The Hoosiers stay at home this Sunday and face the Buckeyes who are coming off of a nice two-game winning streak. IU will look to bounce back after a close home loss to the surging Iowa Hawkeyes.

After a significant win on the road against Michigan State, the Hoosiers failed to maintain momentum and fell to Iowa. Just when we thought this team could go on a solid winning streak, they fell short due to a few amazing three point shots by Jordan Bohannon. However, all is not lost as hopes to make the big dance in March still remain. This Sunday, the Buckeyes stand in the way, and they’re coming to Bloomington hot off of a two game winning streak.

Before going 3-1 in their last 4 games, the Buckeyes had lost five games in a row. And prior to their losing streak, they were ranked 14th in the country. Their recent victory over Penn State might be one of their biggest of the year.

In only 19 minutes, their leading scorer Kaleb Wesson fouled out. However, his brother Andre Wesson and C.J. Jackson took control and pulled through by a close margin of four points. In the game against Rutgers, Kaleb scored 27 points off 10-12 shooting in 38 minutes. With or without their star scorer, OSU can still find ways to compete and win, similar to how the Hoosiers defeated Michigan State without Juwan Morgan for the majority of the game.

Although OSU’s conference wins have come mostly against teams with losing conference records (the exception being Minnesota), they are a talented team with the capability of making big runs, a true statement for the larger portion of Big Ten teams this season.

Additionally, they are no joke when it comes to recruiting solid talent. They have two top 100 recruits from 2018 and have 3 more coming in 2019. Furthermore, they have 3 players that shoot above 39% from deep, which can be a problem for the Hoosiers as they’ve struggled to defend the three this year. Through solid guard play from C.J. Jackson and a strong inside presence in Kaleb Wesson, OSU can attack you from all areas of the court.

For the Hoosiers, the main focus should not necessarily be on their leading scorer. It is important to not fall behind early and maintain a lead at home with the crowd by your side. It may be more critical to prevent OSU from hitting outside shots, while giving Justin Smith, who had a great game defensively against Maryland’s Jalen Smith and Michigan State’s Nick Ward, and Juwan Morgan chances to guard Kaleb Wesson inside.

Both the Buckeyes and Hoosiers are looking desperate for more conference wins as they’ve both suffered from significant losing streaks in conference play. This should be a good one on Sunday.

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Meet the Buckeyes

Departing Players

  • Keita Bates-Diop – 6’9″/ 223 lbs. / Normal, IL. Currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA.
  • Jae’Sean Tate – 6’4″/ 190 lbs. / Pickerington, OH. Currently plays for the Telenet Giants Antwerp in the Belgian League.
  • Kam Williams – 6’2″/ 175 lbs. / Baltimore, MD. Graduated.
  • Micah Potter – 6’9″/ 240 lbs. / Mentor, OH. Transferred to Wisconsin.
  • Andrew Dakich – 6’2″/ 190 lbs. / Zionsville, IN. Graduated.
  • Matt Lehmann – 6’4″/ 205 lbs. / Columbus, OH. Left the team.
  • Connor Fulton – 6’4″/ 175 lbs. / Salt Lake City, UT. Professional basketball player in Japan.

Projected Starters

  • Andre Wesson – 6’6″/ 220 lbs. / JR / Westerville, OH. Leads the team in blocks per game along with his brother Kaleb. He also hits 34.4% of his threes.
  • Kaleb Wesson – 6’9″/ 270 lbs. / SO / Westerville, OH. He’s the leading scorer with 15.3 ppg. He also grabs 6.7 boards per game, shoots about 74% at the line, and is 52.5% from the field.
  • Luther Muhammad – 6’3″/ 185 lbs / Fr / Jersey City, NJ. He’s the sharp-shooter. He shoots 44.8% from deep and is second on the team in minutes per game at 29.8.
  • Musa Jallow – 6’5″/ 200 lbs. / So / Bloomington, IN. Even though he starts, he only averages 14.2 mpg.
  • C.J. Jackson – 6’1″/ 175 lbs. / RS Jr / Charlotte, NC. He leads the team in minutes per game at 30.5, he’s second in scoring at about 13 ppg, and he leads the team in assists and steals. He played junior college ball at Eastern Florida state before transferring to OSU.

The Rotation

  • Keyshawn Woods – 6’3″/ 205 lbs. / SR / Gastonia, NC. Woods is the sixth man and is OSU’s best free throw shooter.
  • Kyle Young – 6’8″/ 205 lbs. / So / Massillon, OH. Young averages 22 mpg which is solid for a bench player. He’s second in rebounding behind Kaleb Wesson.
  • Duane Washington Jr. – 6’3″/ 190 lbs. / Fr / Grand Rapids, MI. He plays about 17 minutes per game off the bench and contributes close to 7 ppg.
  • Jaedon LaDee – 6’9″/ 230 lbs. / Fr / Houston, TX.
  • Justin Ahrens – 6’5″/ 180 lbs. / Fr / Versailles, OH.
  • Joey Lane – 6’1″/ 180 lbs. / Sr / Deerfield, IL.
  • Danny Hummer – 6’0″/ 175 lbs. / RS Jr / Upper Arlington, OH.

Injury Watch

There are currently no significant injuries for the Buckeyes.

Juwan Morgan hurt his left shoulder against Michigan State but returned to play against Iowa. He was limited on minutes, but largely due to foul trouble and not injury related.

Race Thompson has been cleared and ready to go; however, he has yet to see court minutes since his clearing.

Zach McRoberts was held out against Iowa due to a stress reaction in his foot and is doubtful against OSU.

Jerome Hunter is red-shirting this year after going through surgery for his leg injury.

What to Watch for:

  1. Can we stop Kaleb Wesson? The focus of the game should involve trying to keep Morgan out of foul trouble, as his impact was felt during most of the second half against Iowa. An interesting strategy would be to put Smith on K. Wesson instead of Morgan. Furthermore, stopping Wesson from shooting outside is also critical, as he does have a successful outside game.
  2. Can we control Luther Muhammad from deep, shades of Falzon and Bohannon? A couple of IU losses this year had to do with 3 point defense. Rutgers, Purdue, and Northwestern all shot at least 40% from deep in those losses. The key is to prevent opponents from starting hot from deep. Muhammad shoots 44.8% from deep while attempting about 3, three-pointers per game. Furthermore, the Hoosiers should also focus their attention on C.J. Jackson’s ability to hit the long ball because at 5, three-point attempts per game, he hits close to 40% of them.
  3. Can the Hoosiers play with the lead at home instead of being down? Being ahead at home early is something the Hoosiers haven’t experienced much at all this year. This also ties into the second thing to watch for, stopping three pointers. Being down early and poor three point defense go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Assembly Hall crown goes wild when IU is up; try to keep them in the game.
  4. Paint battles between Kaleb and Juwan – This is the marquee match-up inside. Both players are strong presences inside, while occasionally threatening defenses with the long ball. The balance of power in this duel rests mostly on foul trouble. It will be interesting to see who out-scores, out-rebounds, and generally out-plays the other.
  5. Can Indiana keep their floor leader on the court? Senior captain Juwan Morgan only played 13 minutes against Michigan State due to a left shoulder scare. A healthy Juwan was only able to muster up 22 minutes against Iowa due to the return of foul trouble for him. Indiana needs Juwan back, specifically back on the floor where he can have the most direct influence.

How to Watch

DateSunday, February 10th
Time1:00 PM EST
RadioHoosiersTV Audio

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