The first time Indiana played Ohio State this season, Evan Turner made a surprise start for the Buckeyes. The star guard scored eight points in 20 minutes after missing the six previous games with a back injury.
Turner has re-emerged as a national player-of-the-year candidate since the Jan. 6 game. He matched a career-high with 32 points Sunday against Iowa.
IU (9-13, 3-7 Big Ten) will get another look at Turner and No. 13 Ohio State (18-6, 8-3) tonight at Assembly Hall.
He can score from so many different areas, IU coach Tom Crean said during the Big Ten teleconference Monday. He can score from the top of the key. He can score on post-ups. He can score from the corners.
He poises a ton of problems because of how many different places he can score from. The biggest is you have to take care of the ball and be strong with the ball anytime he is in the vicinity of you because of the disruption he can cause to your offense.
Turner leads the Big Ten in scoring (19.7 points) and rebounding (9.4 per game) and is second in assists, averaging 5.7.
He earned co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors Monday. Its the eighth time Turner has received the recognition in his career, a conference record.
The thing that drives him the most is winning, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. Hes such a competitive kid, and he wants to win basketball games. Hes smart enough to know the better he plays, the better our chances are of winning.
Hes all about winning. Its amazing watching him in practice how competitive he is in everything he does. He has a great drive to be a great player and as you look across the boards, the great ones are always different in that regard. And he has that.
IUs concerns go beyond trying to slow Turner down.
Our defensive mistakes have got to cut down, Crean said. Thats where our margin of error is greatest right now. In the past week, thats where we are really inefficient. We have to be able to make more stops. We have to be able to make fewer mistakes.