Share

Jan. 4, 2011
No. 2 Ohio State (14-0, 1-0) at Iowa (7-6, 0-1)

Site:                  Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500)
Game Time:       9 p.m. ET
Television:         Big Ten Network
Talent:              Dave Revsine (play-by-play)
                        Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio:               OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Local Radio:       WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:     Herb Howenstine (play-by-play)
                        Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Free Radio:        Check www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com for Info
Sirius/XM Radio: Sirius (122)/ XM (143)

Seventh FOW Goes to Sullinger
Ohio State rookies have earned all eight Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week awards this season and Jared Sullinger claimed the league’s freshman of the week honor for the seventh time Monday (classmate Deshaun Thomas has the other). Sullinger averaged 18.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in wins vs. UT-Martin and Indiana last week. Sullinger also has a pair of conference player of the week awards. He is the first freshman to earn the league’s player of the week honor twice in a season since the Buckeyes’ Greg Oden did so as a rookie in 2006-07.

BUCKEYES OPEN 99th SEASON IN BIG TEN CONFERENCE WITH WIN AT INDIANA
This is the 99th season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 55-42 (.567) in conference openers, 64-30 (.681) in league home openers and 36-59 (.379) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play. Ohio State has opened Big Ten play on the road 43 times and has a 19-24 record in those games after winning at Indiana last week 85-67.

Matta has Buckeyes Road Ready
Ohio State has won its last eight true road games since finishing the 2009-10 season with five-consecutive road victories and starting this season with wins at then-No. 9 Florida (11/16/10) at Florida State (11/30/10) and most recently at Indiana (12/31/10). The last road loss was at No. 11 West Virginia Jan. 23, 2010. The Buckeyes have won their last seven Big Ten road contests since falling at Minnesota 73-62 Jan. 9, 2010. The Buckeyes last won eight-consecutive road games in Big Ten play during the 1959-60, ’60-61 seasons when the Buckeyes won the final league road game in 1960, all seven in 1961 and the first six in 1962. Ohio State opened the Big Ten season on the road at Indiana and now plays at Iowa Tuesday and at Michigan Jan. 12. 
                                                                   Big Ten
Year(s)                        Rd. W Strk.    Rd. W Strk.
1959-60, 1961-62         21               14
1970-71, 1971-72          9                 7
2009-10, 2010-11          8                 7
1932-33                        8                 3
1949-50, 1950-51          7                 5
2006-07, 2007-08          6                 7
1908-09, 1909-10          6                N/A
1943-44, 1944-45         N/A               7

IOWA NEXT IN STRETCH OF 3 in 4 LEAGUE GAMES ON THE ROAD FOR BUCKEYES
Ohio State began Big Ten Conference play vs. the Hoosiers in Bloomington, an 85-67 win last week. The game was the first on the road in league play and one of three road contests Ohio State plays vs. Big Ten foes in the opening four conference games of the season. The Buckeyes travel to Iowa, host Minnesota and go to Michigan to start the Big Ten slate. Ohio State opened with four of five on the road to start the conference season a year ago.

Ohio State Boasts Top Rookies
Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas rate Nos. 1-2, respectively, in offensive production among Big Ten freshmen. Sullinger averages 17.6 points a game while Thomas contributes 11.4 ppg. Sullinger leads all league rookies with 10.1 rebounds a game while Thomas is fourth with 5.1 rpg. Sullinger is No. 1 in field goal percentage (.601/86-143) and No. 3 in steals with 1.14 spg. Aaron Craft leads freshmen in steals (1.79 spg.) and assists (4.79 apg.).

The Ohio State, Iowa Series
Iowa leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 73-67 with a 47-21 lead in Iowa City. Ohio State has won its last four meetings with Iowa, which include wins in the last two trips to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Ohio State has never won five-consecutive games vs. the Hawkeyes. The last four-game win streak was from Jan. 10, 1980 to March 7, 1981.  As a ranked team, Ohio State is 19-10 in games vs. the Hawkeyes. Ohio State’s No. 2 ranking heading into the game Tuesday is its highest in Iowa City since March 10, 1991. Iowa won that game 80-69.  Ohio State’s highest ranking at Iowa was No. 1 Feb. 26, 1962, a 74-64 victory over the unranked Hawkeyes.
 Junior William Buford averages 10.8 points a game vs. Iowa during his four previous meetings while seniors David Lighty and Jon Diebler contributes 11.8 ppg. and 10.5 ppg. points a game respectively vs. Iowa. Buford averages 6.3 rebounds to lead the current Buckeyes vs. the Hawkeyes. Lighty (18-34/.529) and senior Dallas Lauderdale (12-16/.750) both connect on 50 percent of their shots in the Iowa series. Lighty (17-20/.850), Diebler (12-16/.750) and Buford (9-11/.818) have combined to make 38 of 47 foul shots (.809) vs. the Hawkeyes during their careers.

