Feb. 28, 2009
Ohio State (18-8, 8-7) at No. 16 Purdue (21-6, 10-4)
Site: Mackey Arena (14,123)
Game Time: 4 p.m.
Talent: Dave O’Brien (Play by Play)
Stephen Bardo (Expert Analysis)
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)
Tickets: Go to OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Turner Among Finalists for 2009 Oscar Robertson Trophy
In addition to being a candidate for 2009 Big Ten Player of the Year, sophomore Evan Turner is among 15 finalists nationally for the 2009 Oscar Roberston Trophy, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced Thursday. Turner is the lone Big Ten player of the USBWA finalists. The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of nearly 800 journalists. The ballot will be distributed to the membership March 2. The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded to the USBWA’s Player of the Year. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA’s first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.
Matta’s 300TH Game
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta will coach his 300th career game when the Buckeyes take on Purdue Saturday in West Lafayette. Matta is 225-74 overall in nine seasons as a head coach, which includes one season at Butler, three at Xavier and five at Ohio State.
Game 100: L, 63-75 vs. Ball State, 11/25/03 at Xavier
Win 100: W, 80-70 vs. Louisville, 3/19/04 at Xavier in Round One of NCAA Tournament
Game 200: W, 81-59 vs. Kent State, 11/12/06 at Ohio State
Win 200: W, 65-47 at Northwestern, 2/13/09 at Ohio State
Game 300: at Purdue, 2/28/09 at Ohio State
The Purdue Series
Purdue is the leader in the all-time series vs. the Buckeyes, 79-74. Ohio State is 23-52 vs. the Boilermakers in West Lafayette but have won three of the last four meetings at Mackey Arena. The Buckeyes are 50-27 in Columbus and have not lost to the Boilermakers at Value City Arena (6-0) since the facility opened for the 1998-99 season. Ohio State has faced ranked Purdue teams 29 times, winning 13. Evan Turner leads the Ohio State veterans vs. Purdue. He has averaged 16.3 points in three career meetings. He also is the top Ohio State rebounder among current Buckeyes vs. Purdue with 7.7 boards a game. Freshmen B.J. Mullens and William Buford debuted vs. the Boilermakers with 17 and 22 points, respectively. Mullens, who made 8-of-9 field goals, also grabbed eight rebounds in the overtime win earlier this season in Columbus. Thad Matta is 9-2 (8-1 at Ohio State) vs. Purdue all-time. Purdue last won in Columbus during the 1998 Big Ten season, a 107-75 victory Feb. 7 at St. John Arena.
Diebler adds to records book
Sophomore Jon Diebler flirted with the Ohio State single-game record for made 3-pointers when he poured in a career-high 28 points at Northwestern Feb. 18. Eight of his nine field goals were from 3-point range, one off the Ohio State record of nine made 3s accomplished by Jay Burson vs. Florida Dec. 27, 1988. Diebler connected on seven 3s earlier this season against Iowa Dec. 31. He now owns three of the Top 6 single-game 3-pt. shooting efforts in Ohio State history. Diebler is tied for No. 6 on the single season 3-pointers made chart after making 3-of-6 treys in the Penn State game. He has made 73 on the year.
Game 3-Point Field Goals Made
1. 9 Jay Burson vs. Florida 12-27-88
2. 8 Jon Diebler at Northwestern 2-22-09
8 Doug Etzler vs. G. Mason 1-8-95
4. 7 Jon Diebler vs. Iowa 12-31-08
7 Je’Kel Foster vs. Minnesota 2-4-06
6. 6 Jon Diebler at Miami, Fla. 12-2-08
Tied with 13 others
Season 3-Point Field Goals Made
1. 104 Jamar Butler 2008
2. 88 Scoonie Penn 1999
3. 78 Doug Etzler 1995
4. 76 Jamar Butler 2007
5. 77 Je’Kel Foster 2006
6. 73 Jon Diebler 2009
73 Tony Stockman 2004
8. 67 Dennis Hopson 1987
9. 66 Tony Stockman 2005
66 Sean Connolly 2003
Turner Tops Buckeye Charts
Sophomore Evan Turner is one of 11 players nationally to lead his team in points (435/16.7 ppg.), rebounds (190/7.3 rpg.), assists (96/3.7 apg.) and steals (47/1.8 spg.). He also has played the most minutes (932/35.8 mpg.), made the most field goals (143) and free throws (140). He leads in offensive (46) and defensive rebounds (144). With 435 points over 26 games, he is on pace to join Ohio State’s single-season 500-point club. A total of 26 players all-time have scored 500 or more points in a season for the Buckeyes. Jamar Butler (554/2007-08) and Kosta Koufos (534/2007-08) did so last season. Among Big Ten players, Turner ranks No. 2 scoring, minutes played and defensive rebounding and No. 3 in rebounding and steals. In Big Ten games only, Turner is the league’s top scorer (17.2 ppg.) and is the No. 2 defensive rebounder (4.6 drpg.). He is the No. 3 rebounder (7.4 rpg.) and has played the most minutes (575/38.3 mpg.).
