Share

Jan. 20, 2009
Ohio State (13-3, 3-2) at Illinois (15-3, 3-2)
Site:                    Assembly Hall (16,618)
Game Time:        7 p.m.
Television:          ESPN
Talent:                Brent Musburger (Play by Play)
                           Steve Lavin (Expert Analysis)
                           Erin Andrews (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)

Buford Selected Big Ten POW
 Ohio State freshman William Buford earns his first weekly honor after leading the Buckeyes to a pair of victories last week over Indiana at home and No. 25 Michigan 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 wins in each 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 nine times, Matta eight. The Buckeyes are 13-3 overall to date with at least 14 games remaining this season (13 regular season, 1 in Big Ten tournament). Matta also is working on 300 career games as a head coach. He is 220-69 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 vs. league foes with 15.6 points per game. Rookie William Buford is next with 14.6 ppg. Sophomore Jon Diebler averages 13.6 ppg. and freshman B.J. Mullens adds 10.8 ppg. Mullens scores at a 71.4 percent clip (25-35) from the field. Diebler leads the team in minutes (189/37.8 mpg.) and steals (10) against league opponents.

Shoot to thrill
 Ohio State connected on 11 of 16 3-pointers in the first half last Tuesday in its 77-53 victory over Indiana at Value City Arena. 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 22-of-48 field goals in the five Big Ten games to date. He has connected on 19-of-39 3-pointers (.487) in those games, including a 7-of-10 outing from long range in the win vs. Iowa in the league opener Jan. 3.

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) is out 4-6 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. 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 of action. 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. 
The Illinois Series
 Illinois leads the overall series vs. Ohio State 97-59. The Buckeyes are 22-57 in Champaign. Thad Matta is 5-1 overall against Illinois with five-consecutive wins in the series as the head coach of the Buckeyes. Evan Turner is the lone current Buckeye to score 10 or more points (19) in the Illinois series (9.5 ppg.). David Lighty has 24 points but is out with a foot injury. Ohio State has won the last two games at Assembly Hall and have not won three-consecutive games in Champaign since 1977-80 when Ohio State won four-consecutive games at Assembly Hall. 

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                     13-3                 —
Totals         53-10                  118-38

Turner, Sophomores, Lead Buckeyes
 Sophomore Evan Turner has been the constant for Ohio State to date this season. He is the team’s leading scorer with 15.9 ppg. His 7.0 rebounds a game, 35 steals, 255 points, 85 field goals and 77 free throws all lead the Buckeyes this season. Classmate Jon Diebler leads in minutes (540) and 3-pointers (41) and is second in steals (20) and points 173/10.8 ppg.). Another sophomore, Dallas Lauderdale, is one of the nation’s top shot blockers with a team and Big Ten leading 43 swats on the year. He also leads the team in field goal percentage at 68 percent (38-56).
 
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 675-647 all-time vs. Big Ten Conference opponents.
Illinois                  59-97
Indiana                69-99
Iowa                   64-73
Michigan             84-70
Michigan State    48-57
Minnesota           73-54
Northwestern     105-44
Penn State           21-12
Purdue                73-79
Wisconsin           79-62
Totals                  675-647

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 .761 (220-69) after 289 games. His record at Ohio State is 118-38 (.756) after 156 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 48-23 record in Big Ten regular-season play (.676) 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        —            —

January record 25-14 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 25-14 in January. He is 30-4 in the month of December and 21-4 in November.
Year         Nov.    Dec.    Jan.
2004-05    5-1      6-1      3-5
2005-06    3-0      7-0      5-3
2006-07    6-1      5-1      8-1
2007-08    4-2      5-1      6-3
2008-09    3-0      7-1      2-2
Totals       21-4     30-4    25-14

Turner Earns Big Ten POW
 Sophomore Evan Turner earned his first weekly laurel after leading Ohio State to a pair of victories against ranked opponents. Turner scored a career-high 28 points in the win vs. No. 7 Notre Dame (Dec. 6) at the Hall of Fame Showcase in Indianapolis, earning game MVP honors. Against No. 21 Miami (Dec. 2) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Turner scored 19 points, all in the second half, to give the Buckeyes a win on the road. Against the Irish, Turner also played all 40 minutes and connected on 11-of-16 field goal attempts, all career highs. In those two games, Turner averaged 23.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He connected on 57 percent of his shots (17-30) and 86 percent of his foul shots (12-14).

