What to Expect: Ohio State

  • 03/03/2017 9:41 am in

Indiana wraps up the regular season on Saturday afternoon with a road trip to Columbus to take on Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 17-13 overall and 7-10 in the Big Ten.

The game will be broadcast by ESPN at 12 p.m. ET with Dave Flemming and Dan Dakich on the call:

Two of the Big Ten’s five best programs over the last five seasons will meet on Saturday at Value City Arena when Indiana takes on Ohio State.

However, the stakes in this matchup aren’t high. For the second straight season, Ohio State looks destined to miss the NCAA tournament. Indiana, a preseason top 15 team, is 2-8 over its last 10 games and will also miss the tournament.

What’s at stake Saturday?

If Ohio State wins, Indiana will be either the No. 12 or 13 seed in the Big Ten tournament. And if Indiana wins, Ohio State is going to play on Wednesday as either the No. 11, 12 or 13 seed depending on how other conference games finish on Saturday and Sunday. (An IU win doesn’t guarantee that the Hoosiers avoid playing on Wednesday based on outcomes of other games.)

One of the most turbulent Indiana seasons in recent memory is nearing the finish line. The Hoosiers, who beat two teams likely to earn No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament back in November, could be headed for their worst finish in the conference standings since the 2010-11 season.


Ohio State has been one of the top three programs in the Big Ten over the last decade, but the program took a step back last season and the slide has continued this season.

Matta’s best Buckeye teams were built on defense, but this year’s group has been indifferent on that end of the floor. Like Indiana, Ohio State this season is one of the Big Ten’s worst teams at forcing turnovers and guarding beyond the 3-point line.

Ohio State’s leading scorer is junior wing Jae’Sean Tate, who has managed to stay healthy after injuries derailed his sophomore campaign in Columbus. Tate averages 14 points per game and is shooting 54.5 percent from the field. He’s also second on the team in rebounding at 6.4 per game. Tate is only a 57.6 percent free throw shooter and is hitting just 23.5 percent on 3s, but is making 57.1 percent of his 2s in Big Ten play. That’s the 12th best percentage in the conference.

Senior forward Marc Loving is playing the second highest percentage of minutes of any Big Ten player in conference play, but is a high volume shooter with average efficiency numbers. Loving is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game. He’s hitting 41.5 percent of his 3s in league play, but is making just 39.5 percent of his 2s and has a turnover percentage of 23.1.

Trevor Thompson, a 7-foot center, is the anchor in the post for the Buckeyes. Thompson is sixth in the conference in block percentage, third in offensive rebounding percentage and fourth in defensive rebounding percentage. Thompson averages 10.4 points and nine rebounds per game. Freshman Micah Potter backs up Thompson and is making 61.5 percent of his 2s in Big Ten games.

Sophomores CJ Jackson and JaQuan Lyle split the point guard duties. Lyle has been coming off the bench recently, but is the Big Ten’s leading 3-point shooter at 51.2 percent in conference games. Jackson had his best game in an Ohio State uniform on Feb. 23 as he hit all four of his 3-point attempts and scored 18 points in an upset of Wisconsin.

Kam Williams was the Big Ten’s best 3-point shooter last season, but has struggled as a junior. Williams is hitting just 31.3 percent from deep in league play. Andre Wesson, a 6-foot-6 freshman, comes off the bench and is capable of knocking in the occasional 3-pointer. Of Wesson’s ten made field goals in conference play, nine of them have been 3s and he’s shooting 42.9 percent.


The numbers that stand out on this chart: Ohio State has the best free throw rate (FTA/FGA) in the conference. The Hoosiers have the worst opponent free throw rate and have been outscored by 94 points at the foul line in conference road games. If these numbers hold, Indiana will be fighting an uphill battle all afternoon.

The turnover numbers, as usual, will also be critical. Both teams are in the bottom three at forcing turnovers in the league and bottom four in turnover percentage. Indiana has been outscored by 84 points in points off of turnovers in Big Ten games.


The Pomeroy projection is Ohio State by two with a 43 chance for Indiana to pull the upset. Sagarin’s model has the contest as even.

The Buckeyes haven’t enjoyed much of a home court advantage as a poor product has led to declining attendance at Value City Arena. Ohio State has five home losses this season. Indiana is just 1-8 in road games this season.

This wasn’t the matchup ESPN envisioned when it booked this game for a noon time slot on Saturday back in the fall. But it’s the reality for Indiana and Ohio State. At this point, all both teams have left to play for is Big Ten tournament seeding and the possibility of an NIT berth.

