4 storylines for IU’s game vs. Ohio State #iubb

1. A fantastic start
Indiana is already off to its best start in Big Ten play since the 2012-13 season, and a win against the Buckeyes would give the Hoosiers their best start to the conference season under Tom Crean. IU is also trying to extend an eight-game winning streak overall, marking the third time under Crean that the Hoosiers have won at least eight in a row. Indiana won 12 straight games to open the 2011-12 season and strung together nine in a row to begin the following year. The Hoosiers have not won their first four Big Ten games since the 2007-08 season, when the team began league play 6-0.

2. Homecoming for JaQuan Lyle
After a drawn out recruiting process that included on-again, off-again flirtation with IU, the supremely talented Lyle finally landed at Ohio State. This year, during his first season of action, Lyle is still adjusting to his role as the initiator of the Buckeyes’ offense. He boasts an outstanding assist rate of 34.4 percent, and is ranked No. 2 nationally among freshmen with 81 total assists. But he’s also averaging over three turnovers per game. Earlier this week at Northwestern, Lyle turned it over six times, while shooting 1-for-7 from the field. But OSU coach Thad Matta is committed to giving Lyle the keys to the offense, and the in-state product could relish the stage that Assembly Hall provides.

3. Keep an eye on Kam
As the Buckeyes continue retooling their roster, redshirt sophomore Kam Williams is trying to earn a bigger role. Wednesday’s big game at Northwestern served as another step in that process. Williams took advantage of foul trouble for Keita Bates-Dip and came off the bench to score 21 points and a career-best five 3-pointers in Ohio State’s 65-56 win. He did most of his damage while shooting over a Northwestern zone, and he’s now scored in double figures in three of Ohio State’s last four games. Although he hasn’t started a single game this season, Williams is playing valuable minutes. Through the Buckeyes’ first three conference games, Williams is averaging more than 25 minutes per contest and 12.7 points per game.

4. IU offense vs. OSU defense
Ohio State’s current seven-game winning streak can be largely attributed to defense, with the Buckeyes entering today’s game in Bloomington ranked No. 13 in the nation with a field goal percentage defense of 37.6 percent. It’s an impressive line for Matta’s squad, which is also holding the opposition to a 31.3 percent mark from 3-point range over the last seven games. Inside the arc, Buckeye opponents haven’t been much better, and during the first three games of conference play, teams are shooting only 38 percent on two-pointers against Ohio State. As IU moves on from the loss of James Blackmon Jr, the Hoosiers will need to find their stride on the offensive end of the floor. Above all else, that means cutting out the troubling amount of turnovers that have contributed to three close games to begin the conference season. IU’s turnover percentage of 26.9 through the first three games is the worst figure in the league.
— Mike Miller

4 comments

  1. Lyle is a good player but he is literally dumber than a box of rocks! I like to think that basketball has an intellectual side to it and can’t see why we can’t handle him and his teammates if we’re playing to potential? Knowing if that will happen is risky, like Russian Roulette.

  2. I know it will not take place with Crean but if I were calling the shots to help convince Troy Williams how important it is to focus on the teamwork for the whole game. I’d assign him to guard Lyle and simply tell him he’ll run 5 minutes for every point and every assist at every practice next week he allows Lyle to get today. Sometimes pulling someone from a game and sitting them down does not have the impact as giving them another task to be responsible for. Old school I know but new school ain’t getting it.

  3. Note: Sorry for this not being on-topic for the current thread. This was intended for the ‘Dakich bashing Knight’ thread, but it wouldn’t post there because of recurring spam protection issues Wanted to give a response to Seahawk Tom’s usual mud-slinging aimed at Eric Gordon(which basically means he misses Harvard)…Jeremy, Do you have no tech wizards working at HT anymore? This shouldn’t still be an issue.

    Hope you’re doing well, Tom.

    Hard to imagine, but we’ve hashed over this so many times that I’ve even grown tired of the topic. That being said, I will always be a fan of EJ. Nothing will change. When he was healthy, he was as explosive as just about anyone I’ve seen play the game; a guard with Planet Lovetron power stuffed into a phenomenal deep threat package. His youngest brother is arriving somewhere soon….Maybe he’ll be everything you dreamed.

    We had good times on ‘The Island of Basketblog.’ None of this really compares. Now you always play it safe compared to those days when we would endlessly spill our guts and battle each other with the excesses of grandiloquence and spontaneous poetry.

    Good luck to your Seahawks…No home cookin’ from the refs. Hope Pete brought his checkbook. I’ve heard it’s supposed to be a little chilly.

    I know you don’t contribute here very much of late …I wish you’d pop in more. Interesting how you showed up at the end of this thread as if you were following with all the fervor one of your favorite novels…That still gives my ego a needed boost…

    Take care, old friend.

    D-5

    p.s. This wouldn’t post last night(spam issues)..and you now get the self-edited version. After rereading it this morning, I thought my usual sentiment and laying on too think might embarrass you.

  4. Lyle is a good player but he is literally dumber than a box of rocks!

    He should have come to IU. He would have been a perfect fit for how Crean “coaches” and is thought of by his peers.

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