Ohio State Basketball: The Riv Report vs. Indiana

Buckeye CommentarySenior Analyst IFebruary 26, 2011

CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 22: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Thad Matta celebrates with Deshaun Thomas #1 following the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall on January 22, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State won 73-68. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The sounds of Gus Johnson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcglOItcKoM are our generations signal that March Madness is just around the corner.  While Billy Packer continues on his journey to being senile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZdL9PxKQ8E&NR=1, the sweet sounds of Gus rising and firing should remind everyone that it’s long overdue to put 100 percent focus on the hardwood.

Sunday, The Hoosiers of Bloomington visit the Value City Arena to take on our Buckeye Cagers at 4 PM on CBS.  Gus and the Reverend Bill Raftery bring the call from the sidelines for a potential bloodbath.  Indiana comes in with a 12-16 (3-12) record and having lost 5 straight conference games.

I miss the day’s of good Indiana teams personally.  The General is one of my favorite coaches of all time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcglOItcKoM and the Hoosiers used to be a team I circled on the schedule each November.  Indiana’s misfortune has been a huge advantage in Coach Matta’s recruiting over the last half decade as we’ve been able to steal Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and Deshaun “Tank” Thomas among others right out of their backyard. 

Coach Tom Crean is in his 3rd year with Indiana, and although their record doesn’t show it he IS starting to put together some good young players and future recruiting classes on their way to help bring them back.

On New Year's Eve this year, the Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIClZQdkO2M by 18 in Bloomington.  The shot the ball extremely well on their way to 85 points and Buford and Sullinger had their way with a nice inside/out combo.  Hell, Jordan Sibert even had 7 minutes of playing time so you know it was a blowout. 

Indiana is led by sophomore Christian Watford averaging 16.6 pts a game.  Junior Verdell Jones III has scored in double figures in 9 of his last 10 games, and Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey were both in double figures last game vs. Purdue.  IU is young, but there are signs that the underclassmen are starting to figure out the game.  With only one Senior (Jerimiah Rivers) on their roster, they are a team that gains valuable experience with each Big Ten game.  The Hoosiers are 10-3 this year when beating their opponent on the glass, so if the Bucks don’t give them second and third opportunities offensively they shouldn’t have a problem.

The Illinois victory did a lot for Buckeye Nation as a whole.  Illinois shot out of their minds from 3 pt range the first half and were still down by 15 at half.  We’ve got the best starting 5 in the country, and we had some nice minutes from Lauderdale and Thomas last game as well.  Buford’s a future All-Star at the next level, and Lighty’s second half was one of the better performances I’ve seen in a long time.  The only way for teams to beat us is to shoot 60 percent or above from 3 pt range, or get us in foul trouble and make us go to our thin bench (which hasn’t happened yet this year). 

Clark Kellogg was on the Dan Patrick Show this week and talked about OSU having a short bench.  He said other than getting in foul trouble, fatigue doesn’t play a factor during a game and especially during the tournament with so many days off between rounds.  Using timeouts to give your guys breather’s and having at least one blowout will also help this team make their run during the tourney Kellogg stated.  I’m going to guess Clark knows a lot more about basketball than 90 percent of the local media in Columbus that spout off on this topic daily.

The Bucks have a chance to go up 2 games in the Big Ten race over Purdue tomorrow as they have a tough road match up in East Lansing at 1:00 on ESPN.   I’m predicting a Boilermaker loss and a Buckeye blowout as we go up 2 with 3 games to play and Penn St coming up Tuesday.  Indiana has 1 chance for victory tomorrow, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU0BebHh5LY and Jimmy Chitwood ain’t coming out that tunnel.


1.  Play our game on offense.  Work the ball into Sully and Lauderdale in order to give our shooters open looks from the outside.  Don’t force things.

2.  Keep them off the glass and pressure their inexperienced players to create turnovers

3.  Show up

Bucks - 83

What’s a Hoosier anyway’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq0fYDwzYpI - 63

Bobby Knight approves this message

Bobby Knight approves this message