(Photo credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America)

Filed to:

  • Fifer39

    Any years of his tenure he hasn’t used one up?

  • Arch Puddington

    It turns out they weren’t signature wins so much as forgeries.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I take it by your tone that you are blaming Crean for players leaving, which happens at every school. Let’s look at each separately.

    Holt – dismissed for disciplinary reasons. Playing well at Prov.
    Max – wanted more PT and Crean wouldn’t guarantee it. Solid in reserve role at SDSU.
    Fischer – got homesick and went back to WI. Admittedly has been really good at MU.
    DD – was kicked off the team for discipline…deservedly so also.
    Stan – wanted to be closer to home and get more PT. Averages 6 ppg in 18 mpg for Rhode Island this year. Still can’t shoot.
    AE – only came to IU bc Crean signed him very early when we still stunk. Was no better and received the same PT at Butler.
    Abell – that one stung. Really liked him. Was really good at XU.
    Patterson – was ruled ineligible for enrollment to the university. Is now at his 3rd school.
    JH – Not sure what happened with him, but it never clicked. I thought he was going to be great, and he was barely playable. Has done really well at GAST, admittedly against inferior comp.
    HMP – see Davis, Devin.

    I guess I don’t see what the complaint is. Only a couple of them were true losses to the program that could have been prevented (Remy and Max). JH just didn’t work out, and that happens occasionally. What’s the beef here?

  • pcantidote

    No, I really wasn’t saying that. Just searching for answers. What led me to the post was the thought that I don’t see the programs that we aspire to be regularly playing walk-ons and guys of similar pedigree. Maybe they do and I just don’t follow them closely enough, but I don’t think so. So if they don’t, and we do, then why is it that our roster is so thin? That led me to the defections.

    I don’t claim to have an answer here, and I don’t know if we have had statistically more or less defections/recruiting busts than what is normal in today’s game. What I do think is that (a) we have historically been thin on our bench under CTC such that the walk-on types keep seeing the floor, (b) I don’t think the walk-on types fit CTCs playing style, (c) I think too many players like that getting minutes can start a snowball like this year, and (d) the thin bench lessens the ability to use the bench as a coaching tool.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Agree on those points. I think we’ve had a few more departures than most major schools over that time period, but I really don’t know a) what could be done to stop it, or b) think it has been THAT big of an issue.

    Luke hurt. Remy hurt. But none of those other players were doing more than giving us depth…and some deep depth 🙂

  • Arch Puddington

    Deep depth is my favorite!

  • Arch Puddington

    Not 9 lives, but perhaps 9 years on a contract, at least at one point. And let’s not forget that while many now agree that a threshold of one sort or another has been crossed, that would not have been true two or three years ago. We would have been fresh off the biggest year in the program since 2002, recruiting seemed to be going well, and there would have been no chance of CTC being fired at that time. Nor should there have been. I continue to believe that he will survive this year due to the payout, but if next year is anywhere near as bad as this and he STILL doesn’t get fired, then I’ll have to admit you were right.

  • NC Hoosier

    And bad losses for Kansas and North Carolina.

  • IdahoHoosier

    As much as some may not like it, I think I agree that scenario is most likely. I see people saying CTC’s teams are trending down, but it is hard to have a trend in one year. Last year’s team did well and performed roughly to their expectation (ending as a top 12-16 team, getting to Sweet 16). I don’t think it would be outrageous or unforgiveable for CTC to get one more year considering the money situation and last year’s success.

  • mharv2631

    Maybe it’s because of a coach who can’t seem to make halftime adjustments.

  • iugradmark

    I think they created some optimism but there are always a few things to consider with early season games. First, teams are just getting to know their own players and their practices are focused on implementing their own systems. Games later in the year, especially when you get to conference play, are played after tons of film study and preparation.

    Second, ITH was pointing out the problems that have plagued this team all year even in the early win, but if you posted after those games anything but platitudes, you were quickly dismissed.

    Crean’s teams usually look worse at the end of the year. Last year was an exception. I think it is because other teams just takeaway our freelance offense and punish us for our mistakes. North Carolina and Kansas like to play fast so Indiana’s style was a good match-up. As we began playing slower teams e.g., Butler, FW, and then league play, we began to see our weaknesses a bit more clearly.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Strong analogy! You are a wordsmith sir.

  • Fifer39

    I appreciate that’s your view of what will likely happen as opposed to what should happen. I’m no TC apologist and I’m not a witch hunter either. But based on program development, trajectory, our incoming class, any signs of an approach that will eventually bring sustained success….it’s difficult for an AD to make a case for sticking with the status quo isn’t it? I wish that wasn’t case but I struggle to think of an argument to stick with things. Other than the payout, but I’m not sure that’s actually a material factor economically any more.

