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Men’s Basketball: No. 17 Ohio State welcomes Indiana in first matchup of Archie Miller vs. Chris Holtmann

Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) works his way into the lane in the first half of the game against Penn State on Jan. 25 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

No. 17 Ohio State (18-5, 9-1 Big Ten) suffered a devastating loss at home to Penn State, falling 82-79 on a buzzer-beating, near-half-court shot from guard Tony Carr for its first Big Ten loss of the season.

After four days of rest, which ties their longest break of the season, the Buckeyes will try to get back in the win column at 7 p.m. Tuesday when they welcome Indiana (12-10, 5-5 Big Ten) to the Schottenstein Center.

Projected Starters

Indiana:

G — Josh Newkirk — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-1, 195 lbs., 8.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.9 apg

G — Zach McRoberts — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-6, 205 lbs., 2.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg

G — Robert Johnson — Senior, 6-foot-3, 195 lbs., 14.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.5 apg

F — Juwan Morgan — Junior, 6-foot-8, 230 lbs., 16.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 apg

F — Justin Smith — Freshman, 6-foot-7, 220 lbs., 5.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.3 apg

Ohio State:

G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.4 apg

G — Kam Williams — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs., 8.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.6 apg

F — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 19.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.3 apg

F — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.8 apg

C — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 11.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.1 apg

Miller vs. Holtmann

Before accepting the head coaching position at Indiana, Archie Miller was Dayton’s head coach from 2011 to 2017 and an Ohio State assistant coach under Thad Matta from 2007 to 2009. His Ohio roots made him appear to be the most-likely successor when Ohio State and Matta parted ways.

However, Miller took the Indiana job in March, three months before Matta was fired by Ohio State. Five days after Matta‘s tenure ended, Ohio State hired former Butler head coach Chris Holtmann to run the sputtering program.

Indiana was not exactly a program coming off a sterling 2016-17 season. But given Ohio State’s losses of Trevor Thompson, JaQuan Lyle and Marc Loving, most people viewed the Hoosiers as the more potent Big Ten team. Instead, the Hoosiers have trudged through an inconsistent season while Ohio State has become a surprise Big Ten title contender.

Still, it is too early for either coach’s tenure to be judged. But the rapid rise of the Buckeyes and the tradition of the Hoosiers makes Tuesday’s game the first installment of a new-era matchup between two coaches assigned with the task of getting their programs back to the top.

Holtmann said he has not put too much thought into the narrative of the game between two of college basketball’s up-and-coming coaches, but knows those conversations will circulate around the programs.

“Obviously, there were, what, three new coaches in the league. So to some degree, you recognize that there’s always going to be some comparison when you have three new coaches in the league,” Holtmann said. “How are they doing? What’s their year shaped up like? And I’m sure that will continue in the years to come.”

Scouting Indiana

Indiana has been involved in a number of close games lately, with each of its past three games being decided by single digits. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, two of those were losses, including a 73-71 defeat at home to a middling Illinois team.

Miller’s squad has been strong in the interior, shooting with 54.2 percent on 2-point field goals and holding teams to just 47.9 percent inside the 3-point arc. Both percentages place the Hoosiers in the top-100 teams in the nation.

Outside the perimeter has been a different story. The Hoosiers have allowed opponents to shoot 37.8 percent from 3-point range, 297th-best in the country. Offensively, they have only mustered a 30.5 percent 3-point shooting percentage, which is 335th-best out of 351 total teams.

Forward Juwan Morgan, who typically starts at center, leads the Hoosiers with both 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season. Like the team, he has struggled to shoot from 3-point range with only a 26.5 percent clip, but has shot 65.2 percent inside the perimeter.

While Ohio State does not rely on 3-point shooting, it is a team that can shoot from beyond the arc with accuracy. The Buckeyes’ 3-point percentage of 36.3 percent is the 113th-highest rate in the country. They also defend teams well, both outside the arc (34.1 percent allowed) and inside (46.1 percent allowed).

With interior defenders like redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop and freshman center Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State will force the Hoosiers to find production outside of the paint and will make Miller rely more heavily on his guards than usual.

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