|Ohio State 4-4, 14-5 Big Ten Roster | Schedule||January 31, 2009 4:00 PM ET - ESPN2 —— Assembly Hall Bloomington, IN||Indiana 5-14, 0-7 Big Ten Roster | Schedule|
This is a trap game. I know Indiana is winless in the conference and have lost 10 straight overall, but Tom Crean has his guys fighting and Ohio State is 1-3 on the road in B10 play.
The Hoosiers have lost their last 2 games by a combined 6 points and have a healthy Devan Dumes this time around, who went for 26 on Wednesday.
In the first matchup, the Buckeyes put five players in double figures and hit 13 of 24 three pointers in the 77-53 whoopin. I just have a funny feeling this will be a different Hoosier team.
|2||Jeremie Simmons||7.6||1.8||3.0||G||33||Devan Dumes||13.6||2.9||1.4|
|33||Jon Diebler||10.5||3.3||2.5||G||20||Nick Williams||8.4||4.7||0.7|
|21||Evan Turner||15.9||7.0||3.1||F||12||Verdell Jones III||8.8||2.7||2.9|
|44||William Buford||10.7||3.5||1.1||F||44||Kyle Taber||4.0||5.3||1.1|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||5.7||4.4||0.4||C||25||Tom Pritchard||12.0||7.4||1.2|
Indiana obviously ranks near the bottom of most conference stats, but they do rank fourth in 3PT shooting and rank second in rebounding margin, two constant areas of concern for OSU. The Hoosiers have shot better than 50% from beyond the arc in their last two games, while grabbing over 10 offensive boards.
The Hoosiers come in scoring 61.1 points a game on 42.4 percent shooting. Crean will rotate up to 10 players into the lineup, with Malik Story and Matt Roth leading the way at a combined 11 points, 5 rebounds.
OSU still leads the conference in shooting at 48.2 percent overall and are second in 3PT shooting at 40.4, making 55 of 136 attempts. It helps that BJ Mullens has made 46 of his 80 shots, a 70 percent clip, which also leads the league. As I mentioned after Wednesday's win, the Buckeyes have shot better than 50% in five of their last six.
Matta will be looking for his 50th career conference win and is looking at this game as a "stepping stone" for this team. He knows this is a game they can get, but they are young and any game on the road, no matter how bad the team, is a tough task.
OSU will have another advantage inside and need to continue the trend from Wednesday of looking to get it there. Simmons and Turner did a great job driving, while BJ and Dallas were strong in their post ups, leading to 34 inside points. Diebler also needs to break out this game, he has scored double digits in only 2 of his last 7, but he had 17 in the first Indiana tilt.
I doubt the Bucks will connect on another 11 bombs in the first, this one will be more of a grind. As mentioned, Indiana has been close recently and Dumes is healthy, but Ohio State has more scoring punch and should win a close one 65-61.
- Buford is the freshman B10 scoring leader at 13.3
- Matta is 26-16 in January.