Ohio State vs. the Big Ten
Illinois               62-99
Indiana              73-99
Iowa                       67-73         
Michigan             87-71
Michigan State     50-58
Minnesota          76-55
Northwestern       107-45
Penn State          24-12
Purdue                75-82
Wisconsin           81-64
Total                    702-658

Lighty Could Join Turner, Jackson in OSU Record Book
Evan Turner (1,517 pts., 682 rebs., 414 asts.) became just the second player in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists with eight helpers vs. Northwestern Jan. 19, 2010. Jim Jackson is the only other Buckeye to do so with 1,785 career points, 552 career rebounds and 372 career assists from 1990-92. David Lighty could join the duo this season. He currently has 1,191 points, 484 rebounds and 305 assists to his credit. Only 21 players in Ohio State history have scored more than 1,000 points and collected 500+ rebounds. Turner was the last to accomplish.

MATTA OFF TO BEST START TO OSU SEASON
With the win over Indiana last Friday, Thad Matta has led Ohio State to its first 14-0 start to a season over his seven-year tenure in Columbus. The Buckeyes started 11-0 in 2005-06.
Year           Start Yr. W Strk.              Postseason
1960-61         27-0                      NCAA Title game
1961-62         22-0                      NCAA Title game
1990-91         17-0                      NCAA Regional Semifinal
2010-11         14-0 
2005-06         11-0                      NCAA 2nd Round
2008-09          9-0                       NCAA First Round

Matta Reaches Double-Digit Wins vs. Non-Conference Foes
Thad Matta has directed Ohio State to at least 10 wins during non-conference play in each of his seven seasons in Columbus. Matta is 90-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 80-37 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 170-54. In 11 seasons as a head coach (1 at Butler, 3 at Xavier and 7 at Ohio State) Matta is 84-39 vs. the Big Ten. He has winning records vs. eight league teams (8-3 vs. ILL, 8-5 vs. IND, 7-4 vs. IOWA, 11-2 vs. MICH,  6-5 vs. MINN, 9-1 vs. NW, 12-0 vs. PSU, 10-5 vs. PUR, is tied with Michigan State (6-6) and is 7-8 vs. Wisconsin.
              Non-Conf.           Big Ten            Overall
Yr.            W L                     W L                   W L
2005      11 3               9 9              20 12
2006      12 1              14 5             26 6
2007      17 3              18 1             35 4
2008      14 4              10 9             24 13
2009      11 2              11 9             22 11
2010      12 4              17 4             29 8
2011      13 0               1 0              14 0
                 90 17                 80 37             170 54

UNC Asheville, Oakland High-Lighty(s)
David Lighty, a senior from Cleveland, exploded for the first 11 points of the game, helping the Buckeyes to an 11-2 lead over the first 2:45 of the game against UNC Asheville. He went for a season-high 29 points, setting career highs in made 3-point field goals (7), 3-point field goals attempted (10 and made field goals (11).  Lighty started his 100th game of his career vs. Oakland and played in his 133rd career game, tied for No. 2 all-time with Jerry Francis, against UT Martin earlier in the week. The senior from Cleveland averaged 21.0 points in wins vs. UNC Asheville and Oakland. He connected on 60 percent of his field goals (15-25) and on 10 of 14 3-pointers (.714). He shot 70 percent from 3-point-range (7-10) vs. UNCA.