  • Fifer39

    Don’t really disagree, but to take that stance wouldn’t you need to believe that the recent successes COULD be repeated next year, or even the year after. Do we really think that’s likely as things stand?

  • Fifer39

    I remember Jaquan Lyle shooting lights out and I think he will again.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Beating KU and UNC both really got my hopes up. Even at that time, I thought the KU game was a toss up. First game of the season, neither team knows who they are just yet. IU benefitted from showing up and playing hard against a team who didn’t know how good they were yet. So I didn’t put much stock in the KU win, but then they beat UNC and I’ll admit I was a believer at that point. Dang it!

  • pcantidote

    I’ll be stunned if Glass fires him. I think he’ll either let Crean resign this year to go elsewhere, or he’ll let Crean “fire himself” next year with another bad year that leaves no doubt. Of course Crean could have a great year next year which would be fine too. With all of that, how do I just know that Crean will have an “on the fence” year next year that leaves us all back here wondering again 🙂

  • Fifer39

    Yes but an upgrade based on experience rather than talent. Which I agree is a significant upgrade.

    Always amazes me that we had high hopes of most of them being solid contributors on a top team in a top conference. Reality is they’re contributing where they are but not making the impact our expectations would have suggested they should.

    Sickening though, how many of them are either in the tourney as it stands or at least firmly on the bubble.

  • Fifer39

    Last year is the only year I can remember us improving as the season went on rather than regressing. Even with the injuries last year.

  • Arch Puddington

    The more I look at the programs that are where we want to be, two things stand out: the ability to recruit top talent, and the ability to coach effective defense. CTC manifestly can’t do the latter, and has clearly lost ground in the former. The trends are all bad, even allowing for last year, and he can’t go on much longer like this.

    If either the money or last year’s B1G championship spares him from being fired this year, so be it, but after that it’s either win big or head elsewhere. Another year like this would make it four bad years in five, and would see the talent pipeline all but gone. I will be neither stunned nor disappointed if he is let go after this season, but I am certain he has at most one more year. He can’t be anything more than mediocre without elite talent, and next year he won’t have any elite talent. I frankly think this year would be an excellent time to make a change, because there is very little to protect. We don’t have a championship roster returning, and we don’t have a great recruiting class coming in. We’d like to keep as many as we could, but unlike in the case of Mike Davis, there would be no great fear of a terrible dropoff if we lose some players. We are already terrible, and a good new coach might well have a BETTER chance of retaining our key returnees and recruits. I’d do it if it were up to me, but even if that doesn’t happen, everything that is true now will likely be even more true a year from now. I can’t see him lasting beyond that.

  • Arch Puddington

    Yes, it’s hard to have a one-year trend, but this is three bad years in four, and next year is all but certain to be four bad years in five. That is most definitely a trend. And if things continue as they have been, that trend will get even easier to project into the future beyond that because there won’t be the kind of talent in the pipeline that is necessary to get back where we want to be. I give CTC a 75% chance of surviving this year, but less than 5% of surviving next year. His only chance is if he manages to get us into the top 3 or 4 of the conference, then wins a game or two in both the B1G and NCAA tournaments, and manages to get at least a couple of commitments from players in the top 25 or so. If any of those things don’t happen, it will either mean yet another bad season, yet another declining inadequate recruiting class, or both. Mobs with pitchforks would surround Glass’s office if that happens, and he and CTC will both be on the chopping block if things don’t change at that point.

  • pcantidote

    Sure beats shallow depth.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Good points and I really agree with everything you’ve said. Just playing devil’s advocate, the fun thing about trends is the time span it measures is important. Obviously if we used the span of “beginning of IU basketball to the present” IU is trending down hard the last 25 years. If we use the span of “2008 to the present” maybe we are trending up/down but barely (or up then slightly down from the peak in 2013-14). Anyway, I welcome anyone to attempt to plot the “success” of IU bball over any span since it would be fun to see! I think a pretty natural breaking off point with CTC will be after next season, with the only way IU begs him to stay is if he pulls off a Final Four run.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Next year under Crean IU starts slow but gets hot the 2nd half of the season, powers back to finish 4th in the B1G, then magically wins the B1G tourney for the first time ever. With huge momentum IU ONLY reaches the Sweet 16 and the debate starts all over again! Haha. If this turns out to be right someone owes me money!