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).

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. 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 126-210 all time vs. ranked opponents. The Buckeyes have won five of the last eight 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 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. 

Noting the Buckeyes…
  Sophomore Jon Diebler reached 50 career 3-pointers made (89-268) with three made vs. Delaware State Nov. 20 … his career total improved after a 5 of 6 outing from long range (all in the first half) vs. Indiana Jan. 13 … he is connecting on 40 percent of his treys (41-102) this season, up from 28.9 percent (48-166) as a freshman … he set a career mark with seven made 3s in the win vs. Iowa (Dec. 31) … in five Big Ten games this season, Diebler has made 19-of-39 treys (.487) … Diebler has played in 53 games to date with 24 starts … he reached 100 career rebounds (141) with three vs. Butler Dec. 13 … his scoring average is up from 5.9 ppg. as a freshman to 10.8 ppg. this season and 7.4 ppg for his career … he 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 … 89 of 118 career field goals are 3-pointers … handed out a career high eight assists in win vs. Houston Baptist (Jan. 9).
  Sophomore Dallas Lauderdale made his first career start vs. Delaware State (Nov. 20) … he has rejected 43 shots this season in 15 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 68 percent from the field (38-56) and is a career 65 percent shooter (50-77) … he leads the conference in blocked shots per game (2.7). 
  David Lighty started his 44th-consecutive game in the win vs. Jacksonville Dec. 17 … he suffered a broken bone in his left foot in the JU game and will be out six-12 weeks … he 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 … he tied his career high with 21 points vs. Jacksonville.
  Junior Kyle Madsen appeared in his 26th game as a Buckeye in the most recent outing at Michigan Jan. 17 … 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 … he recorded a career-best six rebounds vs. Samford Nov. 29.
  Sophomore Evan Turner has been a consistent contributor so far this season … he reached 500 career points (568) in the Minnesota game (Jan. 3) with 21 … in the Notre Dame win, Turner scored a career-high 28 points while playing all 40 minutes, a career high … he was 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 … he also had a 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 … he reached 100 career assists (145) in the win vs. DSU with three … he led the team with 14 points in the Butler win Dec. 13 while also adding four steals … has at least one assist in every game this season and has 47 on the year … has 2 or more steals in 10 games this season … 22 career games with 2 or more thefts … Ohio State is 24-6 when Turner scores 10 or more points … has four double-doubles on the season and six for his career after scoring 14 points and recording 10 rebounds at Michigan State Jan. 6.
  Freshman William Buford made his first career start in the Asheville win Dec. 22 … he responded with 16 points, a total he tied in win vs. Iowa Dec. 31 … also added a career-high seven rebounds vs. Asheville … tallied 17 points at Michigan State Jan. 6 and set a career high with 19 points vs. Houston Baptist Jan. 9 … equalled career total with 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. DSU (Nov. 20) … he was 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 seven of the last eight games … has nine double-figure outings this season … has set or tied his career high offensively in three of the last four games (17, 19, 19, 15) vs. MSU, HBU, IU and Michigan.  
  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 23 made 3s on the year, including the go-ahead trey in the road win vs. No. 21 Miami Dec. 2 … his two foul shots late vs. Notre Dame helped secure the 67-62 win for the Buckeyes … he has made a 3-pointer in 15-of-16 games this season … 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 … led Ohio State with 19 points and eight rebounds in Asheville win Dec. 22 … spent most of his freshman debut vs. DSU 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 … his 11 points vs. Notre Dame was a career high effort … he also added seven boards vs. the Irish … tied career high with 8 field goals made at Michigan State (16 pts.) … grabbed six boards and blocked two shots vs. the Spartans Jan. 6 … has 117 points on the season and is shooting 60 percent from the field (58-96) … double figures in each of the last four games …. shooting 71 percent from the field in Big Ten play (25-35).

