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Ohio State (3-0) vs. No. 22 Miami (4-1)

Opponent:                          No. 22 Miami (4-1)
Site:                                    BankUnited Center (7,200)
Game Time:                        7 ET
Television:                         ESPN
Talent:                               Dave O’Brien (Play by Play)
                                         Steve Lavin (Expert Analysis)
                                          Allen Hopkins (Sideline)
Radio:                               OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Local Radio:                     WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:                     Paul Keels (P-by-P)
                                         Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

Buckeyes in the Challenge
 Ohio State is participating in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the sixth-consecutive year and has a 1-5 record in the event. The Buckeyes first participated in the event during the 2002-03 season against Duke in Greensboro, N.C., a 91-75 Blue Devils’ victory. Georgia Tech traveled to Ohio State in 2004 and won 73-53. The Buckeyes traveled to Clemson in 2004-05 and fell to the Tigers, 80-73. Ohio State defeated Virginia Tech in Columbus in 2005-06, 69-59, for its first victory in the event. Ohio State traveled to Chapel Hill in 2006-07 where the Tar Heels defeated the Buckeyes, 98-89. UNC brought its No. 1 ranking to Columbus last season and won 66-55.

Ranked foes on Tap for Buckeyes
 No. 22 Miami and No. 8 Notre Dame (AP rankings as of Dec. 1) are on tap for the Buckeyes this week. The Hurricanes play host to Ohio State Tuesday while the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes meet on a neutral court Saturday in Indianapolis. Ohio State is 123-208 all time vs. ranked opponents. The Buckeyes have won two of its last three outings vs. ranked opponents, including back-to-back home wins last March vs. No. 15 Purdue (80-77 in overtime, 3/4) and No. 17 Michigan State (63-54, 3/9). Ohio State’s last road win over a ranked foe was a 79-68 win at No. 18 Michigan State Feb. 22, 2006. The Buckeyes have won five neutral site games vs. ranked foes since downing the Spartans, including the most recent, a 79-65 victory over No. 21 Syracuse last season in the preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden (11/21/07).

HOF Showcase Tickets on Sale
 Fans interested in attending The Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase game between Ohio State and No. 8 Notre Dame Dec. 6 in Indianapolis have an opportunity to purchase discounted tickets (20 percent off) from Nov. 26 through Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. The offer is good at the Lucas Oil Stadium Box Office, at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 317-239-5151. All tickets are good for the Indiana vs. Gonzaga game (1:30 p.m.) and the Ohio State vs. Notre Dame game (4 p.m.).

Buckeyes in the Big Ten
 Sophomore Dallas Lauderdale leads the Big Ten with 5.3 blocks a game. Marcus Landry of Wisconsin is No. 2 with 2.5 a contest (15 in 6 games). Lauderdale’s total of 16 tops his total of 15 rejections recorded as a freshman. Evan Turner is No. 2 in free throw percentage on 11 of 12 shooting (.917). He also leads the league in steals with 3.33 a game (10) and is No. 2 in defensive rebounds (6.67 drpg.) with 20 to date. Ohio State leads the league in scoring defense (40.2 ppg.), field goal percentage defense (48-150/.320), blocked shots (8.67), steals (9.33) and scoring margin (+23.0). The Buckeyes are No. 2 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (14-55/.255).

Shots falling for regulars
 Three Ohio State starters are connecting on 50 percent or better from the field. Sophomore Dallas Lauderdale leads the team with a 58.8 shooting percentage (10-17). Evan Turner (12-22/.545) and Jon Diebler (11-22/.500) also are shooting 50 percent in the early going. Jeremie Simmons is shooting 44 percent (7-16) from 3-point range, the same as Diebler from long range.

