with aggressive D and attacking the rim on O. 

    I’d like to see Vic and Remy in a full court press with Sheehey playing the passing lanes to start the game.   

  • corey

    We need to stop the points being scored in the paint, Olidapio needs to go to the hole more and zeller needs to draw fouls and bang under the hoop. roth he has to play more if he’s on today. jones if he starts doing stupid things get him outta there cause we all know where that will end up. Main thing is dont let them take off and start getting easy buckets.. PLAY LIKE YOUR A TEAM THAT IS RANKED!! YOU ARE SO PLAY LIKE IT..we’ve beat these guys once before we can do it again.. if Ill can do it we are sure to do it again.. lets snap the win streak they have at home,, with the upsets that was made yesterday and us get this win, the loss we endured thursday shouldnt hurt us too much i wouldnt think.. LETS SHOW THE WORLD THAT HOOSIER BALL IS FOR REAL!!! I.U. BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • corey

    We need to stop the points being scored in the paint, Olidapio needs to go to the hole more and zeller needs to draw fouls and bang under the hoop. roth he has to play more if he’s on today. jones if he starts doing stupid things get him outta there cause we all know where that will end up. Main thing is dont let them take off and start getting easy buckets.. PLAY LIKE YOUR A TEAM THAT IS RANKED!! YOU ARE SO PLAY LIKE IT..we’ve beat these guys once before we can do it again.. if Ill can do it we are sure to do it again.. lets snap the win streak they have at home,, with the upsets that was made yesterday and us get this win, the loss we endured thursday shouldnt hurt us too much i wouldnt think.. LETS SHOW THE WORLD THAT HOOSIER BALL IS FOR REAL!!! I.U. BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    Buford n Craft will have huge games today. Can will and Vic match their production? That will be the key to a Hoosier upset. Can VJ3 play within the gameplan? Can Big Z stay out of foul trouble?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    You’re absolutely right man.  The B1G is nuts!

    MSU beats IU at home, IU beats OSU and Mich at home.  Iowa beats Wisc and Minn on the road, Iowa gets killed at home by MSU and OSU, Iowa beats up on Mich at home, PSU kills PUke at home, IU beats PSU at PSU, PUke turns around and beats Minn at Minn, then Minn beats IU at IU, then NW beats MSU at home!  Illinoying beats OSU in Champaign but gets killed at PUke. 

    It’s a nutty, nutty conference and if I were any other team in any other conference, I would thank my lucky stars that I didn’t have to play in the B1G this year.  Anyone can beat anyone anywhere on any given day!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Well, KB, we’ve agreed on this one with both IU winning a tight one and VJ3 coming out an playing the best game of his career.  I hope we’re right.

    As stated above, anyone can beat anyone at anytime in this conference and anywhere!

    Do you agree that the officials are going to have to let them play a bit for IU to play tough D and punch OSU in the mouth at home?  Or will it benefit IU for the game to be called like it was at AH???

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, I’m hoping IU’s loss fires them up and OSU’s loss gives them a hangover!

    That’s very wishful thinking!

  • corey

    CZ will stay outta foul trouble he needs to do what he done last game against OSU and draw fouls.. if he can get that beast osu has to go take a seat then we should be in pertty good shape. Matt roth needs to have a good game tho