Pregame Glance: Hoosiers Part 2

Written March 4th, 2013 by Eric

After a two and a half month hiatus, I triumphantly return to the ranks of the Basketball previewers! Of course, my return is timed to coincide with the toughest game on the schedule this year. Let’s take a look.

Public Enemy #5.

Public Enemy #5.

School: Indiana University
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Founded: 1820
Student Population: 42,731
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA Division 1
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Assembly Hall…no, the other one.
Seating: 17,472
Opened: 1971
Head Coach: Tom Crean
Experience 5th Year

Not a single team in the country this season has looked the part of a potential NCAA Tournament champion. Several teams have occupied the number-one ranking in the country, and each has spit the bit eventually. The only team that comes close to looking complete has to be the Indiana Hoosiers.

Crean has done a credible job helping Indiana turn their fortunes around in his 5 years with the program. He has gone from 6-25, with only one big Ten win, to 24-4 this season and a potential #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. That’s an impressive climb, and it’s clear that Crean will be able to keep Indiana on the collegiate basketball map for the foreseeable future.

The biggest key to his success this year has to be junior guard Victor Oladipo (6-5, 214, #4). Oladipo has been a one man scoring machine, averaging just shy of 14 points per game on a ludicrous 63% shooting percentage from the floor. He is lethal from just about anywhere on the court, and matches his scoring production with tenacity inside. His six rebounds per game is third for the team by a fair margin.

GP MPG PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG APG SPG BPG FPG
Ohio-state #1 D. Thomas 28 35.036 19.821 44.5 84.5 36.2 6.107 1.321 0.5 0.25 1.464
Ohio-state #4 A. Craft 28 33.571 9.357 39.8 79.2 30.0 3.571 4.429 1.893 0.214 2.25
Ohio-state #32 L. Smith Jr. 28 27.607 10.25 45.7 70.0 40.2 4.964 1.607 0.5 0.143 1.821
Ohio-state #12 S. Thompson 28 24.0 7.0 48.1 66.0 33.3 3.321 1.071 0.679 0.893 1.429
Ohio-state #23 A. Williams 28 17.179 4.214 59.7 55.0 0.0 4.071 0.107 0.357 1.393 2.536
GP MPG PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG APG SPG BPG FPG
Indiana #1 J. Hulls 29 29.172 10.69 47.2 77.8 48.6 2.483 3.138 0.862 0.0 1.655
Indiana #40 C. Zeller 29 28.931 16.517 57.3 75.0 0.0 8.138 1.172 1.172 1.379 2.241
Indiana #11 K. Ferrell 29 27.828 7.759 38.7 79.0 32.3 2.724 4.379 0.862 0.138 1.655
Indiana #4 V. Oladipo 29 27.724 13.966 63.4 74.5 49.0 6.0 2.138 2.345 0.793 2.414
Indiana #2 C. Watford 29 27.276 12.69 44.2 81.7 48.5 6.414 0.897 0.69 0.414 2.276

Of course, when one talks Indiana one must also talk Cody Zeller (7-0, 240, #40). The sophomore Center came into the season hyped as possibly the best big-man in the country, and thus far he’s done a decent job living up to those expectations. He clearly still has room to improve, but no-one’s going to complain too loudly about his team leading 16.5 points and 8 rebounds per game.

The Buckeyes are currently riding an impressive 3 game winning streak. After being pounded at Wisconsin, they have strung together wins against Minnesota, Michigan State, and at Northwestern. Securing a win against the Hoosier’s in Bloomington would be a big help on the tournament resume, particularly this late in the season. That said, even a close loss would not hurt OSU’s resume in the eyes of the committee.

POS PPG PPP eFG% OR% DR% A/T
Indiana IU 1989.0 68.6 1.19 56.2 39.5 68.8 1.15
Ohio-state OSU 1808.0 64.6 1.09 50.9 32.5 72.3 1.24
Indiana IU Opps 1989.0 68.6 0.9 43.4 31.2 60.5 0.68
Ohio-state OSU Opps 1808.0 64.6 0.91 45.4 27.7 67.5 0.76

What is more important, however, is that this game is one of possibly several defacto Big Ten regular season championships. If the Buckeyes can secure a win against the Hoosiers, then Indiana will still be in the driver’s seat for the conference regular season title. However, they would have to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor to secure the crown. Two straight losses, and two straight wins for the Bucks (assuming they can top Illinois), would give OSU a share of the conference crown. However, if OSU loses, Indiana wins the Big Ten regular season outright.

No pressure, right?

The Bucks have a fighting chance in this game. It is going to require 40 minutes of unbreakable defense against Oladipo and tough, high quality interior play from Ravenel, Williams, and McDonald against Zeller. If OSU can take both players out of the game, they have a fighting chance – but they also have to hit their baskets. An OSU team leaning on DeShaun Thomas for points will not likely win this one.

Indiana has struggled in other games, and has suffered losses at Minnesota, at Illinois, and at home against Wisconsin. It is not outside the realm of possibility for the Buckeyes to give them a handful in this one.

The game will be played in Bloomington, Indiana on Tuesday, March 5th. You’ll be able to see the game on ESPN at 9:00 pm eastern time. Don’t forget to join us for the BBN Liveblog, starting 15 minutes before the tip.

5 Comments

  1. KenNo Gravatar
    March 4th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Nice preview, Eric; your hiatus didn’t cause you to lose a step at all.

    Four teams within two games of Indiana will make for a fun week in conference play.

    I think the Bucks need to: 1) have someone keep an eye on Hulls so that he doesn’t get comfortable/proficient raining 3′s; 2) Minnesota and to some extent Purdue got physical against Zeller with some success, so there is a blueprint for that, and 3) Oladipo will get his points, Thomas/Thompson just need to ‘speed bump’ him to minimize his contributions.

    Big week coming up, let’s go Bucks!

    [Reply]

  2. FLSTEVENo Gravatar
    March 5th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    As an armchair coach I’d have Ravenel starting and McDonald backing up. No way does Williams play unless Zeller is on the bench or the above two foul out………..Williams needs to learn to react and bang to match up with Zeller. He’s a nightmare matchup for the Bucks. How about a junk defense, Thad? Don’t like many of our matchups with the Hoosiers in man d.

    [Reply]

  3. RyanNo Gravatar
    March 5th, 2013 at 9:47 am

    They will rain 3s on us all night. I think the trick will be good on ball pressure to make them uncomfortable andkeep them outof rythm, and then correct we need to by physical in the paint. Get zellar a couple fouls early to force home ro play timid.

    [Reply]

  4. WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    March 5th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I cannot STAND Judd Nelson look alikes.

    This game has the potential to be the maker of the season, remember a month ago there was no way you could tell me the Buckeyes would be in THIS position

    [Reply]

  5. GaryNo Gravatar
    March 5th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Welcome back Eric…this game has huge implications for the tournament for the Bucks…..a win and a strong conference tourney run could be a big boost!

    [Reply]

Comment On Article