Noting the Buckeyes…
 Sophomore Jon Diebler reached 50 for his career (55-182) with three made vs. Delaware State Nov. 20 … he is connecting on 43.8 percent of his treys (7-16) this season, up from 28.9 percent (48-166) as a freshman … Diebler has played in 40 games to date with 11 starts … sophomore Dallas Lauderdale made his first career start vs. Delaware State after missing about two weeks with a left shoulder injury … he has rejected 16 shots this season in just three games after blocking 15 in 32 games as a freshman … Lauderdale is the first Buckeye to reach seven blocks (vs. DSU) in a game since Greg Oden swatted seven Michigan attempts at Value City Arena in 2007 … David Lighty started his 40th-consecutive game in the win vs. Samford … Lighty needs four points to reach 500 for his career–in 79 games he has averaged 6.3 points a game … Junior Kyle Madsen appeared in his 14th game as a Buckeye in the most recent outing vs. Samford … he logged 12 minutes of court time, and grabbed a career-best six rebounds … Sophomore Evan Turner has been a consistent contributor so far this season … against Samford, Turner recorded his third career double-double with a game-high 16 points and a career-best 13 rebounds … he also had a career-high five steals and added four assists in the Samford game … Turner reached 100 career assists (106) in the win vs. DSU with three … Freshman William Buford’s debut was effective with 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field in 22 minutes, he also added a 3-pointer and a couple assists vs. DSU … he was credited with three steals in the win vs. Bowling Green … Junior transfer Jeremie Simmons was one of three Buckeyes in double figures with 10 points in the season opener vs. Delaware State … Simmons knocked down 3 of 6 3-point attempts and 1 of 2 foul shots … he has seven made 3s on the year, tied with Diebler for the team lead … Center B.J. Mullens spent most his freshman debut vs. DSU at the foul line knocking down 5 of 6 charity tosses … against Samford, he contributed eight points on 18 minutes to go with two steals … Rookie point guard Anthony Crater played 17 minutes in his debut and recorded one assist and a steal vs. DSU.

Ohio State in season openers
 The 2008-09 Ohio State men’s basketball season opened officially Nov. 19 at St. John Arena against Delaware State (W 70-42). The Buckeyes are 88-18 in home openers and 84-22 in season openers all-time. The Buckeyes are 52-54 all-time in the first road game of the year.

Buckeyes Open Season at St. John
 Ohio State returned to the longtime home of the Buckeyes (St. John Arena) in the season opener because of a conflict at Value City Arena, Ohio State’s home court since the 1998-99 season. The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 430-151 (.740) over 42 seasons (1957-1998) at St. John plus four games played there since the move to the VCA. Ohio State played two games last year at St. John, a regular-season win vs. Virginia Military (90-57/Nov. 25, 2007) and a victory vs. California (73-56) in the second round of the 2008 NIT March 24. More than 6.6 million fans have attended games at the 13,276-seat venue.

Matta Unbeaten in openers
 Thad Matta owns a record of 9-0 in season openers as a head coach. He was 1-0 at Butler, 3-0 at Xavier and is 5-0 at Ohio State. In his nine season debuts, Matta defeated Eastern Illinois (90-73) in his first game at Butler in 2000. In his first game as Xavier head coach in 2001, Matta’s squad downed Coastal Carolina 72-41. He also guided the Musketeers to season-opening wins in 2002, an 87-48 win over St. Peters in the preseason NIT, and in 2003, a 62-37 victory over Coppin State. In his first game as a Buckeye in 2004, the Buckeyes knocked off Towson University 74-53 in the opening round of the Guardians Classic in Columbus. Ohio State defeated Chicago State in the 2005 opener 81-52 and handed VMI a 107-69 defeated in the Black Coaches Association Classic in 2006. The Buckeyes started the 2007-08 campaign off with a 91-68 victory over Green Bay in the opening round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Preseason NIT. Delaware State was the latest team to fall to Ohio State to start the season, a 70-42 Buckeye victory Nov. 19. 

MIAMI SERIES INFORMATION
     Ohio State is 1-0 in the series with Miami, Fla. The teams last squared off Dec. 21, 1953, a 106-81 Buckeye victory at Miami.

