Indiana takes on red-hot Buckeyes

  • 01/10/2016 7:21 am in

Indiana will put its eight-game winning streak on the line today when it plays host to Ohio State at Assembly Hall.

The Buckeyes, winners of their last seven, are also 3-0 in Big Ten play, and the winner will join Maryland at 4-0 atop of the league standings.

Ohio State’s big win of the year came a few weeks ago, beating Kentucky by seven at the Barclays Center in Brookly. The Buckeyes have looked much better since that game after starting the season just 2-4.

“The Kentucky win was a huge win for them, because they really played with a lot of confidence on the road,” Tom Crean said. “Probably like the Notre Dame second half did for us.”

Crean went as far as to say Ohio State is “the best team we will have played thus far.”

A young team with just one upperclassmen, the Buckeyes are led by junior forward Marc Loving. He’s averaged 14.9 points and six rebounds per game. Indiana native and freshman JaQuan Lyle averages 9.1 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds a game.

“Ohio State is clicking on all cylinders,” Crean said. “Their length poses an issue, we’re going to have to be very good on the glass and on transition defense.”

The Buckeyes also have strong inside presence with Trevor Thompson, a transfer from Virginia Tech, and freshman Daniel Giddens. Giddens gets almost two and a half blocks a game, while Thompson averages 1.5. It’ll be a significant challenge for Thomas Bryant – both scoring wise and when it comes to foul trouble. Ohio State’s defense ranks 16th in the country according to KenPom.

“They’re playing outstanding defense, they’re posing a lot of problems – as much as any team we’ve seen to this point- with rim protection and being able to defend the paint,” Crean said. “There’s no question that they’re really good.”

While the Buckeyes have played great defense this season, the offense has been the opposite.

Ranking 141st in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom, the Buckeyes are very much a work in progress. Indiana’s defense has improved in conference play (No. 82 in KenPom), and the Hoosiers have yet to lose at home this season.

“From what we’ve been watching on film, and what we’ve been told, they have a lot of length on defense,” Juwan Morgan said. “They’re really active and they like to get out and run in transition. They’ll be a challenge for us just like every Big Ten game.”

Due to Ohio State’s defense, limiting turnovers will be key for Indiana. And with James Blackmon Jr. out for the season, the Hoosiers will need Robert Johnson and Troy Williams to play better than they have through their first three conference games.

“We’ve had good stretches, but we’ve got to have longer ones,” Crean said.

Filed to:

  • Hoosier Hall

    If Rob, Nick and especially Troy bring their “A” games then I think we win by 7 or better. If not, we’re in for a battle and maybe a loss.

  • TomJameson

    I know I’ve been harping on this all along, but IMO it’s all going to come down to the turnovers. IU will need EVERY offensive possession it can get. If they give the ball up on 20% of them, they will lose. Can’t win against OSU by giving up 1 of 5 possessions.

    IU defense/offense will be just fine otherwise. Hopefully RJ and Troy get out of their funk though, THAT would help a bunch. LOL

  • ForeverIU

    Not necessarily, Tom. Especially against a team that also turns it over a lot. If playing with some turnovers means that we get proportionally higher production when we don’t turn it over (and more possessions), then turnovers are okay. Yogi, Troy and Rob will commit turnovers, and it’s fine if they give us, let’s say, a combined 40 points and 18-20 rebounds.

  • mharv2631

    Duke will still be the best team they have played.

  • You could be right.. But I think if we had played them away from Cameron Indoor, and maybe at this point in the season, I think we may have done better than we did back then. They’re still very good, but I don’t think Duke is a Top 5 team..
    There’s and interesting Interview (video) of Bill Rafferty over on Inside Indiana 247 Sports, that talks about Indiana and who he thinks some of the better teams are in the country this year.

  • Young Hoosier

    This will be a tough game. tOSU has a really good defense.

  • Young Hoosier

    We need more than 40 from those 3.

  • Jrod

    Why can this young team of under classman be ranked in the top 20 in defense and we be ranked so low? Coaching? Basketball philosophy? Buying into the program?

