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Indiana Basketball Game Preview: Ohio State – key storylines, injury report, how to watch



Indiana basketball
Previewing Indiana basketball at Ohio State by looking at key storylines, injury reports, how to watch and other updates. (Syndication: The Herald-Times)

Indiana basketball begins a two-game road slate in Big Ten play during its 124th season of competition at Ohio State tonight. The Hoosiers are coming off an embarrassing home loss to Penn State over the weekend.

The Buckeyes (13-9, 3-8) have lost seven of nine games since the turn of the new year, including four straight. Sophomore guard Bruce Thornton leads the OSU offensive attack with 15.6 points and 4.3 assists per game. Fifth-year senior forward Jamison Battle posts 14.2 points and 5.3 rebounds, while sophomore guard Roddy Gayle Jr. scores 14.0 points per night.

Tip is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET on Peacock. You can watch Big Ten basketball games by first subscribing to Peacock. Then, either go to in your web browser or download the Peacock app on your phone, tablet, or streaming device and navigate to the Sports section. Find the LIVE game you want to watch and start streaming.

Below is the full preview of Indiana basketball at Ohio State.

Key Storylines

The lack of fight is getting old for this Indiana basketball team

Going to be honest with you, when it is the same things over and over again…game in and game out….it get’s really hard to come up with different storylines for this Indiana basketball team for each matchup. Inconsistency has killed this Indiana team and it is the almost the same, reoccurring issues every time.

In the absolutely embarrassing home loss, and there is really no other word to subscribe it, to Penn State over the weekend, Indiana basketball showed a lack of fight and effort in the second half of the game. Even though Indiana had the edge when it came to talent on the floor, the simple fact was that Penn State wanted it more.

“I’m not going to throw my guys under the bus,” Woodson said postgame. “They didn’t just perform the second half. They didn’t. They didn’t. They were flat as hell.”

“I want more fire. I mean, come on. Yes, I want more fire to my guys.”

The lack of fight is getting so old at this point in the season. It just is and fans have become apathetic because of it.

Indiana won’t make the NCAA Tournament at this point, it is just too far fetched. At the very least, this Indiana basketball needs to show enough fight and take pride in each and every game moving forward.

You already know what to expect with Ohio State, no surprises

For the first time this season, Indiana will play a team that they have already seen earlier this year. To add to the fact, the Hoosiers have already beaten Ohio State and hold the 1-0 edge in the home-and-home split this Big Ten season.

So, there should be no surprises and Indiana should know what to expect and how to win, right? For an Indiana team that has been so hit-and-miss from game-to-game, I wouldn’t put your full faith that the Hoosiers will do what it takes to get it done again.

It’s no secret, Indiana has been horrible on the road and mostly uncompetitive in nearly every road game. Even if Ohio State has won only 1 of their last 8 games, why should anyone expect the Hoosiers to be ready for the for a potential road win?

The bottom line, Indiana knows what it takes to beat Ohio State, They won’t have Xavier Johnson like they did last time, but there should be no surprises for the Hoosiers tonight.

What happened to Kaleb Banks?

In the conversations of lineups and rotations this year for Indiana basketball, one part of that storyline that has seemingly fallen under-the-cracks is the absence of sophomore forward Kaleb Banks. Once being one of the first players off the bench earlier this season, Banks has completely disappeared from any lineup that we see Mike Woodson go with.

Ironically, the last time we saw Banks log double-figure minutes was the last time Indiana basketball faced Ohio State with him having thirteen total minutes played. Since then, he has had a total of 13 minutes in the last 7 games including DNPs in the last three games of the Hoosiers.

Earlier this season, Banks was always the first one in for Mackenzie Mgbako, who has struggled on defense all season, and often provided a spark to the team with his elite athletic ability. Now, Woodson has no spot for him it seems like, which is a little shocking at the very least.

“My concern is CJ and Kaleb and Mackenzie,” Woodson said about the trio awhile back. “All three of those guys are capable of scoring too, so when they’re in the game, I got to get them comfortable number one, and they got to figure out what the hell we’re doing from a defensive standpoint. A lot of that was missed cues on their part.”

We will see if Banks can find a place back into the rotation again as the season starts to wind down.

Related: Indiana basketball lacked ‘fire’ in crushing 14-point loss to Penn State

Series History

Indiana has defeated Ohio State 111 times in the 199-game series between the conference foes, tied for the second-most wins against any program. IU has defeated Northwestern 120 times and Michigan on 111 occasions.

The Hoosiers have topped the Buckeyes in back-to-back games, including an 71-65 result earlier this season on Jan. 6, in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Sophomore forward Malik Reneau posted a team-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Indiana head coach Mike Woodson averaged 20.3 points in his eight career contests against the Buckeyes. He scored 21 against Ohio State on March 2, 1980, to secure his first Big Ten title on the final day of the regular season of his senior year.

Read: Defense used to be the calling card for Indiana basketball. Now, it’s anything but — and Saturday’s loss to Penn State showed that

Injury Updates

Xavier Johnson: At the 2:12 mark late in the second half of the Iowa game, Xavier Johnson drove to the basket but was fouled hard going for the dunk. He landed awkwardly on his left arm and was screaming on the floor in excruciating pain. Johnson missed last game vs Penn State and was seen in a heavy brace. Don’t expect Johnson for this game and the foreseeable future.

Jakai Newton: Newton had a lower body surgical procedure done this past offseason to help fix a previous injury he sustained during high school. He is still recovering and is not expected to play for the rest of the season.

More: ‘A bunch of miscues that we can’t have this late in the season’: Saturday’s performance fully encapsulates the cracks with Indiana basketball

Quick Hitters

Who?: Indiana (13-9) (5-6 Big Ten) vs Ohio State (13-9) (3-8 Big Ten)

When?: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 • 7 p.m. ET

Where?: Value City Arena (18,800) • Columbus, Ohio

TV: Peacock (Jac Collinsworth, Robbie Hummel)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)

Betting Lines: Indiana basketball is listed as a 6-point underdog via DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.