OHIO STATE VS. THE ACC          
 Ohio State is 33-25 all-time vs. teams representing the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Boston College       1-1
Clemson                  0-1
Duke                       2-3
Florida State           3-0
Georgia Tech       10-3
Maryland                3-2
Miami, Fla.              1-0
North Carolina        2-9
North Carolina St.   0-1
Virginia                   3-1
Virginia Tech          2-4
Wake Forest           6-0
Totals                     33-25

Noting the Samford Game 
Ohio State is now 55-4 at Value City Arena against non-conference opponents.
With the win, Ohio State is 2-0 against Samford all-time and 9-4 against teams from the Southern Conference. The teams last met in 2003 with the Buckeyes winning, 80-62.
Thad Matta improved his career record to 210-66 in his ninth season as a head coach. He is 108-35 in his fifth year at Ohio State. This also the fifth-consecutive season in which the Matta-coached Buckeyes have opened the season 3-0.
The Buckeyes have won 53-consecutive games against unranked opponents in Columbus (49 in Value City Arena, three in St. John Arena and one in Nationwide Arena). Their last loss to an unranked team was vs. Minnesota, Jan. 19, 2005 (60-56 OT).
Under Matta, Ohio State is 62-1 against unranked opponents in Columbus, including a 57-1 mark in VCA, 4-0 in St. John Arena and 1-0 in Nationwide Arena.  
The 22 points scored by Samford was the lowest output of any opposing team since Wabash lost to the Buckeyes 34-22 Dec. 14, 1939.
Evan Turner was the leading scorer for the Buckeyes with 16 points. He also added a career-best 13 rebounds and five steals and also had four assists. It was the third double-double in his career and his first of the season. He is the only current Buckeye to have a double-double in his career.
With three blocks, sophomore Dallas Lauderdale now has 16 blocks on the season. He has a blocked shot in each of his last seven games. Lauderdale had a career-best 10 points and eight rebounds. His previous highs were eight and seven, respectively.
Freshman B.J. Mullens poured in a career-high eight points and grabbed a career-best three rebounds
Freshman Walter Offutt scored his first-career basket, a baseline runner, in the first half. Offutt ended the game with four points.
Ohio State held a 47-25 rebounding advantage, with 33 defensive rebounds and 14 offensive rebounds
Ohio State held the Bulldogs to just six points in the first half a Value City Arena opponent low – on 3 of 23 (.130) shooting.
Ohio State limited the Bulldogs to 2 of 18 shooting from three-point range, a team-best this season. All but eight of Samford’s points came in the paint.
The Buckeyes held Samford to single digits in scoring for the first 25:37 of the game.
Ohio State held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 7:25 of the first half while jumping out to a 7-0 lead.
Samford’s bucket with 3:15 before the first half ended a 17-2 run for the Buckeyes that lasted for 9:04.
Sophomore Kyle Madsen pulled down a career-best six rebounds.

Opponents ranked in preseason
 Michigan State (No. 6 in ESPN/USA Today and No. 5 in the AP polls), Notre Dame (8/8),  Purdue (9/10), Miami, Fla. (21/22) and Wisconsin (19/25) all are ranked among the Top 25 teams in both polls. Michigan and West Virginia is receiving votes for Top 25 consideration in both polls.
 
Kecman to miss 12 games
 Sophomore transfer Nikola Kecman will miss the first 12 (10 more) regular-season games to satisfy an NCAA penalty for playing on a team in his native Serbia before coming to the United States. The NCAA determined the team provided some players (not Kecman) with benefits above necessary expenses. Kecman, who did not benefit for playing for the team, is required to sit out two games for every one he played (6) for the foreign team. 

Redd Represents Ohio State at 2008 Olympics
 Michael Redd, who played for the Buckeyes from 1998-2000, represented Ohio State and his native Columbus on the United States senior national team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Redd is the third Buckeye to play on the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. Jerry Lucas (1960-62) played on the 1960 squad and Bill Hosket (1966-68) represented Ohio State on the 1968 team. Lucas, Hosket and Redd all helped the United States earn gold medals. Redd and the 2008 U.S. squad claimed gold with a win over Spain.