Jon “3-Bler” Diebler Strikes vs. FGCU
Senior Jon Diebler turned in another record individual performance in the span of three games for the 14-0 and No. 2-ranked Buckeyes. After freshman Jared Sullinger set all sorts of Big Ten, Ohio State and personal marks with 40 points vs. IUPUI Dec. 9, Diebler followed suit making 9-of-14 3s in the win vs. Florida Gulf Coast Dec. 15.
Noting Diebler’s 3-point barrage vs. FGCU:

  • Most 3s made at Value City Arena-9
  • Most 3s made in OSU history-tie
  • Most 3s attempted in a game-14 (tie)
  • Second most 3s made in Big Ten history-tie
  • Most consecutive 3s made in OSU History-9
  • Most 3s made at Value City Arena-9
  • Most 3s attempted at Value City Arena-14 (tie)
  • Last Big Ten player with 9 made 3s was Matt Roth of Indiana vs. OSU 1/31/09
  • Diebler moved to No. 7 all-time in Big Ten history with 293 made 3s (now has 294), an OSU career record

Sullinger with another record outing
Freshman Jared Sullinger scored a game-high 40 points for the Buckeyes in the 75-64 win vs. IUPUI Dec. 9. Along the way, the 6-foot-9-inch Columbus native set numerous Ohio State records. He then followed that effort with a 30-point, 19 rebound outing in the victory over South Carolina Dec. 18. He has since added 16 boards vs. UNC Asheville, tied for the fifth-most by an OSU rookie in a single game.
Noting Sullinger’s 40-point game vs. IUPUI:

  • Most Points by an Ohio State freshman-40
  • Most FTs Made by an Ohio State freshman-16
  • 3rd-T Free Throws Made at Ohio State
  • Most FTA by an Ohio State freshman-23
  • 10th-T FTs attempted in Big Ten history
  • 3rd Most FTs attempted in Big Ten history
  • 2nd 40-pt. by a Big Ten freshman all-time
  • No. 17-T Single Game Scoring at Ohio State
  • 57th time OSU player to score 35+ in a game-
  • Last time OSU player scored 35 or more pts. in a game was by Brent Darby (35) vs. Duke in 2002.
  • Last time OSU player scored 40 or more pts. in a game was by Dennis Hopson (41) at Dayton in 1986.
  • Last time a Big Ten player scored 40 or more pts. in a game was by Shawn Respert of Michigan State vs. Indiana, 1/11/95.

Noting Sullinger’s 30 pt., 19 reb. game vs. USC:

  • Fifth double-double of the season and ninth game in double figures
  • Tied 3rd-most points by a freshman in a game
  • Tied for the third-most in Value City Arena (David Lighty vs. Cleveland St., 12/22/09 and Scoonie Penn vs. Wisconsin, 2/24/99 each had 30)
  • 19 rebounds are a Value City Arena record (Evan Turner had 17 11/12/09 vs. James Madison and 11/9/10 vs. Alcorn St.)
  • Tied for second for most rebounds in a game for a freshman (Herb Williams had 22 vs. Marshall, 11/28/77). Greg Oden had 19 boards vs. Purdue March 10, 2007
  • Defensive rebounds (14) are the most for an Ohio State freshman (Greg Oden previously held the record with 13 vs. Tennessee on 1/13/07).
  • Defensive rebounds are tied for most defensive boards in Value City Arena history (Evan Turner vs. James Madison, 11/12/09)
  • Hit first career 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half, giving Ohio State a 42-21 halftime advantage

 
Lighty records Win No. 100
Senior David Lighty has been a part of 109 victories during his tenure as a Buckeye. His freshman season Ohio State won 35 games followed by 24 as a sophomore and 29 as a junior in 2009-10. Lighty is credited with seven wins at the start of the 2008-09 season, which ended for the 6-foot-5 guard from Cleveland when he broke his right foot and earned a medical redshirt season. The Buckeyes are off to a 14-0 start this year.

Five “Score” and More
Five Ohio State players already have tallied a score (20) or more points in a game 12 times after 14 contests this season. Freshman Deshaun Thomas tallied 24 points in his collegiate debut Nov. 12 vs. North Carolina A&T and then scored 20 in the most recent win vs. UT-Martin. Another rookie, center Jared Sullinger, along with senior David Lighty each scored 26 points in the win at then-No. 9 Florida Nov. 16. Fellow senior, guard Jon Diebler, contributed 20 points in Ohio State’s home win over Morehead State Nov. 23 and then most recently with a career-high 29 vs. Florida Gulf Coast Dec. 15. Lighty tallied 21 against Miami (Ohio) Nov. 26 and added a season-high 29 vs. UNC Asheville. Sullinger poured in 40 points for the Buckeyes in the recent win vs. IUPUI Dec. 9, a 75-64 victory and then added 30 points vs. South Carolina  Dec. 18 (W 79-57). William Buford is the most recent Buckeye to break the 20-point barrier with a game-high 23 vs. UT Martin Dec. 27 and then 24 points at Indiana Dec. 31. Lighty (4), Diebler (7), Buford (6) and 2010 National Player of the Year Evan Turner (10) all scored 20 or more points multiple times last season.