Players Leading Team in:
Pts, Rebs, Asts, & Steals
Through 02/25/09, Division I Only
Source: STATS LLC — Chicago
o Evan Turner, Ohio State
o Tywain McKee, Coppin State
o Alex Barnett, Dartmouth
o Mike Rose, E Kentucky
o Jeremy Lin, Harvard
o Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
o Ryan Thompson, Rider
o Jeremy Chappell, Robert Morris
o Bobby Davis, USC Upstate
o Dominique Jones, South Florida
o Kevin Palmer, Texas A&M-CC
NOTING THE PENN STATE GAME
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State 22-12. In Columbus, the Buckeyes hold a 12-3 advantage. Ohio State has won the last 11 meetings.
The Buckeyes opened the game on a 19-2 run over the first 7:28. Penn State countered with a 21-3 run from the 11:48 mark to 7:08 in the half.
Junior guard P.J. Hill made his first-career start for the Buckeyes and set a career high in points and made 3-point baskets with 13 and two, respectively. It is the second-consecutive game Hill has set a career high in points.
Junior guard Jeremie Simmons led the Buckeyes in scoring for the first time of his career, tallying 14 points.
Simmons set a career high with four made 3-point baskets.
The Buckeyes are 70-2 against unranked opponents at home under Thad Matta.
Ohio State is 15-2 when leading at the half this season.
The Buckeyes are 18-1 this season and 112-5 when leading with five minutes to play.
Sophomore guard Jon Diebler went 3-for-6 from the 3-point line. He has made a 3-point basket in 24-of-26 games this season.
Diebler played 40 or more minutes for the seventh-consecutive game and 10th time this season.
Ohio State is 12-15 when playing on Feb. 24.
The Buckeyes are 44-17 against Big Ten Conference opponents all-time in Value City Arena.
Thad Matta is 80-9 overall in Columbus with a record of 76-9 at VCA, 3-0 at St. John Arena and 1-0 at Nationwide Arena.
Matta’s career record is 225-74 in his ninth season as a head coach. He is 123-43 in his fifth year at Ohio State and 10-0 vs. Penn State.
Turner Hits POW Trifecta
Sophomore Evan Turner has won the Big Ten’s Player of the Week award three times this season after earning his second-consecutive honor after a pair of wins vs. ranked teams the week of Feb. 2. Turner averaged a double-double in wins vs. No. 12 Purdue Feb. 3 and No. 19 Minnesota Feb. 7. Both games were in Columbus. The most recent honor followed his second POW honor Feb. 2 after wins vs. Michigan Jan. 25 at home and a win at Indiana Jan. 31. His first POW of the year followed victories at No. 21 Miami, Fla., Dec. 2 and vs. No. 7 Notre Dame Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. Turner is the first Buckeye to repeat as the Big Ten POW since Terence Dials won back-to-back awards in 2004-05. The last Ohio State players to win three awards in the same year were Scoonie Penn and Michael Redd, who each did so in 1998-99.
Turner Torrid from Field of Late
In the last 10 games Evan Turner has connected on 58-of-108 (.537) shots from the field. He has scored 180 points during that stretch for a 18.0 ppg. scoring average. He also averaged 7.8 rebounds while knocking down 78 percent of his foul shots (63-81). He has added 49 assists, nine blocks and 12 steals during the stretch. In the last 10 games, Turner has missed only 10 of a possible 405 minutes on the court (39.5 mpg.), including all 45 minutes in the overtime win vs. Purdue Feb. 3.
A total of 99 Buckeye players have recorded a double-double all-time at Ohio State. Evan Turner has nine total to his credit, seven this season. B.J. Mullens is the most recent to do so for the Buckeyes with 11 points and 11 rebounds at Northwestern Feb. 18. There have been 785 games in which an Ohio State player as recorded a combination of 10 or more points, rebounds, assists or steals. Ohio State is 532-253 in games when at least one double-double is recorded by an Ohio State player. Since Thad Matta took over in Columbus, Ohio State is 47-11 when at least one player records a double-double.
