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April 21, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head basketball coach Jim O’Brien announced today the annual awards for the 1998-99 men’s basketball team during its annual banquet held at Value City Arena.

Five players were recognized for their efforts during the Final Four season that resulted in a 27-9 overall record, tieing the school record for wins in a season.

Junior Scoonie Penn, a 5-10 guard from Salem, Mass., and sophomore Michael Redd, a 6-6 guard from Columbus, were named Co-Most Valuable Player. The award is presented by the Buckeye Boosters. The guard tandem helped set numerous school and individual records while accounting for 49 percent of the OSU offense (1,312 of 2,695 points). The pair earned six (three each) Big Ten Player of the Week awards and were named to numerous all-Big Ten, all-tournament and all-America teams along the way.

Redd led the Buckeyes in scoring for the second-consecutive season with a 19.5 average. He was named 1999 South Regional All-Tournament; 1999 USBWA All-District 5; 1999 Second Team All-Big Ten by the Big Ten Coaches and Media; 1999 All-Big Ten Tournament and was the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic MVP.

Redd became the second quickest Buckeye to reach 1,000 career points after pouring in 30 against Purdue (1/19/99) in his 49th game as a Buckeye. That is second only to Jerry Lucas, who reached 1,000 in 38 games. Redd also was just the third sophomore to reach 1,000 along with Herb Williams and Jim Jackson.

With 703 points in 1998-99, Redd now holds the sixth highest single season scoring mark in OSU history. His 658 points scored as a freshman rank 11th. He is the sixth player to score 700 or more in a season, the fourth to reach 600 or more twice and the ninth to reach 500 or more twice. Only Lucas has equalled or surpassed these marks at OSU.

Penn, in his first season at Ohio State, quickly made his presence known as the Buckeye’s point guard. He led the team in minutes (1,247), 3-pointers made (a school record 88) and attempted (229, another record), free throw percentage (.741, 117-158), assists (154) and steals (70). His efforts earned him 1999 Big Ten Player of the Year (Big Ten Media); 1999 South Regional Most Outstanding Player; 1999 Second Team All-American (USBWA); 1999 Third Team All-American (Associated Press, Basketball News); First Team All-Big Ten (Big Ten Coaches and Media) and a spot on the all-tournament team at the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. Penn became the 31st player to reach 500 points in a single season (609) and just the 16th to reach 600. He and Redd became the first pair to each score 500+ in a single season in 11 years and just the third pair to score 600+ in the same season. They are second highest scoring tandem in Ohio State history behind the 1,343 points turned in by Dennis Hopson (690) and Brad Sellers (653) in 1986.

Ken Johnson, a junior center from Detroit, Mich., earned the Most Improved Player award after his record-setting efforts in 1998-99.

Johnson, in just his second year of college basketball, already ranks fourth all-time at Ohio State in career blocks with 158. He set a single season record for blocks with 100 this season, including 21 rejections during the NCAA Tournament. Seven of those came in the win over St. John’s in the South Region Championship game that sent the Buckeyes to their ninth Final Four and first in 31 years.

Johnson blocked seven shots in a single game three times last year and was instrumental to the Buckeye defensive efforts with his ability to alter opponent shots.

Senior Jason Singleton, a 6-5 forward from Detroit, Mich., earned the John Havlicek Award given by the OSU Fast Breakers to the player who is deemed the most inspirational player on the team.

Singleton had his best season as a Buckeye. He led the team in field goal shooting percentage, hitting 63.5 percent of his shots from the field (129-203), which the second highest single season percentage in school history. His career shooting average of .540 (420-787) ranks sixth all time.

He also eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark in the win over Auburn, helping the Buckeyes advance to the South Region Championship game.

He shot over 70 percent from the field 15 times and recorded his fourth career double-double in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Murray State (10 pts., 10 rebs.).

Singleton played in 119 career games at Ohio State, starting 86. He started all 36 contests as a senior.

Junior Kwadjo Steele, a 6-6 forward from Dayton, Ohio, was given the team’s Fred R. Taylor Award given to a player for academic excellence.

Steele, a zoology major, was a walk-on his first two seasons at Ohio State before earning a scholarship last season.

He has played in 38 games for Ohio State after appearing in 13 games last season.

Buckeyes receive rings, other honors
OSU players and staff also received their Final Four rings Wednesday.

