Breakdownability: Ohio State – Indiana Preview

Written February 8th, 2013 by Ken

Not nearly as cool as ‘The Ohio State-ment 12-0′ tee shirt…



School: Indiana University

Location: Bloomington, IN

Founded: 1820

Student Population: 110,436 total, 89,175 undergrad

School Type: Public

Stadium: Assembly Hall

Seating: 17,472

Opened: 1971

Head Coach: Tom Harbaugh Crean

Experience: 5th year at UM

The 11th ranked Buckeyes (17-5, 7-3) host the #1 (for now) ranked Indiana Hoosiers (20-3, 8-2) Sunday afternoon. This wraps up Indiana Week, where the Buckeyes dusted the Hoosiers in women’s basketball earlier in the week. Hopefully, the men’s team can uphold their end of the deal. The problem is that we’re talking Venus/Mars; not quite the same match-up.

Both teams enter this game coming off tough losses during the week; OSU a valiant overtime loss at Michigan and IU a ‘whoops’ loss at Illinois. At this point in the season, the Buckeyes are one game out of a tie for Conference lead.

As always, the good information pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet. Old, yet reliable, you know the drill.


The top ranked Hoosiers (sans Gene Hackman) have one of the top teams in the nation. They are extremely proficient on offense, running a varied, fast-paced attack, and still exert enough effort at the other end of the court to be pretty good defensively.

#40 C. Zeller 23 28.9 16.2 59.8 0.0 74.8 8.3 1.3 1.8
#1 J. Hulls 23 28.6 11.1 48.6 50.0 75.6 2.6 3.2 1.3
#4 V. Oladipo 23 28.0 13.8 63.6 52.6 72.3 5.7 2.4 2.3
#11 K. Ferrell 23 27.6 7.7 40.0 35.3 81.0 2.7 4.5 2.2
#2 C. Watford 23 26.8 12.9 44.3 46.8 82.1 6.7 0.9 1.7

Ohio State

The good news is the Buckeyes are on a two game home stand. Bad news is that a probably testy Indiana team will be in town.


#1 D. Thomas 22 34.7 19.9 46.4 40.0 82.3 6.1 1.6 1.5
#4 A. Craft 22 33.2 9.3 38.5 31.0 81.7 3.8 4.5 1.9
#32 L. Smith Jr. 22 28.3 10.5 45.6 41.5 68.1 5.3 1.7 1.5
#12 S. Thompson 22 24.0 6.9 48.7 31.3 70.0 3.4 1.1 1.0
#23 A. Williams 22 17.4 4.5 61.2 0.0 56.7 4.1 0.1 0.9


Having said that, I’m optimistic about OSU’s chances to win on Sunday for two reasons. First, it seems like this team is starting to come together. Amir Williams appears to be playing much better in the post. I thought he was stronger and more determined in his play against UM. I think that LaQuinton Ross is starting to hit his stride as the reliable #2 scorer to complement DeShaun Thomas. Perhaps Thad’s mad scientist lineup tinkering is starting to take hold. Secondly, Indiana has a season long tendency to turn the ball over, nearly 20% of their possession. Since their uptempo offense provides a lot of possessions, that’s a lot of turnovers. OSU needs to turn those turnovers into transition points.

The usual cast of characters, below. Key stats for starters:

The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).

  eFG%    TO% Off Reb FT Rate  PPG  PPP (O)   PPP (D)








Ohio State








Indiana’s starting lineup goes with; Hulls (6‘0“), Ferrell (6‘0“), Oladipo (6‘5“), Watford (6’9”) and Zeller (7’0”). Indiana will be quick to bring in Will Sheehy (6’7”) off the bench (22 minutes, 10 points) to provide some spark and edge. OSU counters with Craft (6’2”), Smith (6’4”), Thomas (6’7”), Thompson (6’7”) and Williams (6’11).

The Buckeyes back-court will be defensively challenged due to IU’s ability to shoot well from 3-point range (42%) and their ability to dish for assists. I expect Evan Ravenal to see playing time to tag-team Zeller. There should be a couple interesting match-ups on Sunday involving DeShaun Thomas and Victor Oladipo. Does Thad assign Thomas to guard Oladipo, or does that go to someone else such as Smith or Thompson, to ‘save’ Thomas’ energy for offense? If that’s the case, a Thomas-Watford match up won’t be a picnic either, but I believe that Oladipo is a far more dynamic player that Watford. Conversely, what does Crean do?

The front line, and Lenzelle Smith, need to make a concerted effort to block out, since Cody Zeller makes a pretty good living hanging around the basket, snagging offensive rebounds and getting the put-back scores. Fortunately, Amir Williams has put together a couple nice rebounding games lately, and the Bucks need that to continue.

Ohio State needs to play very efficiently and fundamentally sound on Sunday. An Indiana trait is their ability to get to the foul line (26 per game) and covert their free throws (75%), a “free” 20 points per game. This is where the Bucks will need game awareness, patience and not get into a road race against the Hoosiers. If the Bucks can maintain a discipline to run their pace of play, the game should turn out OK. Speaking of turn out; you need to turn out for this game; it should be a classic match.

Go Bucks!

Gather round guys, here’s our plan..

Tip-off is Sunday February 10th at 1:00PM the Value City Arena. Please join us for the live blog set for 15 minutes before tip-off. Television coverage provided by CBS.

1 Comment

  1. BobNo Gravatar
    February 14th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Great column and great humor. Keep it up.


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