Buckeyes Balanced Offensively
After 14 games, Ohio State has five players, including four starters, average double-figures offensively. Freshman Jared Sullinger leads the team with 17.6 points per game. Sullinger also is the squad’s top rebounder with 10.1 a contest. Junior William Buford is next with 14.2 ppg., followed by senior David Lighty (12.8 ppg.) and classmate Jon Diebler (12.4 ppg.). Freshman Deshaun Thomas contributes 11.4 ppg.
 Freshman Aaron Craft leads with 67 total assists. Senior starting center Dallas Lauderdale has 33 of the team’s 55 blocks on the year. Lauderdale also makes 65 percent of his field goals (34 of 52) while Sullinger (86-143/.601), Craft (25-48/.521) Thomas (58-115/.504) and Diebler (56-106/.528) all connect at 50+ percent from the field. Diebler has made 44 3-pointers on the season on 86 attempts (.512).

Diebler Moving Up in Big Ten
Senior Jon Diebler is among the Big Ten’s all-time Top 10 leaders in made 3-pointers. The sharpshooter from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, has made 304 career 3s, No. 6 on the all-time Big Ten list. He has averaged 2.51 made 3s a game for his 121-game career. On that pace, he will become the Big Ten’s all-time leader. Ohio State has a minimum of 18 games remaining, 17 in regular season games and at least one in the Big Ten tournament. He is on pace to make 56 more 3s this season, or 360 for his career. Pete Lisicky of Penn State (1994-98) currently owns the top spot in conference history with 332 made 3-pointers. 

Big Ten Career 3-point leaders
1.  332  Pete Lisicky, PSU  1994-98
2.  331  Shawn Respert, MSU  1991-95
3.  327  Cory Bradford, ILL  1998-2002
4.  320  Craig Moore, NU  2006-09
5.  308  Joe Crispin, PSU  1998-2001
6.  304  Jon Diebler, OSU  2008-
7.  299  Dee Brown, ILL  2002-06
8.  283  A.J. Guyton, IND  1997-2000
9.  271  Drew Neitzel, MSU  2004-08
10.  268  Dion Harris, MICH  2003-07

Noting the Indiana Game:
Ohio State 85, Indiana 67 (Dec. 31)

