The Hoosiers have had just one winning streak since the calendar turned over. They will look to change that Sunday afternoon when they host No. 22 Ohio State at Assembly Hall.
With tipoff slated for 4 p.m., here are the trends to keep an eye on:
BEST SIXTH MAN: Stanford Robinson came off the bench for a third consecutive time Thursday night. The athletic freshman did a superb job anchoring the second unit, going off for 17 points on a mere six shots. Evan Gordon has not been the scorer or shooter Indiana thought he would be off the bench. Look for coach Tom Crean to stick with Robinson off the pine and leave Austin Etherington in the starting five.
SMALLBALL: Crean didn't necessarily commit to going small again with Robinson in for Etherington in sub packages and Jeremy Hollowell playing center. In the upset of Iowa, Indiana had a lot of success with that small lineup. While Crean leans toward traditional size, expect to at least see Will Sheehey get plenty of time at power forward. That's because Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross is a tweener between the 3 and 4.
ON ALERT: The Buckeyes are coming off a tough loss to Penn State Thursday night. Expect them to be motivated. That's frightening when they already have the Big Ten's best defense. Unlike Iowa, Ohio State uses up a lot of the shot clock in halfcourt sets. Indiana wants to play at a fast pace, get up and down the court and cause havoc in transition. This appears to be a very tough matchup for Crean and the Hoosiers. He figures whoever dictates tempo will win the game.
AARON VS. YOGI: Aaron Craft-Yogi Ferrell is a point guard matchup worth the price of admission. Craft powers Ohio State (22-7) by averaging about 10 points and five assists a game. Suffocating defense, however, remains his calling card. Guarding Ferrell is by far the biggest key for the Buckeyes. Both Ferrell and Craft are hitting 3-pointers this season, improving their shooting after key sources of offense left early for the NBA. On Sunday, who will be the better floor general?