Miller Returns
 Thad Matta added another “M” to his coaching staff with the addition of Brandon Miller, who left his alma mater, Butler, to return to the Ohio State staff as an assistant coach. Miller was the Buckeyes’ director of basketball operations for two seasons (2005, 2006) and the Ohio State video coordinator (2007) before returning to Butler, where he graduated in 2003, as a full-time assistant for the 2007-08 season. Miller replaces John Groce, who left for the head coaching job at Ohio last summer. The entire Ohio State coaching staff is listed under “M” in the athletics department staff director. Alan Major is in his fifth season in Columbus and Archie Miller, no relation to Brandon, is in his second season as a Buckeye assistant coach.

Newcomers Dominate Ohio State Roster in 2008-09
 Thad Matta is no stranger to retooling when it comes to his roster. In the last three years his teams have had four new starters each season with point guard Jamar Butler being the only mainstay. With Butler gone after a remarkable four-year career, Matta welcomes eight new faces to the Ohio State program this season. Four scholarship freshmen, two junior college transfers, another transfer from a four-year NCAA Division I school and a walk-on join eight returnees from the 2007-08 campaign. As has been the case over the last four years, Matta recruited some of the nation’s most talented high school student-athletes in William Buford (Toledo, Ohio), Anthony Crater (Flint, Mich.), B.J. Mullens (Columbus, Ohio) and Walter Offutt (Indianapolis). From the JC ranks, the Buckeyes welcome junior Jeremie Simmons (Chicago) and Nikola Kecman, a sophomore from Belgrade, Serbia. Zisis Sarikopoulos, a transfer from Alabama-Birmingham and native of Athens, Greece, will join Ohio State for the start of fall camp in September. J.J. Grycko, a freshman forward from Cincinnati, Ohio, was added to the roster as a walk-on at the start of Ohio State’s fall quarter.

Lighty to Provide Experience
 It was not long ago it seems that David Lighty was a newcomer alongside one of Ohio State’s finest recruiting classes of all-time. He was one of Matta’s first complete recruiting classes in 2006 along with Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook and Othello Hunter. Three of those players (Oden, Conley and Cook) played in the National Basketball Association after their freshman year. Hunter achieved that goal with the Atlanta Hawks after two terrific seasons at Ohio State (2007-08). Lighty returns for his junior year as Ohio State’s top returning scorer (9.0 ppg.) from last season. He also has the most career games played (76) and starts (44) of any returning Buckeye. He continues to improve and is expected to lead a young Ohio State team, with no scholarship seniors this season. Eleven of the 12 players on scholarship who are eligible to play in 2008-09 have just one year of playing experience or are newcomers in Columbus. Lighty has two. Transfer Zisis Sarikopoulos is on scholarship but will sit out the 2008-09 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

Buford, Mullens Add to Ohio State’s McDonald’s list
 William Buford and B.J. Mullens represented Ohio State and the nation’s top high school recruits March 29 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., in the 2008 McDonald’s All-American game. Buford played for the East team and Mullens for the West. Thad Matta has added a total of six McDonald’s All-Americans to the Buckeye men’s basketball program in his five years in Columbus. Thirteen Buckeyes have been associated with the annual event. Four McDonald’s All-Americans were a part of Ohio State’s 2006-07 squad that finished 35-4 overall, 15-1 in Big Ten Conference play, won the league regular-season title outright and played for the NCAA national title vs. Florida in April of 2007. Ivan Harris, Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., and Daequan Cook, all former McDonald’s All-Americans, played for the Buckeyes in 2006-07. Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992), Greg Simpson (1992) and Kosta Koufos (2007) all played for Ohio State after playing in the McDonald’s All-American game. Harris played in the 2003 event while Oden, Conley Jr. and Cook played in the 2006 contest.