  • Ohio State’s four returning starters (Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford) have combined for 348 career starts and 453 games played.
  • The 14-0 overall record is the fourth-best start in Ohio State history (1960-61, 27-0; 1961-62, 22-0; 1990-91, 17-0).
  • As a ranked team, Ohio State is 375-105 all-time.
  • Ohio State improved to 27-7 when ranked second in the country, and 112-17 when ranked among the Top 3 in the country.
  • When ranked in the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 254-56 with wins in 45 of its last 47 outings.
  • The Buckeyes are now 73-99 vs. Indiana all-time and 702-658 vs. teams from the Big Ten. Ohio State has won its last five games vs. the Hoosiers, the longest winning streak in the series for the Buckeyes.
  • Ohio State has won its last eight road games and the last seven in league play.
  • This is the 238th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
  • Ohio State made 13 of 19 shots from 3-point range vs. the Hoosiers. The 13 made 3s tied an opponent record for long range makes at Assembly Hall. The total also ties the Ohio State record for most made 3s vs. Indiana. The Buckeyes made 13 vs. the Hoosiers on Jan. 13, 2009 at Value City Arena. Ohio State won that game 77-53.
  • Ohio State made 71 pct. of its shots in the first half (15-21) and 64 pct. from long range (7-11) to take a 46-33 lead at the break.
  • The 14-0 record to begin the season is the best start for Thad Matta at Ohio State (previous best was in 2005-06, when the team began 11-0) and his first time completing a non-conference schedule undefeated.
  • With the win, Ohio State is 43-6 (.878) in December under Matta and 8-0 this season, the most wins during the month in his Ohio State career.
  • Matta improved his career record to 272-85 overall and 170-54 at Ohio State.
  • Matta is 90-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 80-37 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 170-54.
  • During Matta’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are 156-5 when leading with five minutes to play.
  • The Buckeyes are 12-0 this season and 153-17 when shooting a better field goal percentage than the opponent.
  • When outrebounding their opponent, the Buckeyes are 10-0 this year and 97-14 under Matta (Ohio State outrebounded Indiana 30-20).
  • When Ohio State has fewer than 15 turnovers, it is 13-0 on the season and 141-43 under Matta (OSU had 14 turnovers vs. Indiana).
  • Under Matta, Ohio State is 10-0 in 2010 and 114-11 overall when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
  • Junior guard William Buford led the Buckeyes with 24 points, pushing his career total to 1,088. He passed Carter Scott and Scoonie Penn 40th-place all-time in career scoring at Ohio State.
  • Buford scored the first eight points of the game. He finished the game with a season-high 24 points.
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Week (his sixth of the season) Jared Sullinger finished the contest with 19 points. Sullinger has scored at least 10 points in 12 out or 14 games this season.
  • With five made 3-pointers vs. Indiana, senior Jon Diebler now has 304 for his career, passing Dee Brown (Illinois – 299) for sixth-place in career 3-pointers made in Big Ten history. He is four away from tying Joe Crispin (308, Penn St. 1998-2001) for fifth-place.
  • With five made 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 30 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer made.
  • Diebler made all five 3-point attempts to tie and Ohio State record for 3-point shooting percentage in a game (5-5/1.000).
  • With 15 points against the Hoosiers, Diebler now has 1,241 career points, passing Larry Siegfried and Ron Stokes for 26th place in Ohio State history.
  • The game vs. Indiana marked senior David Lighty’s 102nd career start for Ohio State, passing Troy Taylor for ninth place in career games started at Ohio State. He is three starts away from tying Jim Smith for eighth place in career games started for the Buckeyes.
  • Lighty recorded his 109th win as a Buckeye vs. the Hoosiers. He had 35 as a freshman, 25 as a sophomore, 29 as a junior and seven during the 2008-09 season when he received a medical redshirt because of a broken foot. He is two wins away from owning the Ohio State record.
  • Lighty has played in 134 games as a Buckeye, which is second all-time.
  • Lighty had two steals, passing Evan Turner (159) for third place all-time at Ohio State with 161. He also recorded five assists to give him 305 for his career.

Buford Reaches 1,000 Career Points
Ohio State boasts three players with at least 1,000 career points scored since junior William Buford reached the 96 points he needed in the 2010-11 season. With 17 points in the win vs. Florida Gulf Coast Dec. 15, Buford reached 1,000 and now has 1,088 career points, the 47th Buckeye all-time to reach 1,000. He scored 372 as a freshman and 532 a year ago for a total of 904 entering the campaign.
 Seniors David Lighty (1,191) and Jon Diebler (1,241) joined Ohio State’s 1,000-point club late last season. Diebler became the 45th player in Ohio State history to reach the 1,000 point plateau with 14 against Illinois March 13, 2010. Lighty reached 1,000 points with 18 vs. Georgia Tech in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He was the third Buckeye, along with Evan Turner and Diebler, to achieve the feat last season. Lighty was the 46th player to reach 1,000 points in an Ohio State uniform.

Diebler On Track to Shatter Records
Senior Jon Diebler already owns several Ohio State 3-point shooting records and looks to increase his career totals from long range while setting new career marks in his last year of eligibility. Diebler’s career total of 304 made 3s and single season mark of 116 a year ago are Ohio State records. He has increased his shooting percentage during each of his three years at Ohio State from 29 percent as a freshman to 41.6 percent as a sophomore and 42 percent a season ago. He is currently shooting 51 percent from long range (44-86) and is at 40 percent for his career (304-759).

Diebler is Three King
With four 3s in the 2010 Big Ten semifinal against Illinois, junior Jon Diebler surpassed Jamar Butler as the all-time leader at Ohio State in 3-point makes. Butler played from 2005-08 and averaged nearly 61 made 3s a season (242 total). Diebler has averaged 76 (304 total) a season over four years. Butler’s career percentage from long range ranks No. 8 all time at 37.2 percent accuracy (242-650). Diebler is shooting 40.1 percent (304-759) for his career. This after connecting on just 29 percent (48-166) as a freshman. He shot 42 percent as a sophomore (96-231) and made 42 percent last season (116-276).
 In just four seasons has a Buckeye made 80 or more 3s. Diebler has two of those after knocking down 96 treys as a sophomore and 116 last year. Diebler set the single-season record for made 3s in a season after making 11 treys in Milwaukee in the opening rounds of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Diebler surpassed the century mark from long range with five makes in the 2010 Big Ten Tournament title victory over Minnesota.