Penn received his Big Ten Player of the Year and First Team all-Big Ten awards and Redd his Second Team all-Big Ten honor.

Penn, Redd and Singleton all scored their 1,000th career point during the 1998-99 campaign and received a commemorative basketball in honor of this achievement.

Ohio State (27-9, 12-4)

No. 4 USA Today/ESPN
No. 14 Associated Press
Sagarin Ratings: 9th; Strength of Schedule 14th; vs. Top 10, 2-2;vs. Top 30, 11-4.
RPI Final: 20th

Team

4 wins in NCAA Tournament, ties school record (1960)
9th Final Four Appearance
10 wins over ranked opponents, an OSU Record.
11 more Big Ten wins (1-15 in 1998), a league record for 1-seasonturnaround…11 letterwinners return next year.
16-game improvement from 8-22 (1998) to 27-9 (1999) ranks 2nd inNCAA History
19th NCAA Tournament
19 more wins than 1998, school record for 1-season turnaround
27 wins ties school record
36 games played, school record
218, 3-pointers made, school record
220, consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer made
297, steals, school record
611, 3-pointers attempted, school record
17,223-Avg. Home Attendance, school record
191,195 fans watched OSU in 7 postseason games (2 Big Ten, 5 NCAA)

Individual

88, Scoonie Penn sets record for 3-pointers in a season
100, Ken Johnson sets record for blocked shots in a season
147, Neshaun Coleman sets record for 3-pointers in a career
229, Penn sets record for 3-pointers attempted in a season
436, Coleman sets record for 3-pointers attempted in a career
1,361, Michael Redd’s point total after two seasons, 18th all-time

The NCAA Tournament and OSU
Ohio State played in its 19th NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes are 35-18 all-time in NCAA games with one NCAA Championship (1960) and nine trips to the Final Four. Ohio State first advanced to the Final Four in 1939, the first NCAA Tournament and most recently in 1968 prior to this year. OSU advanced to the Final Four in three consecutive years twice (1944-46 and 1960-62).

Ohio State and the 1999 Final Four
Sophomore Michael Redd led the Buckeyes in scoring in NCAA Tournament play with an average of 19.8 ppg. Junior Scoonie Penn averaged 16.2 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds in the five NCAA games. Junior Ken Johnson averaged 7.6 points and had 21 blocks (4.2 bpg). The OSU defense has held opponents to 36.6 percent shooting (109-298) from the field and 29.7 percent (27-91) from 3-point range. The Buckeyes outscored their five opponents 354-304. Opponents averaged 60.8 points in the while the Buckeyes averaged 70.8 ppg. Redd moved into 18th place all-time in OSU career scoring along the way. He has 1,361 points in 66 games as Buckeye after scoring 99 points in NCAA play.

O’Brien recognized for record season

O’Brien was honored as the 1999 Clair Bee Coach of the Year.The honor is presented to the coach who has made the mostsignificant positive contributions to his sport during thepreceding year. The award is presented by the Naismith MemorialBasketball Hall of Fame. O’Brien was named the 1999 National Coachof the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus; 1999 NationalCo-Coach of the Year by the National Association of BasketballCoaches; 1999 Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Big Ten Media andthe 1999 U.S. Basketball Writers Association District 5 Coach ofthe Year. Guided the Buckeyes to 27 wins after four victories inthe 1999 NCAA Tournament and a trip to the Final Four. The 27 winsis the most in a single season for O’Brien in his career. Hisprevious high was a 23-win season in 1993-94 in which his BostonCollege Eagles advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals. The 36 gamesplayed in 1998-99 also is a school record at OSU. Ohio State hastied the school record for wins with 27. Ten of those wins havecome against ranked opponents, including Top 10 foes Auburn (4) andSt. John’s (9). n Named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1999 afterdirecting the Buckeyes to a regular season record of 27-9 and a BigTen mark of 12-4. Guided Ohio State to a record turnaround (+19wins over last season), setting Big Ten and OSU records along theway. Ohio State also improved in the Big Ten from a last place(1-15) finish in 1998 to second (12-4) in 1999. The leagueimprovement also set OSU and Big Ten records for turnarounds fromone season to the next. Broke a streak of five-consecutive losingseasons at Ohio State with a 27-9 regular season record in 1998-99(5-2 in postseason). He also led Ohio State to double-digit wins(12-4) in the Big Ten for the first time in seven years. -GoBucks!-