Talor Battle and Ohio State's Evan Turner talk almost every day.
Two of the nation's best guards played for USA's World University squad this summer. The two juniors have remained in touch and have constantly talked trash about tonight's game for the past year.
Battle, who calls Turner one of his better friends, admitted the Nittany Lions will have their work cut out for them trying to guard Turner.
"Nobody himself can really guard him. He's too big and too strong," Battle said. "We're gonna have to have some help-side defense. But at the same time, we have to contain the basketball because he has a lot of shooters in [Jon] Diebler and [William] Buford on the wings. Every team has a tough time guarding him."
Penn State will face Turner and the No. 13 Buckeyes at 6:30 tonight at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
Despite missing six games after fracturing his back, Turner is in the conversation for national player of the year. The 6-foot-7 junior is one of the most well-rounded players in college basketball, averaging 18.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.
Without Turner in the lineup, the Buckeyes struggled to a 3-3 record. With their star point guard in the lineup, the Buckeyes are 13-3 and one of the most feared squads in the Big Ten.
Coach Ed DeChellis said Turner makes his teammates better when he has the ball.
"You got to contain him, but he has the ball in his hands so often," DeChellis said at his press conference Monday. "If there's a missed shot, he's getting the ball, and he's pushing it and he's gonna make a play for somebody. He's very good at getting it into the seams and producing for other guys."
If a smaller player tries to guard Turner, he can shoot over him, DeChellis said. If a taller player does, Turner is explosive enough to drive.
Iowa managed to hold the Buckeye to two first-half points. DeChellis watched the tape from last week's matchup and thought the Hawkeyes succeeded at managing the offense for an extended amount of time, which kept the ball out of Turner's hands.
Last season, former Lion forward Jamelle Cornley guarded Turner and held him to six points in 38 minutes of play.
The Lions will likely deploy a tall, athletic player on Turner, possibly junior forward D.J. Jackson or sophomore guard Chris Babb.
But on offense, Battle has a plan to take his friend out of the game.
"He claims he's going to guard me. We'll see how that goes," Battle joked. "I'll just try and get him in foul trouble and get him out of the game quick."