Lighty Offers Veteran Leadership
Fifth-year senior David Lighty has battled injury over his career, missing the majority of the 2008-09 season with a broken bone in his right foot and then re-injuring the same foot during off-season workouts following the 2009-10 season. He is on track to be ready for the start of this season. Lighty has played in 134 games during his career, starting 102. He could be Ohio State’s all-time leader in game appearances when his eligibility expires at the end of the 2010-11 season. He was part of the 2007 NCAA Championship game, three NCAA tournament appearances, a National Invitational Tournament title (2009), a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles (2007, 2010) and two Big Ten championships (2007, 2010) during his tenure as a Buckeye.

Ohio State vs. The Ranked
The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 135-221 vs. ranked opponents in the Associated Press Top 25. That includes a mark of 55-112 vs. Top 10 foes. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 375-105 all-time. In games when both teams enter with a Top 25 ranking, Ohio State is 55-47. When ranked among the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 254-56 with wins in 45 of last 47 outings.

Wins Follow Buckeye Double-Doubles
Ohio State has had a player record a double-double (10+ points, rebs, assists, steals or blocks) in 812 games. The Buckeyes are 555-257 in those contests (.683). Freshman Jared Sullinger (18/11) last recorded a double-double in the win vs. Tennessee-Martin Dec. 27. 

Double Digit 3s
Ohio State has made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 72 times since the shot was instituted for the 1986-87 season. The Buckeyes are 61-11 in those games after knocking down 10-of-28 treys against Oakland Dec. 23. Opponents have made double-digit 3s 87 times and are 35-52 in those games vs. the Buckeyes. Matta’s Ohio State teams are 48-9 when making 10 or more 3s in a game. Opponents are 9-29 against Matta-coached teams when making 10 or more treys.

Buckeyes win title vs. Eagles
Ohio State claimed the best record in the Global Sports Invitational with a victory vs. Morehead State (64-45, Nov. 23). Ohio State was 4-0 in the event. Florida went 3-1, North Carolina A&T 1-3, and UNC Wilmington 2-2. Morehead State finished 0-4.

Buford, Sullinger Make Naismith List
Junior guard William Buford and freshman center Jared Sullinger, both Ohio natives, are among the early contenders for the Naismith Award, given annually to the college national player of the year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Ohio State’s Evan Turner was selected for the honor after the 2009-10 season. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the Top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists. 

Sullinger, Williams Start Careers in Similar Fashion
Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger recorded a pair of double-doubles in his debut games as a Buckeye. He tallied 19 points and 14 rebounds in his first career game vs. NC A&T Nov. 12 and followed that effort with 26 points and 10 boards at Florida Nov. 16. He is the first freshman to start his career with back-to-back double-doubles since Herb Williams tallied three-consecutive D-Ds as a rookie in 1977. Williams did so against California Hayward (34/10), Marshall (21/22) and Stetson (18/16). Sullinger has four career double-doubles in seven games after grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 40 points vs. IUPUI Dec. 9.

Buckeyes Know Mr. Basketball
The last four Associated Press Ohio HS Mr. Basketball awards have been earned by current Ohio State players. Senior Jon Diebler claimed the honor in 2007, junior William Buford claimed the honor in 2008 and freshman Jared Sullinger won it in both 2009 and 2010. Deshaun Thomas, another Ohio State rookie, claimed Indiana’s Mr. Basketball honor last year as a senior at Bishop Luers HS in Fort Wayne, Ind. Ohio State has had two of the last five Mr. Basketball honorees in Indiana with Greg Oden earning the honor in 2006.

Buckeyes Picked to Finish 2nd in Big Ten
Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue. That is the 2010-11 order of finish the Big Ten media selected  at the annual media day in Chicago in late October. The Buckeyes return four starters and welcome one of the nation’s top recruiting classes after finishing the 2009-10 season 29-8 overall and winning the postseason conference tournament, a share of the regular-season crown and advancing to the 2010 NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16.”

Feast or Famine
The four returning starters (David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale, Jon Diebler and William Buford) from the 2009-10 season have played a combined 453 games at Ohio State with a total of 348 starts. Senior David Lighty leads that list with 134 games played and 102 starts.