Opponents ranked nationally
 Six opponents on the Ohio State schedule in 2008-09 are ranked among the Top 25 nationally in either the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. No. 7 (AP) Michigan State is the highest ranked opponent in the most recent polls.
Team                  AP      ESPN/USA Today
Michigan State   7         10
Notre Dame       12        13
Butler                17        18
Minnesota         18        17
Purdue              19        19
Michigan            25        24
West Virginia     RV       RV
Wisconsin         RV       RV
Illinois                RV        RV
Miami, Fla.         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.

NOTING THE MICHIGAN GAME
The Buckeyes are 3-2 overall vs. ranked teams this season in the Associated Press poll. All three victories have been away from Columbus–at No. 21 Miami Dec. 2; vs. No. 7 Notre Dame Dec. 6 in Indianapolis and at No. 25 Michigan.
Evan Turner led Ohio State with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He has reached double digits 15 times this season. Ohio State is 24-6 when scoring 10 or more points.
B.J. Mullens has connected on 14 of his last 17 shots from the field (.824) over last two games vs. Indiana (7-8) and Michigan (7-9).
William Buford scored at 18:49 of the first half to record the 10,000th point for Ohio State in the series vs. Michigan. Buford finished with 15 points.
Ohio State improved to 84-70 all-time in the series vs. Michigan. The Buckeyes are 35-43 in Ann Arbor, including in three of the last four trips to Crisler Arena.
In the last four games at Michigan when the Wolverines were ranked among the Top 15 nationally, Ohio State has won three.
Thad Matta is 8-1 overall vs. the Wolverines. Ohio State is 24-2 vs. the Wolverines under Matta (8-1), Jim Tressel (7-1/football) and Jim Foster (9-0/women’s basketball).
The Buckeyes are 12-22 all-time vs. ranked Michigan teams, 126-210 vs. Top 25 opponents and 1-2 vs. the No. 25-ranked team all-time.
Ohio State improved to 12-0 when leading at the half this season.
Matta’s career record is 220-69 in his ninth season as a head coach. He is 117-38 in his fifth year at Ohio State.
Matta is 48-23 (.676) vs. Big Ten competition over his five seasons in Columbus.
Ohio State has shot 50 percent or better as a team from the field seven times this season and in each of the last three games. Matta’s teams are 7-0 this season scoring on half its shots or better and 53-3 at Ohio State.
The Ohio State bench scored 17 points with Michigan reserves adding 15. Ohio State is 10-0 when its non-starters outscore opponent bench players.

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 directory. 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), 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.

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 provides 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 two 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. Junior college transfer Jeremie Simmons and returnee P.J. Hill will share playing time. 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, provided size at 6-8 with outside shooting abilities until he was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. 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 took on Miami (Fla.) on the road in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Later that week, Ohio State traveled to Indianapolis to face Notre Dame, one of four schools from the state of Indiana on the 2008-09 schedule. The ND game was part of a doubleheader at Lucas Oil Stadium, the new home of the Indianapolis Colts. Indiana and Gonzaga made up the first game of the event. Butler University, alma mater of both Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and assistant coach Brandon Miller, traveled to Columbus for the third game of a four-game series with the Bulldogs (Ohio State won 54-51 this year). West Virginia, coached by longtime Cincinnati coach and former Ohio State assistant Bob Huggins, began a home-and-home series with the Buckeyes at Value City Arena Dec. 27. 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. Prior to this season, Matta’s Buckeyes had 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