  • Young Hoosier

    Coaching. Not often they’ve been outside the Top 40. And have had plenty of very good defensive teams. Matta is a good coach. Top 10 in the nation probably.

  • BL

    I’ll continue to argue it’s the players. OS is recruiting more well rounded or defensive minded players (e.g. Aaron Craft vs. JBJ). Further illustrating that point; if we continue to see more minutes for CH, OG and JM, our defensive ranking will continue to climb.

  • ForeverIU

    6 Nick
    8 OG and Juwan combined
    10 Thomas
    6 Collin

    6 Max

    That’s an additional 36 points.
    We will beat OSU 76-72

  • I think you’re probably right. Doesn’t it seem when you look at any for the recruits that we go after, they’re nearly all guys that can score. If they play defense at all, it’s just kind of a bonus.. It is probably easier to teach a guy to defend, than to score, if he just doesn’t have the ‘touch’.. But in order to teach them and expect them to become a good defender, there are still some qualifications, i.e., lateral quickness, quick reflexes, fast feet, etc.. and then of course to have to get the guys to buy into playing defense.. It doesn’t matter how much you work on defense and practice it in practice, they have to buy into the notion of expending the effort on the defensive side of the ball. Thad Motta had a good interview on the Dakitch Show this past week.. When asked what started turning it around for the Buckeyes, he said, it seemed like after the Kentucky game when the team saw what exerting the effort on defense and doing what the coaches were telling them.. They just started buying into what the coaches were trying to get them to do.. In other words they kind of became believers.. when they saw, ‘Hey maybe these guys are telling us what is best for us’. Thad said you get a lot of kids out of High school, and you try and try to tell them stuff, but they still think they know best what they should do.. But, when you can get them to ‘buy in’ to what you’re trying to do as a team.. then is when it starts to ‘click’… and the team starts getting better.

  • BL

    Absolutely. Also, there are only 5 guys on the floor. You can generally hide one poor defender that’s a real asset offensively. Unfortunately, with this group, in addition to JBJ, we have two additional high minute players that haven’t brought it defensively every game (YF and TW), and they’re our leaders. The good news, as I suggested above, we have CH and two good freshman that appear to enjoy playing D, and as you know, good D can be contagious.

    One more thought – I don’t think TC just recruits offensive types. Although, after the Vonleh led team that I believe played good D but couldn’t shoot (other than YF), I believe Tom went looking for shooters. Probably a lesson learned; when in doubt, go for the well rounded player (e.g. OG).

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    I think this is a must win from a team confidence standpoint. If they win big then they will get a little swagger.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Very good point BL I also think that is why we have been a little more focused on three players as well to try and get upper class men. I don’t think CTCs like the player turnover either. That is just a thought. I think we will see less playerturnover in the future.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Wow! Way to go Ken!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    This is a beat down for IU.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Up by 15!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Bruce you there?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Well IU is up 15 right now.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Up 26!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Up 28!

  • Hey way to go Hoosiers.. 48 to 18 at the half. How many saw this coning. I certainly did not.. Now hopefully they keep iit going and ‘close it out’…

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    I am loving it

  • Red hot, indeed.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Awesome first half! Great NFL game on also.

  • BKLock

    Best twenty minutes of basketball this year. Now let’s keep our foot on the gas and not let up in the second half.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Amen.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I can’t lose after being up 30,,, ,,, ,can they?

  • BKLock

    I would hope not. Just want them to have the same defensive intensity in the second half.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    BK up by 35!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    This is great!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Nick needs a bucket.

  • “Crean can’t run inbound plays.” I’m just going to leave the play at 10:15 of the second half right here…

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I missed that. What happened?

  • Man, Bryant is feeling it.

  • Really nice inbounds with only 3 seconds on shot clock to Bryant for wide open slam.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I saw that. I thought something else happened

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    This is great!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    #3 Ncaa seed right now.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Nick is begging for a bucket.

  • I know. Can you imagine if he was hitting as he usually does?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    He really is off. His former is fading left.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Bryant is a beast.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Game over!!!##