Ranked Foes Fall vs. Buckeyes
No. 21 Miami (W, 73-68/Dec. 2), No. 7 Notre Dame (W, 67-62/Dec. 6) and No. 25 Michigan (W, 65-58/Jan. 17) fell to the unranked Buckeyes away from Columbus with No. 12 Purdue (W, 80-72 OT/Feb. 3) and No. 19 Minnesota (W, 64-58) suffering setbacks in Columbus this year. The Hurricanes played host to Ohio State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, while the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes met on a neutral court in Indianapolis. Ohio State is 128-213 all-time vs. ranked opponents. The Buckeyes have won seven of the last 12 outings vs. ranked opponents, including back-to-back home wins in March of 2008 vs. No. 15 Purdue (80-77 in OT, 3/4) and No. 17 Michigan State (63-54, 3/9). Ohio State wins vs. the Hurricanes and Fighting Irish matched the two-consecutive wins vs. ranked opponents away from Columbus vs. No. 5 Memphis (92-76) in San Antonio, Texas, and No. 9 Georgetown (67-60) in Atlanta during the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Unranked Buckeye teams have defeated at least three ranked teams in each of the last two seasons. The last time an unranked Ohio State team defeated five ranked teams in a season was in 1989-90 when the Buckeyes put together a 6-9 record vs. Top 25 opponents. Ohio State was not ranked in any of those 15 games.
Matta reaches 50 league wins
Thad Matta is 53-28 in Big Ten Conference play during his five-year career at Ohio State. With the win at Indiana Jan. 31, he became the sixth Buckeye head coach to reach 50 regular-season conference wins. Matta became the second-fastest Ohio State coach to win 50 league games behind Fred Taylor (1959-76), who needed only 61 games in five seasons to reach 50 wins. Matta (2005-present) has coached 81 Big Ten Conference regular-season games in five seasons. Randy Ayers (1990-1997) reached 50 wins in 77 games, also in five years.
Coach Yr Rcd. Gms. to 50 50th W Score/Date
Fred Taylor 5 50-11 61 NW 72-70 (1/28/63)
Thad Matta 5 50-25 75 IND 93-81 (1/31/09)
Randy Ayers 5 50-27 77 PSU 79-57 (1/19/94)
Eldon Miller 6 50-46 96 NW 59-57 (1/23/82)
Note: Miller (1977-1986), Harold G. Olsen (1923-1946) and Floyd S. Stahl (1951-58) all won at least 50 Big Ten games.
Mullens, Buford making mark in freshman record book
B.J. Mullens currently is No. 1 in field goal percentage for freshmen in Ohio State history just ahead of Greg Oden (.616/2007) and Terence Dials (.623/2002). Mullens is scoring on 64.3 percent of his shots to date (101-157). He also will be among the best rookie shot blockers before this season is done. William Buford likely will be among the Top 10 in points if his scoring average is maintained for the remainder of the season. He has 299 points to date. Kelvin Ransey scored 327 as a rookie in 1977 to hold down the No. 9 spot among Ohio State freshman scorers. Buford also is on pace to climb the 3-pointers made list. He has 36 makes to date to rate No. 6 among all Ohio State freshmen. Buford’s field goals percentage from 3-range is 35.6 percent, good for the No. 5 spot ahead of Alex Davis, who made 35.8 percent of his 3s in 1990 to hold down the No. 6 position (38-106).
Rookie Bucks Lead Big Ten Frosh
In all games played this season, B.J. Mullens leads the Big Ten (all players) in field goal percentage with 101 field goals on 157 attempts (.643). In league games only, Mullens also tops the list in field goal percentage (.708/68-96). In conference games, William Buford leads freshmen in scoring (13.5 ppg.).
Buford Selected Big Ten POW
Ohio State freshman William Buford earned his first weekly honor after leading the Buckeyes to a pair of victories over Indiana (Jan. 13) at home and No. 25 Michigan (Jan. 17) on the road. In the two wins, Buford averaged 17 points, six rebounds and went 13-of-25 (.520) from the field. The Toledo, Ohio, native also recorded four assists and two steals while averaging 36.5 minutes per game. Against the Hoosiers, Buford tied a career high with 19 points, netting 4-of-7 (.571) from behind the arc, marking the third-consecutive game that he either set or tied his career high in scoring. Against Michigan, he reached double figures for the eighth time in his last nine outings with 15 points. On the week, Buford went 5-of-11 (.455) from 3-point range and 3-of-4 (.750) from the charity stripe.
