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Jan. 27, 2016

Ohio State Notes Illinois Notes Big Ten Notes 2015-16 Schedule
Preview: Coach Matta  |  Preview: Daniel Giddens and Keita Bates-Diop
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The Ohio State Buckeyes (13-8, 5-3) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (10-10, 2-5)

Date: Jan. 25, 2016
Site: State Farm Center (17,085)
Game Time: 9 p.m.
Television: BTN
Talent: Dave Revsine (Play-By-Play)
Seth Davis (Expert Analysis)
None (Sideline)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 81/XM 81
Local Radio: WBNS-FM 97.1, AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (Play-By-Play)
Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

Starting Five, Plus One
•    Thad Matta is a win shy of the No. 14 spot all-time in career Big Ten regular season victories … Matta is currently 15th all-time with 137 career league triumphs. Arthur Lonborg, who coached Northwestern from 1928-50, currently holds the No. 14 spot with 138 career Big Ten regular season victories.
•    Since Thad Matta took over the Ohio State program at the start of the 2004-05 season, the Buckeyes have accumulated the second most points among Big Ten schools with 29,968 points for an average of 72.4 points a game. The Buckeyes will become the second team to reach 30,000 points over the last 12 years in the Big Ten with 32 at Illinois. Michigan State has scored 30,070 points in the Matta era. The Buckeyes own the highest scoring average during that time ahead of the 72.2 points per game averaged by Indiana.   
•    The game vs. Penn State was the 200th regular-season Big Ten contest for Thad Matta while coaching the Buckeyes. The game vs. the Nittany Lions also was the 100th Big Ten home game for Matta’s Buckeyes. Since he took over the program in 2004-05, the Buckeyes are 84-16 (.840) at home and 53-47 (.530) on the road for a career record of 137-63 (.685) against Big Ten regular season competition.
•    JaQuan Lyle rates No. 2 nationally among freshmen in total assists with 102. Classmate Daniel Giddens is No. 3-t in total blocks with 39 in the 2015-16 freshman class. As a team, Ohio State is No. 6 nationally in total blocks with 126. The Buckeyes are No. 16 in defensive rebounds with 585. Lyle’s 11 assists (part of a triple-double vs. Rutgers 16p/12r/11a) are tied for the third-most in a game by an Ohio State freshman all-time. Giddens’ 39 blocks are tied for fifth in a single season among Ohio State freshmen all-time. Lyle’s season assist total is No. 7 among Ohio State freshmen all-time.
•    Thad Matta has coached 414 games at Ohio State, the third most in school history. Harold G. Olsen (1923-46) and Fred Taylor (1959-76), have reached 400 or more games at Ohio State. Olsen coached 456 (259-197) and Taylor 455 (297-158).
•    As of last Tuesday, opponents with wins vs. the Buckeyes this season are a combined 120-35 (.774) and 37-18 (.673) in their respective conferences. Ohio State’s three losses in the Big Ten have come vs. teams with a combined record of 51-10 (.836) and a league mark of 18-5 (.783).

Ohio State vs. Illinois Series
Illinois leads the series with the Buckeyes, 101-70. Ohio State is 45-40 in Columbus. The Buckeyes are 24-60 in Champaign and 1-1 on neutral courts in the series. The Buckeyes have won the last five games vs. the Illini and 11 of the last 13. Ohio State has won the last seven in Columbus after a 75-73 win for the Buckeyes Jan. 3. Overall, Thad Matta is 16-5 vs. Illinois, including a 5-4 record in Champaign. Junior Marc Loving leads the way for the Buckeyes with four games played against the Illini. He averages 12.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in the Illinois series. Rookie JaQuan Lyle scored 14 points in the game earlier this season. Illinois native Keita Bates-Diop, a sophomore forward, averages 7.5 points and a team high 5.5 rebounds in two games vs. the Illini.

Last Time vs. Illinois
Marc Loving scored 27 points, including two late free throws, to lead Ohio State to a 75-73 win over Illinois Jan. 3. Loving scored six consecutive points to carry Ohio State from a 61-59 deficit to a 65-61 lead with 2:21 to play thanks to a dunk, a 3-pointer and a foul shot. OSU held a five-point lead when Michael Finke’s tip-in made it 70-67 with 23.3 seconds left. Jae-Sean Tate’s slam with 12.6 seconds left made 72-67 before Jalen Coleman-Lands hit a trey to pull Illinois within 72-70. A pair of Loving free throws upped the score to 74-70 but Malcolm Hill hit another 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left. Loving made one of two foul shots and a desperation shot from midcourt by Hill at the buzzer missed. Hill, Kendrick Nunn, Coleman-Lands and Finke all had 14 points. The Buckeyes got the free throw line 39 times, making 28. Loving posted career highs in both made (14) and attempted (19) free throws.

Scouting the Illini
Illinois enters the game with the Buckeyes with three Illini averaging 10 or more points a game. Junior guard Malcolm Hill (18.7 ppg.), junior guard Kendrick Nunn (17.5) and graduate forward Mike Thorne Jr. (12.9) lead a balanced Illinois offense. Thorne Jr. is the team’s leading rebounder with 8.5 boards a game. Illinois opened the season with an 8-5 record before opening the Big Ten season 2-5.  

Ohio State vs. The Big Ten
Ohio State begins its 104th season as a member of the Big Ten Conference in 2015-16. The Buckeyes own an overall record of 788-696 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 16 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 163-73 vs. league members, including a mark of 159-70 while coaching the Buckeyes.

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Notes link above.