Gameday Central: Indiana vs. Ohio State

CHICAGO — In what could be a play-in game for the NCAA Tournament, No. 9 Indiana and No. 8 Ohio State are set to tip off in the Big Ten Tournament opener at the United Center.

The Hoosiers are playing their best basketball of the season, entering play on a four-game winning streak. Secondary contributions have been part of the winning equation for Indiana in recent weeks, with players such as Devonte Green, Rob Phinisee and Justin Smith boosting the Hoosiers down the stretch.

“We’re getting a lot more contributions from different guys, for sure,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “That’s why we’re not as one-dimensional with our offense here recently. The last three games, Devonte Green has played maybe the best three games of his college career. He’s not turning it over, he’s making big shots, he has the ability to make guys better. Hopefully that carries over to the tournament.

“I think Rob Phinisee is back. Not that he has a great scoring prowess, but he’s helped run our team. De’Ron (Davis) and Race (Thompson are helping). Justin has reemerged with his energy level. That’s helped. There’s not as much pressure on Romeo (Langford) and Juwan (Morgan) to score as much.”

Ohio State won the first matchup with Indiana, 55-52, in Bloomington on Feb. 10. The Buckeyes enter the postseason on a three-game skid, with each of those losses coming while go-to forward Kaleb Wesson served a three-game suspension.

Wesson is now back from his suspension, and will start Thursday’s game.

“You can’t really evaluate them without him,” Miller said. “They’re a great rebounding team, and in our first game, they made things very hard on us. It was probably our worst offensive game of the season at home. Give them a lot of credit for that. They chose to pack the paint and not guard certain guys. Our perimeter guys didn’t read it right. From a defensive standpoint, you add (Wesson) back in and that’s the whole key.”

INDIANA (17-14, 8-12)
P No. Name Ht. Cl. Avg.
F 13 Juwan Morgan 6-8 Sr. 15.1
F 3 Justin Smith 6-7 So. 8.7
G 1 Al Durham 6-6 Sr. 7.7
G 0 Romeo Langford 6-6 Fr. 16.7
G 10 Rob Phinisee 6-1 Fr. 7.0

OHIO STATE (18-13, 8-12)
P No. Name Ht. Cl. Avg.
F 10 Justin Ahrens 6-5 Fr. 3.6
F 24 Andre Wesson 6-6 Jr. 8.5
F 34 Kaleb Wesson 6-9 So. 14.6
G 1 Luther Muhammad 6-3 Fr. 8.1
G 3 C.J. Jackson 6-1 Sr. 12.1

17 comments

  1. Off topic, but I just read where they are doubling the price of football season tickets for young alumni.

    That seems particularly well thought out. Let’s get those young fans out of there.

  2. This is not going well….Ghost of Turnovers Past has returned.

    This is pissing me off. Has Woods done anything all year?

  3. Worst officiated game I’ve seen all year….Durham gets an elbow to the head and it’s not a foul?

  4. What is more unbelievable than this game is that IU has never won big ten tournament championship in its 20+ years of existence.

    1. Yeah, that’s crazy.

      RMK was pretty vocal about saying he didn’t care about the B1G tournament. Of course, he only said that after the Hoosiers were eliminated.

      Pretty sorry record in any case.

      1. Not totally true. Knight was vocally critical of conference tournaments years before B1G ever established theirs. He was very clear voicing his reasons opposing post season conference tournaments.

  5. Face the facts of the the day.

    OSU played better defense, shot the ball better, took care of the ball better, rebounded better, fed the post better and out-physicaled us.

    That pretty much sums it up.

    See ya’ll in the NIT.

  6. Since when did the rule change where an offensive player who leaves his feet (Fitzner) before the defender gets set in front of him (Wesson) is an offensive foul? Whatever happened to that?!?!?

    And while I’m at it, when did the elbow push off not become a foul (3x by Woods today). I guess a player needs to actually fall down for that to be an offensive foul.

  7. Some of you seem overjoyed….Crean apologists holdouts.

    I still think we’re in the dance.

  8. Woods should thank his left elbow for pushing off all day long instead of Jesus Christ. He did it all day long. ….Romeo (and his coach) should have been much more demonstrative to the pushing off on every single step toward the bucket.

    As I said earlier….Worst officiated game I have ever witnessed. And most know my record here. I don’t complain of officials. Holtmann getting his Indy/Butler/AAU connections/love today.

    Valiant effort to try to win this game over the zebras. Durham needs to find a lawyer for five instances of assault and battery under the basket never called.

  9. Langford scores 9 points? Either he disappeared again or OSU played really great defense. I guess I over-estimated his ability to “create offense.” Isn’t creating one’s own offense supposed to be part an NBA Lottery picks’ skill set?

    He’s a great kid, but something’s not right.

    1. Other than being pushed off all day by Woods, Romeo did what he could against numerous double teams. He’s a freshman. ….It changes nothing of his NBA potential. When you average 7 ppg(Woods) …you have nothing to lose. You push…You try to get into the head of the young superstar on Indiana. And you hope the refs like Chris Holtmann a lot.

  10. The Good, the Bad…and the Ugly.

    The Good: Devonte triples
    The Bad: Devonte turnovers
    The Ugly: The Refs….& Woods’ elbow (which I will give guarantee will be called as a foul the first time he uses it against Izzo).

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