Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes
Indiana Hoosiers Preview
The Indiana Hoosiers have lost two in a row, both to ranked teams (Maryland, at Penn State) and are only 1-4 in true road games. They are usually led by their frontcourt, with freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis averaging team-highs with 14 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, and junior Justin Smith contributing 11.6 points on average.
The Hoosiers’ physicality has manifested itself in a plus-8.4 rebounding margin, but it was solid guard play that helped tip the scales in a 66-54 home win over Ohio State on Jan. 11. Guard Devonte Green came off the bench for 19 points, and Indiana — which shoots only 30.5 percent from 3-point range — was an efficient 6 of 12 from beyond the arc.
Ohio State Buckeyes Preview
The Ohio State Buckeyes, who are 2-6 after Christmas to tumble from the polls, are now without talented freshman guard D.J. Carton, who is the third-leading scorer at 10.4 points per game, shooting 40 percent on 3-point attempts and averaging three assists per game. He announced Thursday he is stepping away indefinitely, writing on social media he has been dealing with “mental health issues for a couple years.”
Sophomore forward Justin Ahrens looks ready to provide a needed scoring spark. Limited by a back injury most of the season, he scored a season-high 12 against Northwestern on Sunday. The Buckeyes have failed to hit 60 points in five of their past six losses.