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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

IU's road war continues

Once again, the men's basketball team failed to prove it can win on the road in the Big Ten. Saturday's loss to Iowa marked the 10th consecutive loss on the road in the conference. \nThe Hoosiers (12-9, 3-4 Big Ten) will get another chance to redeem their travelling woes at 8 p.m. when they face the Ohio State Buckeyes (13-7, 4-4 Big Ten) in Value City Arena, the second of a three-game road trip. And with a conference record below .500, IU is in a precarious position for tournament time.\n"Our biggest problem right now, watching the film, is we don't find open people," interim head coach Mike Davis said. "We just catch the ball and start dribbling. And then once we get ourselves in trouble, we try to make a pass that's not there.\n"Even in our half-court sets, we're forcing shots and not being patient."\nOhio State owns a 56-21 edge against IU on its home court, and the team is coming home confident after an upset against No. 3-ranked Michigan State, 64-55. The win put OSU a notch above the Hoosiers in the conference standings.\nOhio State coach Jim O'Brien said the Buckeyes need to earn respect all over again this year because their two main go-to players (Scoonie Penn and Michael Redd) are gone.\n"We're still building," O'Brien said. "We're still trying to get our program to a consistent elite status and we're not there yet."\nThe Hoosiers are also in the process of laying a foundation. Sophomore guard Tom Coverdale and freshman forward Jared Jeffries, both starters, have never played against Ohio State. The other three probable starters, junior guard Dane Fife, sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton and junior center Kirk Haston, average only a combined 22 points against the Buckeyes.\nBut if the offense struggles, Davis needs his team to keep playing on the other end of the floor.\n"We need to guard people, no matter what happens on offense," Davis said. "We let our offense affect our defense."\nThis has been an adjusting year for both teams. After losing Penn to graduation and Redd to the NBA, Ohio State was looking for someone to step up. Junior Brian Brown and senior center Ken Johnson have moved out of Penn and Redd's shadows and into the spotlight. They've become the Buckeyes first and second options. Brown leads the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game and Johnson follows with 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.\nJohnson said Redd and Penn are missed, but the team has a different outlook now.\n"What Scoonie left is what we have to build off of," Johnson said. "I don't really feel I have a lot of pressure on me. I just know I have to be focused and try to get everybody else ready. We're working hard every day."\nBrown said the offense is there, they just didn't develop it last year because with Redd and Penn, there was no need.\n"A lot of guys on our team can score, they just haven't had the opportunity to do so," Brown said. "People like myself and Ken Johnson are going to have to step up. We're going to be a team to reckon with. There's going to be a lot more shots open. We have to step up and knock them down."\nIU has established a strong inside game this season, complimented by the presence of Haston. Haston is averaging 19.1 points and 10.9 rebounds against the conference. He averages 10.3 points and 10 rebounds against the Buckeyes. \nOSU has won the last three games against IU, but the Hoosiers lead the overall series 92-66. According to the team's history, the end of the schedule is in IU's favor. The Hoosiers close the regular season with five of their last seven games at home.

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