Five thoughts after Ohio State basketball's loss at Indiana


There was some hope that Ohio State basketball could turn around their horrendous January stretch, but after falling to Indiana 86-70, they would love to forget the first month of the 2023.

Just two wins in nine games during the month, putting chris holtman's squad just one game above .500 at 11-10. It's hard to believe that this team has tumbled so hard after being a fringe top 25 team for the first two months of the season.

This loss is just another disappointing moment in what is turning out to be a forgettable season for the Buckeyes. Once again, it was mostly bad and here are five thoughts after another Ohio State defeat.

The idea to stop Trayce Jackson-Davis wasn't the right one

Why it mattered

On paper it made sense to double down on the Hoosiers' best player, trying to slow him down. It "worked" in the first half, holding him to just 8 points on 4-of-10 shooting. One of the openings that it gave Indiana was open shots from beyond the arc and the Hoosiers made the Buckeyes pay, specifically [autotag]Jalen Hood-Schifino[/autotag]. Their star freshman hit 6-of-7 threes in the first half, scoring 20 points. Overall the Hoosiers would shoot 10-of-20 from downtown, and the Buckeyes simply couldn't overcome that.

The Buckeyes closed out the first half terribly

Why it mattered

With the game close, and Indiana holding a 31-30 lead with just five minutes left before the half, it seemed like Ohio State was in a good position. Well, that flipped very quickly. The Hoosiers went on a 15-0 run to close out the first twenty minutes and effectively put the Buckeyes away. It was a devastating run, one where the Buckeyes missed open shots, free throws, and lay-ups. The lack of any offensive motion really hurt. Holtmann called a smart timeout to try and end the run six points in, but it didn't help.

This team showed some fight in the second half

Why it mattered

It would have been very easy for this team to go through the motions in the second half, especially after the aforementioned run the Hoosiers went on. The final score might not show it played better, but the team as a whole didn't give up. Ohio State played the Hoosiers even in the second half, showing it has the ability to play with a team of this caliber. You have to applaud their effort, even with a double-digit loss.

The tournament bubble has been officially busted

Why it mattered

It's crazy to think that after the first of this year, the Buckeyes were 10-3 and ranked inside the top 25. January has not been kind to this squad and has exposed some big-time issues. First off, the need for leadership running the offense showed. Freshman [autotag]Bruce Thornton[/autotag] is too tentative and [autotag]Isaac Likelele[/autotag] is wildly inconsistent.

The lack of depth on the interior also became an issue. [autotag]Zed Key[/autotag] should have been able to rest his shoulder and knee but this team couldn't afford that. [autotag]Felix Okpara[/autotag] will be a good player, but he's not there yet. At this point, this team might be lucky to make the NIT Tournament. It's going to be a season to forget in Columbus and spring football can't get here sooner.

Did anything go right?

Why it mattered

[autotag]Brice Sensabaugh[/autotag] went right. The star freshman has had his ups and downs but he put together one of his better games against the Hoosiers. It wasn't just the scoring, his defensive intensity was different. He crashed the boards and didn't commit silly fouls to take him out of the game.

Sensabaugh shot well from the floor and kept the Buckeyes "in the game" during the second half. His [autotag]NBA[/autotag] offensive game will probably push him into the first round of the draft but he might be better off staying an extra year to polish his overall game. The money is probably too much to pass up, even with Name, Image and Likeness.

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