  • Fifer39

    Don’t disagree with any of your points but if he is retained for next year then won’t the performance expectations be adjusted accordingly – and adjusted downwards given the level of talent we’ll likely have next year compared to this? If you’re FG and you’re not satisfied with how we’ve finished this year, it would seem naive and even a bit pointless to retain the current coaching set up in either the hope or expectation that next year should be much better. If you stick with things you’re surely pretty much expecting a rebuilding phase – in which case you’re either backing TC for the medium term or not at all – rather than a one last shot at redemption.

  • Hoosier84

    Yeah those people who think old yeller is doing fine failed out of vet school

  • AndyCapp

    Took a look at Alex’s charts from last night again…

    – NCAA Tourney Wins are down over the past three years vs. his previous three years (2 vs. 4)
    – B1G Tourney Wins are down over the past three years vs. his previous three years (1 vs. 2)
    – B1G Regular Season Wins are down over the past three years vs. his previous three years (30 vs. 32)

    And according to 247Sports, our recruiting numbers are going down over these same periods (and if Crean IS our coach next year, imagine how hard it will be for him to recruit top players under the cloud of uncertainty).

    These numbers suggest to me that his numbers are most certainly trending down. The most vexing for me personally are the first two. He has not done very well in tourney situations and is actually getting mathematically worse period-to-period.

  • Bud Jenkins

    Butler anyone?

  • vicbert caladipo

    You have to be kidding. Matta isn’t going anywhere. One down year. Better recruiter than our coach and by reading the previous ITH article have experienced more success than our coach. Shirley you are kidding?

  • pcantidote

    I don’t know. I’ve just heard grumbling. There is at least a case starting to develop.

    This will be the second straight year they miss the tournament. Their total season losses have increased each year since 2011. Their BEST finish in the B1G since 2013 is 5th.

  • TomJameson

    This is absolutely incorrect.

    IU loses again, but it will be because of a combination of turnovers, bad defense, and FT discrepancy. I’m guessing that TB and DD are in foul trouble pretty early.

    One caveat is that the last game turnovers wasn’t too bad. But one game does not make a trend.

  • TomJameson

    I agree Arch, but I think the main point is the lack of an efficient and consistent defense. My reasoning is, the lack of a consistent defense is what has led to all those inconsistent seasons at IU. Yes, the B1G titles and sweet 16’s are nice, but not when there are NCAA misses interspersed in-between.

    You’re right about the recruiting slump as well. Getting those jewels in the rough are great, but can’t rely on that. I personally think the recruiting slump is the produce of negative recruiting among some of the other college coaching staffs. Negativity works, just ask any politician who runs a successful campaign … lol.

    CTC gets players to the professional ranks, and develops his players pretty good (NBA coaches love to get his players), but since his winning at the CBB level is so (you guessed it) inconsistent, that negative recruiting really starts sounding “right” to the recruits. One final four run in the last 4 years would have made a huge difference.

    I think a change will happen.

  • TomJameson

    Glass already has set performance objectives for the BB program, and CTC. Those objectives are not even close to being met. I think FG is nowhere near being naïve, and I would think Glass and Crean have had quite a few discussions as to a smooth and mutual separation, as well as a quick and relatively painless transition to a new coach.

    **edit .. there is a fantastic thread on the premium forum that is discussing all the coaching possibilities.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t believe that is true. Won’t say any more than that, but if Archie Miller goes anywhere, it won’t be to OSU.

  • TomJameson

    OMG … playing the “what if” game. Heck, uncork your imagination and just start throwing all the 5-star recruits who had us in their top 3 and went somewhere else.

    Hahahahaha …. What if …

  • pcantidote

    Would have been nice if you would have read the complete thread and tried to understand the point before posting your self righteous tripe.

  • vicbert caladipo


  • AndyCapp

    I know/think you were mostly joking, but in your scenario the ONLY way “the debate starts all over again” is IF he does all of that AND reaches the FF, not S16. I will give you $10 should that happen. But since his teams typically peak midway through the B1G season I think my money’s pretty safe 😉

  • AndyCapp

    Wow Arch, I think you are giving CTC WAY too much wiggle room if he is allowed to stay with us another year. As I wrote to Idaho, the ONLY way he should be retained BEYOND next year is IF we finish 2017-18 reg season as 1-2 seed, win B1G tourney, AND reach the FF, not S16. I still only give him 3-5% chance to do that. ANYTHING less, and combined with his larger body of work here, suggests to me that the CTC tenure should come to an end.

  • TomJameson

    Ooooooo … “self righteous tripe” …. way to reach deep down in your language and debating skills to make a counter-point.

    I’m waiting for the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” argument to be played. Pretty sure that’s going to be a killer.