Depth, full roster provide Options for Matta
 Jamar Butler ran the point for the Buckeyes exclusively as a sophomore and senior while sharing the post with Mike Conley Jr. in 2006-07. Butler averaged 36 minutes a game as a senior and more than 30 minutes over 139 career appearances, an Ohio State record for career games played. Matta hopes to rotate personnel more in 2008-09 at the guard position and throughout the lineup with a full roster of 13-scholarship players and the availability of three walkons. Only transfer Zisis Sarikopoulos will be unavailable this season as he sits out to satisfy NCAA transfer rules after playing one season at UAB last year.
 Inexperience will be prevalent at the point guard position but there are options. Freshman Anthony Crater, junior college transfer Jeremie Simmons and returnee P.J. Hill all will vie for playing time. Crater is closest to a true point guard with the ability to create shots for others while finding openings to get to the basket. Simmons was a scorer at the JC level but also has proven abilities at running the offense. Hill subbed for Butler a year ago and displayed the ability to get to the basket while creating chances for his teammates.
 At the wing position, Ohio State will feature its most experience. David Lighty, Evan Turner and Jon Diebler all return while freshmen William Buford and Walter Offutt bring impressive high school statistics to the table. The depth at this position will make for intense competition throughout the year.
 Inside play will feature the nation’s top recruit, freshman B.J. Mullens, a 7-0 skilled offensive player with rebounding and shot blocking abilities. He will battle alongside sophomore returnee Dallas Lauderdale, who has made strides physically over the summer and will likely make his presence felt defensively with his size, length and leaping ability. Newcomer Nikola Kecman, a sophomore junior college transfer, also provides size at 6-8 with outside shooting abilities. Another returnee, Kyle Madsen also will see time down low after spending two years in the program as a transfer from Vanderbilt.

Non-conference schedule to ready Buckeyes for Big Ten
A young Ohio State team will be tested several times in non-conference action before opening a grueling 18-game Big Ten conference slate. The Buckeyes take on Miami (Fla.) on the road in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Later that week, Ohio State travels to Indianapolis to face Notre Dame, one of four schools from the state of Indiana on the 2008-09 schedule. The ND game will be part of a doubleheader at Lucas Oil Stadium, the new home of the Indianapolis Colts. Indiana and Gonzaga make up the second game of the event. Butler University, alma mater of both Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and assistant coach Brandon Miller, travels to Columbus for the third game of a four-game series with the Bulldogs. West Virginia, coached by longtime Cincinnati coach and former Ohio State assistant Bob Huggins, begins a home-and-home series with the Buckeyes at Value City Arena in late December. Conference play begins in early January. Ohio State will face eight league teams twice with Wisconsin (in Madison) and Penn State (in Columbus) taking on the Buckeyes once this year.   

Buckeyes Among Nation’s elite teams with Matta at helm
The Buckeyes have won at least 20 games in each of the four seasons with Thad Matta as head coach. The 2006-07 squad won a school-record 35 games on its way to the NCAA title game. The 2007-08 team won 24 games and claimed the 2008 National Invitation Tournament championship. In the last three years, Matta’s Buckeyes have 85 wins against just 23 setbacks, the seventh best win total and win percentage (.797) nationally over the last three seasons.  

Best Winning Percentage,
last 3 seasons (2006-08)
Memphis             104 10 .912
Kansas                 95 16 .856
UCLA                    97 17 .851
North Carolina      90 18 .833
Florida                  92 23  .800
Duke                    82 21 .796
Ohio State           85 23 .787

About Ohio State: The Ohio State University Department of Athletics sponsors 36 fully funded varsity teams 17 for women, 16 for men and three co-educational. The department is committed to providing its more than 900 student-athletes with the finest in academic and athletics support in order to ensure a quality and life-enhancing experience. The Department of Athletics is completely self-supporting and receives no university monies, tax dollars or student fees. In Fiscal Year 2008-09, the Department of Athletics will transfer back to the University more than $26 million in assessments, including nearly $13 million in grant-in-aid costs.

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