As a scorer and rebounder, Jared Sullinger has been superb as expected for Ohio State this season.
The freshman forward has also helped the second-ranked Buckeyes put together a string of impressive defensive efforts, which they'll look to continue Thursday night against IUPUI.
After winning the Naismith Award as the nation's top high school player, Sullinger has made a seamless transition to the college game. He is the Buckeyes' second-leading scorer at 14.5 points per game and top rebounder at 9.3 a contest.
Sullinger had 11 points and 13 rebounds in a 58-44 victory at Florida State on Nov. 30 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. He also contributed to a defensive effort that allowed the Buckeyes to overcome a season-worst 32 percent shooting performance.
Ohio State (6-0) limited the Seminoles to 35.4 percent from the field and forced 22 turnovers.
"We pride ourselves on our defense around here," Sullinger said. "We just play hard. We do our system. We don't change for anyone."
Over the past four games, the Buckeyes have allowed an average of 43.8 points on 33.0 percent shooting. Overall, opponents are scoring 51.8 points per game while shooting 39.0 percent against Ohio State.
With Sullinger's help, Ohio State is also outrebounding opponents by an average of 38.7-29.0 this season.
"(Sullinger) loves to win, and he knows how to win," coach Thad Matta said after the win over Florida State. "I was really, really pleased with how he kept competing."
Along with the star freshman, the Buckeyes' rebounding and defense might prove too much for the visiting Jaguars (4-5) to handle.
IUPUI is averaging 59.4 points against Division I opponents this season, although it just missed a chance to head into Value City Arena with a three-game win streak.
The Jaguars fell 63-61 to Summit League rival Oral Roberts on Saturday night, giving up Warren Niles' layup with 1 second left.
"We were one play short," coach Ron Hunter told the school's official website. "We really wanted to hold serve at home. That's what championship teams do, is hold serve at home. Now, we're going to have to find some wins on the road and that's not an easy thing to do."
Senior swingman Leroy Nobles had 21 points and has averaged 24.0 over the last three games. However, Jaguars leading scorer Alex Young (17.2 ppg), is coming off a season-worst six-point performance.
Since beginning Division I play in 1998-99, IUPUI has lost all nine matchups with ranked teams, including two this season. The Jaguars fell 86-56 to then-No. 12 Gonzaga on Nov. 14 and 61-46 to then-No. 25 San Diego State on Nov. 21 - both games coming away from home.
IUPUI lost its only matchup with Ohio State at Columbus during the 2001-02 season.