Matta working on 20 wins, again
Thad Matta has won 20 or more games in each complete season as a collegiate head coach. Mark Few and Matta are the only active head coach coaches with 20 or more wins in every season as a head coach. Few has done so 10 times (including this season), Matta eight. The Buckeyes are 18-8 overall to date with at least four games remaining this season (3 regular season, 1 in Big Ten tournament). Matta also is working on 300 career games as a head coach. He is 225-74 (299) during his career.
Big Ten Balance
Four players, two sophomores and two freshmen, average 10 or more points in Big Ten Conference play this season for the Buckeyes. Sophomore Evan Turner leads the way with 17.2 ppg. Freshman William Buford is next with 13.5 points per game. Sophomore Jon Diebler averages 12.9 ppg. and freshman B.J. Mullens adds 10.5 ppg. Mullens scores at a 71 percent clip (68-96) from the field. Turner leads the team in minutes (575/38.3 mpg.) and is the top rebounder (7.4 rpg.). Buford has made 20 of 21 (.952) foul shots vs. Big Ten foes.
Shoot to thrill
Ohio State connected on 11-of-16 3-pointers in the first half in its 77-53 victory over Indiana at Value City Arena Jan. 13. That half of long-range production is the second best effort for 20 minutes behind a 12-of-16 long-range assault vs. Michigan Feb. 9, 2006, in Ann Arbor. Guard Je’Kel Foster led the way shooting 5-of-6 from long range in that game. Jon Diebler connected on 5-of-6 treys vs. IU to finish with 17 points, all in the first half. Diebler has made 51-of-108 3-point field goals in the 15 Big Ten games to date (.472). He made 8-of-10 treys at Northwestern Feb. 22, which is tied for the No. 2 spot all-time at Ohio State for 3-pointers made in a game.
Left, Right, Left
Three Buckeyes have not needed to launder their uniforms of late after suffering injuries. David Lighty (broken bone in LEFT foot suffered Dec. 17, 2008) is out 6-12 weeks. Mark Titus (RIGHT midfoot sprain suffered Jan. 8) was out three weeks and Nikola Kecman (LEFT ACL tear Jan. 12) is out for the season. He is expected to be back in time for fall 2009 practice after surgery Jan. 29. Kecman missed the first 12 regular-season games to satisfy an NCAA penalty for playing on a team in his native Serbia before coming to the United States. His only action as a Buckeye came against Houston Baptist Jan. 9. He scored six points to go with five rebounds in 11 minutes. Lighty had surgery Dec. 18 to repair the break in his left foot. Lighty underwent a procedure on the fifth metatarsal in which a screw was inserted by Dr. Grant Jones at the OSU Medical Center. Lighty is the most experienced Buckeye with 83 career appearances and 51 starts. In seven games this season, all wins, Lighty averaged 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds.
2008-09 Non-conference Record Among Matta’s Best
Since Thad Matta took over the Ohio State men’s basketball program at the start of the 2004-05 season, the Buckeyes have a record of 53-10 in regular season non-conference play. The 10-1 record this year is the second best effort during Matta’s tenure. The 2005-06 team was 11-0 in non-conference play before postseason play.
Year Non-Conf. Rcd Overall Rcd. Postseason
2004-05 11-3 20-12 Not eligible
2005-06 11-0 26-6 NCAA 2nd Rnd.
2006-07 12-2 35-4 NCAA Title Game
2007-08 9-4 24-13 NIT Champs
2008-09 10-1 18-8 —
Totals 53-10 123-43
Turner, Sophs, Lead Buckeyes
Sophomore Evan Turner has been the constant for Ohio State to date this season. He is the team’s leading scorer with 16.7 ppg. His 7.3 rebounds a game, 96 assists, 47 steals, 435 points, 143 field goals, 140 free throws and 932 minutes all lead the Buckeyes this season. Classmate Jon Diebler leads in 3-pointers made (73) and is second in steals (29). Another sophomore, Dallas Lauderdale, is one of the nation’s top shot blockers with a team with 51 swats on the year. He also leads the team in field goal percentage at 69 percent (47-68).
Buckeyes Compete in 97th Season as Big Ten Conference Member
This is the 97th season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 680-652 all-time vs. Big Ten Conference opponents.
