Ohio State and Indiana locked horns today in Columbus, Ohio for the first time since December. The Buckeyes quickly dispatched them 82-61 in a game that was only close for the first 10 minutes. The man who made the difference for the Buckeyes was the suddenly hot Deshaun Thomas, who scored 22 points and collected 4 rebounds in coming off the bench. While Sullinger only scored 5, his 2 points of the first half were enough to become the 29th OSU player to score 500 points in a season.
Indiana gave the Buckeyes a fight through the first few minutes of the game. The Hoosiers found several easy baskets in the paint to jump out to a quick lead. It didn’t last, however, as the Buckeyes quickly closed the gap to tie it up before the first timeout. Interestingly, both Pritchard of Indiana and Sullinger went out before the first TV timeout, both with two quick fouls.
Those losses completely changed the game dynamic. Over the next four minutes, the teams combined to score two points. Neither team had any success working their offenses with their big men on the bench. Indiana, in particular, struggled shooting the ball shooting 0-7 for six minutes following Pritchard leaving the game.
Anyone enjoying this basketball season? Yes? Well good news! There’s another game this Sunday!
Just three games remain on Ohio State’s 2010-11 regular season schedule. The first of those will occur this weekend when Indiana comes to town, seeking to pay back the Buckeyes for the 85-67 thumping that the Scarlet & Gray laid on them back on New Year’s Eve. It seems like a long time ago now, and indeed it has been a bit of a long season for the Hoosiers. Their prior loss to Ohio State came in the middle of a six-game losing streak, and a Buckeye victory on Sunday would result in another winless stretch of six straight games. The only Big Ten wins on the season for Indiana have come against Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota, and all were at home in Bloomington.
The win over Illinois led to one of the more memorable scenes in college basketball this season, as the students rushed the court in Assembly Hall and coach Tom Crean celebrated in the hall…where people were assembled, naturally…a short time later (you have to wait until about 1:00 before he is actually visible):
While it would be easy (and sure, kinda fun) to point and laugh, this was probably a nice scene for the Indiana faithful, and certainly Crean is building a good relationship with the fans that will be important to carry the program through the difficult years like this one into the more successful years that seem sure to come before long. One perspective on the program under Crean is that it is geared toward attracting top-level talent rather than mid-level talent, and while an immediate reaction may be that any program is trying to attract top-level talent, the point is that Crean’s approach is to implement a system that truly relies on getting certain players rather than staying competitive year after year with “interchangeable parts.” With that in mind, and considering the way Thad has developed our team over his time here, it will be interesting to see how Indiana progresses over the next few years. Read More