Losing four games in a row is bad.
In fact, losing four games in a row is worse than losing three games in a row, which is definitely worse than losing just two games in a row.
I know, that's not news. But four games really does feel like the tipping point between "okay, this team needs to figure some things out" and "uh maybe Ohio State actually isn't that great after all." Chris Holtmann's squad has been especially dire on offense as of late, and even the return of Kyle Young (one point in 23 minutes of playing time) didn't do anything at all to help their chances on the road against Indiana.
Each of the losses have been remarkably similar; despite good defensive efforts, turnovers and poor shooting has doomed the Buckeyes for almost two straight weeks now. A team that prided itself on spreading the offensive wealth early in the season is now essentially hoping Kaleb Wesson can score 30 points a game just to stay competitive against the meat of a Big Ten schedule that's only going to get more difficult as the season goes on.
What's maybe even more frustrating than the fundamental problems that this four game losing streak has revealed is the pattern that has emerged with Ohio State men's basketball in the past several seasons.
Starting in the 2013-2014 season, five out of the last seven Buckeye teams have now had losing streaks of four games or more during the season. Remarkably, four of those losing streaks happened in early-to-mid January (the 2015-2016 team had a four game losing streak in November, but then also lost three or four in mid-January of that season), and none of those teams prior to this season finished above 5th in the Big Ten.
Thad Matta was fired, in part, because of his inability to find consistency with his teams. His 2013-2014 team started 15-0 and was ranked third in the country before losing four in a row and ultimately ended up being upset by 11th-seeded Dayton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but that's actually better than the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 squads that didn't even make it in.
So while Chris Holtmann is undeniably a good (or even great) coach, he's going to have to prove it in the next several weeks; this was an Ohio State men's basketball team that looked like a possible Final Four contender less than a month ago. Now, if they don't improve, they might struggle to make it into March Madness at all.
The turnaround hopefully starts next Tuesday against Nebraska.