Michigan State 48-57
Penn State 22-12
Matta Owns Top Win Percentage among Ohio State Coaches
Thad Matta, now in his fifth season as head coach of the Buckeyes, has an overall win percentage of .753 (225-74) after 299 games. His record at Ohio State is 123-43 (.741) after 166 games in Columbus. That winning mean is the highest among the 11 head coaches in the history of the Ohio State men’s basketball program with three or more seasons on the sidelines. Matta’s 53-28 record in Big Ten regular-season play (.654) also has produced the highest winning percentage in conference play among any previous Ohio State coach. Fred Taylor (1959-76) is second in both overall win percentage (.653/297-158) and Big Ten win percentage (.608/158-102) in 18 seasons.
Ohio State’s Best Starts
Ohio State has opened five seasons at 9-0 or better after the Buckeyes downed Asheville Dec. 22, 83-59 in Columbus. Thad Matta has guided Ohio State in two of those seasons. The four previous 9-0 or better starts have resulted in NCAA tournament appearances for Ohio State.
Yr. Start Final Rcd. Post Season
1960-61 27-0 27-1 NCAA (title game)
1961-62 22-0 26-2 NCAA (title game)
1990-91 17-0 27-4 NCAA (reg. semifinals)
2005-06 11-0 26-6 NCAA (2nd Rnd.)
2008-09 9-0 — —
February Record 22-12 for Matta
Since Thad Matta took over the Ohio State men’s basketball program at the start of the 2004-05 season, the Buckeyes have a record of 21-12 in the month of February. He is 27-16 in January, 30-4 in the December and 21-4 in November.
Year Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb.
2004-05 5-1 6-1 3-5 4-3
2005-06 3-0 7-0 5-3 6-1
2006-07 6-1 5-1 8-1 7-0
2007-08 4-2 5-1 6-3 2-5
2008-09 3-0 7-1 4-4 3-3
Totals 21-4 30-4 27-16 23-12
Home Win Streak Ends at 12
The Asheville win (Dec. 22/83-59) was the 12th-consecutive in Columbus for the Buckeyes after ending the 2007-08 season with five home victories and starting the 2008-09 campaign 7-0 in the capital city. Two of the wins in the streak were at St. John Arena, a 73-56 victory over California in the second round of the 2008 National Invitation Tournament (March 24) and a 70-42 victory over Delaware State to open this season (Nov. 20).
Noting the Buckeyes…
Sophomore Jon Diebler reached 100 career 3-pointers made (121-337) with five vs. Indiana Jan. 31 … connecting on 42 percent of his treys (73-171) this season, up from 28.9 percent (48-166) as a freshman … set a single-game career mark with eight made 3s (10 atts.) at Northwestern (Feb. 22) … in 15 Big Ten games this season, Diebler has made 51-of-108 treys (.472) … needs five made treys to crack the Top 10 in career made 3-pointers (M. Redd No. 10 with 126) … Diebler has played in 63 games to date with 34 starts … reached 100 career rebounds (173) with three vs. Butler Dec. 13 … scoring average is up from 5.9 ppg. as a freshman to 11.4 ppg. this season and 8.1 ppg. for his career … reached 500 (514) career points with 17 vs. Illinois Feb. 22 … connected on a career-best 11-of-12 foul shots to finish with 16 points in the win vs. Iona (Dec. 20) … also contributed four steals in the Iona victory … 121-of-157 career field goals are 3-pointers … handed out a career-high eight assists in win vs. Houston Baptist (Jan. 9) … reached 100 career assists (110) with seven vs. Purdue Feb. 3 … owns two of the Top 5 single game 3-point shooting efforts in Ohio State history … eight made 3s at Northwestern Feb. 2 is tied for the No. 2 spot and his seven makes vs. Iowa Dec. 31 is tied for the No. 3 spot.
Sophomore Dallas Lauderdale made his first career start vs. Delaware State (Nov. 20) … has rejected 52 shots this season in 26 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 … Lauderdale is shooting 69 percent from the field (47-68) and is a career 66 percent shooter (59-89).
David Lighty started his 44th-consecutive game in the win vs. Jacksonville Dec. 17 … suffered a broken bone in his left foot in the JU game and will be out six-12 weeks … has 51 career starts to his credit … Lighty reached 500 points for his career (544) with 11 at Miami–in 83 games he has averaged 6.6 points a game … tied career high with 21 points vs. Jacksonville.