Pollsters Like Buckeyes Early
Both the Associated Press (No. 4) and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches (No. 5) polls rated the Buckeyes among the nation’s elite teams heading into the 2010-11 season. Ohio State is currently ranked No. 2 in both polls. Opponents on the 2010-11 schedule Michigan State, Purdue, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Northwestern are among the Top 25 or receiving votes for consideration in one or both polls.

Buford Works with U.S. National Team
Junior William Buford was selected as one of 20 collegiate athletes to practice against the U.S. National Team July 19-24 in Las Vegas. Buford is Ohio State’s top returning scorer from the 2009-10 campaign at 14.4 points a game. He started all 37 contests for Ohio State a year ago and will be looked to for his offense and improving defense as a team veteran this season.

Career Gives Lighty Chance at Lowe’s Senior CLass Award
David Lighty is among several candidates for the 2010-11 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports. The acronym “CLASS” stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®. The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award celebrates the loyalty of seniors that honor a four-year commitment to their university. The Senior CLASS Award® recognizes these student-athletes for great achievement during competition and in their community while staying in school.

Schedule Notes
The Buckeyes made two trips to Florida in 2010. Ohio State defeated the University of Florida 93-75 Nov. 16 and traveled for the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 30 at Florida State (W 58-44). South Carolina will face the Buckeyes in Columbus Dec. 18 to start a home-and-home series with USC. Northwestern and Michigan State face the Buckeyes once this season with Ohio State traveling to Evanston and playing host to the Spartans. All other league teams face the Buckeyes home-and-home. The Buckeyes open the league season at Indiana Saturday. Happy New Year! 

Buckeyes Again Look to Develop a Point
Thad Matta, now in his seventh season as the head coach of the Buckeyes, moved forward Evan Turner to the point guard position after the 2008-09 season. The experiment worked with Turner developing into the 2010 National Player of the Year and the No. 2 pick (Philadelphia) in the 2010 NBA Draft. The point guard position will again be open entering camp this year. Freshman Aaron Craft will get an opportunity but veterans David Lighty, Jon Diebler and William Buford could handle the position by committee as well. All have been working on the skills necessary to run the Buckeyes during the 2010-11 campaign.

Matta Looks for Another 20-Win Season
For each of the last 10 seasons, all as a head coach, Thad Matta has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Only Mark Few, among active coaches, has more consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career (11). Matta set the Ohio State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2008-09 with a 22-11 record and extended it with a 29-8 campaign last season, the sixth-consecutive Ohio State season with 20+ victories. The previous record was four held by the 1960-63 teams under legendary head coach Fred Taylor. Matta also has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last five seasons. That effort tied Taylor’s mark of 10+ league wins in each of the seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta’s first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last three (10, 10, 14).

Dickerson Added to Staff
Dave Dickerson, former head coach at Tulane, was added to the Big Ten Champion Ohio State men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach in April. Dickerson replaced Alan Major, who accepted the head coaching position at Charlotte after last season. Prior to his time in New Orleans, Dickerson spent nine years as an assistant under former Ohio State coach Gary Williams at Maryland, his alma mater, and in 2004-05, was the program’s associate head coach. Dickerson also served as assistant coach at Gardner Webb (1990-91), James Madison (1991-92) and Radford (1993-96) before returning to Maryland. As a player, he lettered for the Terrapins from 1986-89, earning team captain status as a senior. A native of Olar, S.C., Dickerson graduated from Maryland in 1990 with a degree in government and politics.

Sullinger Second Recruit to Earn Naismith HS Award in Last 5 yrs.
Jared Sullinger was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year March 10, 2010 by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Sullinger is the second Thad Matta recruit to earn the award in the last five years. Greg Oden earned the honor in 2006. Sullinger, of Columbus Northland HS, averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and nearly two blocks a game for his national No. 1 ranked high school squad, which was coached by his father “Satch” Sullinger, the 2010 Naismith High School Coach of the Year.

Buckeyes Comfortable at VCA
The Buckeyes are 10-0 at home this season in Value City Arena (1-0 at St. John Arena).  Ohio State finished 17-1 at home last season, the second most home victories in a season at Ohio State. The Buckeyes shot 52 percent at home and 41 percent from 3-point range in 2009-10. The team reached 100 or more points three times and averaged a margin of victory of +22.1. The Buckeyes opened the 2010-11 campaign with a 102-61 victory over NC A&T and recently defeated UT-Martin 100-40. Ohio State is 69-1 all-time when scoring 100 or more points in a game.