Junior Kyle Madsen appeared in his 35th game as a Buckeye vs. Penn State Feb. 24 … scored four points and had four rebounds in the win vs. the Nittany Lions … late buzzer beater from the right baseline with 51 seconds to play against Penn State helped secure victory … vs. Asheville Dec. 22 he made his first career start and logged 14 minutes of court time, grabbed four rebounds and scored four points in the win … recorded a career-best six rebounds vs. Samford Nov. 29.
Sophomore Evan Turner has been a consistent contributor this season … reached 700 career points (748) in the Wisconsin game (Feb. 14) with 23 … has 143 field goals and 140 free throws made this season … poured in a career-high 29 points at Indiana Jan. 31 on 10 of 14 shooting from the field and a 9 of 10 effort from the free throw line … led Ohio State with 26 points in win vs. No. 12 Purdue Feb. 3 in Columbus … notched seventh double-double of the season and ninth career D-D vs. Minnesota Feb. 7 with 18 points and 10 rebounds … in the Notre Dame win, Turner scored 28 points while playing all 40 minutes … named the MVP of the Hall of Fame Showcase game vs. the Irish and was the Big Ten player of the week (Dec. 8) … against Samford, Turner recorded a double-double with a game-high 16 points and a career-best 13 rebounds … career-high five steals and added four assists in the Samford game … against Miami, Turner scored 19 points, all in the second half, to help rally the Buckeyes to a 73-68 win … reached 100 career assists (194) in the win vs. Delaware State with three … led the team with 14 points in the Butler win Dec. 13 while also adding four steals … at least one assist in every game this season and has 96 on the year … has 2 or more steals in 13 games this season … 25 career games with 2 or more thefts … Ohio State is 28-10 when Turner scores 10 or more points.
Freshman William Buford made his first career start in the Asheville win Dec. 22 … responded with 16 points, a total he tied in win vs. Iowa Dec. 31 … also added a career-high seven rebounds vs. Asheville … set career high with 24 points in Indiana win Jan. 31 … followed IU effort with 22 points vs. No. 12 Purdue Feb. 3 … tallied 17 points at Michigan State Jan. 6 and had 19 points vs. Houston Baptist Jan. 9 … also had 19 vs. Indiana Jan. 12 … 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. Delaware State (Nov. 20) … credited with three steals in the win vs. Bowling Green … against Notre Dame, Buford sparked the Buckeyes with nine first-half points to help knock off the No. 7 ranked Irish … added eight in the Jacksonville game (Dec. 17) … played 32 minutes vs. Iona (Dec. 20) and scored 10 points to go with five rebounds … double figure points in 14 of the last 17 games … has 17 double-figure outings this season.
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 … has 38 made 3s on the year, including the go-ahead trey in the road win vs. No. 21 Miami Dec. 2 … knocked down four (career high) 3s in Penn State win Feb. 24 off the bench … scored career-high 17 points at Indiana Jan. 31 to go along with eight assists, which tied a career best effort … two foul shots late vs. Notre Dame helped secure the 67-62 win for the Buckeyes … was presented with his 2008 NJCAA Division II National Championship ring before JU game Dec. 17 … earned back-to-back national titles at Mott Community College before joining the Ohio State program.
Center B.J. Mullens started his first-career game vs. Iona (Dec. 20) … responded with nine points and four rebounds … recorded first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds at Northwestern Feb. 18 … led Ohio State with 19 points and eight rebounds in Asheville win Dec. 22 … spent most of his freshman debut vs. Delaware State at the foul line knocking down 5-of-6 charity tosses … against Samford, he contributed eight points in 18 minutes to go with two steals … 11 points vs. Notre Dame was a career-high effort … also added seven boards vs. the Irish … tied career high with eight field goals made at Michigan State (16 pts.) … grabbed six boards and blocked two shots vs. the Spartans Jan. 6 … has 244 points on the season and is shooting 64 percent from the field 101-157) … double figures in 11 of last 14 games …. shooting 71 percent from the field in Big Ten play (68-96).
Opponents ranked nationally
Four opponents on the Ohio State schedule in 2008-09 are currently ranked among the Top 25 nationally in either the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. No. 9 Michigan State is the highest ranked opponent in the most recent polls.
Team AP ESPN/USA Today
Michigan State 9 9
Purdue 16 16
Illinois 20 20
Butler 24 23
Penn State RV RV
Minnesota RV —
West Virginia RV RV
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.
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.
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 welcomed 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 joined 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