Date: March 20, 2009
Opp.: Siena (26-7)
Site: UD Arena (13,266)
Game Time: 9:40 p.m.
Talent: Verne Lundquist (Play by Play), Bill Raftery (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)
SETTING THE SCENE
Ohio State, runner-up in the 2009 Big Ten Tournament, enters NCAA tournament play with a 22-10 overall record after a 10-8 regular season mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Buckeyes finished tied for the fourth in league play and were the No. 5 seed in the postseason conference tournament last week in Indianapolis. Thad Matta will lead the Buckeyes against First Round opponent Siena (26-7) Friday (9:40 p.m. approx.) at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Ohio State is the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region. Siena is the No. 9 seed. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and the Saints will take on the winner of the game between Louisville, the overall No. 1 seed, and the winner of the play-in game between Alabama State and Morehead State, in the No. 16-seed matchup. The Louisville game tips at 7:10 p.m. Friday with Ohio State to play 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Louisville game. The winners meet at either 2:50 p.m. or 5:20 p.m. Sunday with a chance to advance to regional competition in Indianapolis March 27 and 29.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Ohio State is making its 21st appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 37-19 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in nine Final Fours, has finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State has finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968).
OHIO STATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
|1950||Eastern *||1-1||Reg. Finals|
|1971||Mideast *||1-1||Reg. Finals|
|1980||West/No. 4||1-1||R. Semifinals|
|1982||East/No. 8||0-1||First Round|
|1983||East/No. 3||1-1||R. Semifinals|
|1985||Midwest/No. 4||1-1||2nd Rnd.|
|1987||Southwest/No. 9||1-1||2nd Rnd.|
|1990||West/No. 8||1-1||2nd Rnd.|
|1991||Midwest /No. 1||2-1||R. Semifinals|
|1992||Southwest/No. 1||3-1||Reg. Finals|
|2006||Minneapolis/No. 2||1-1||2nd Rnd.|
* Teams were not seeded prior to 1979.
# Final Four Appearance
OHIO STATE VS. SIENA
This is Siena’s fifth appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Saints enter postseason with a 26-7 overall record after earning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s (MAAC) automatic berth by defeating Niagara, 77-70, in the MAAC championship game March 9. In their last tournament appearance in 2008, the 13th-seeded Saints defeated No. 4 Vanderbilt, 83-62, in a first round contest before falling to 12th seeded Villanova.
The Saints and Buckeyes have met just once before. Ohio State earned a 101-57 victory during the 1986-87 (12/4/86) regular season in Columbus.
The teams had one common opponent this year in Iona. The Buckeyes defeated the Gaels 71-53 Dec. 20 in Columbus, while Siena swept their regular-season MAAC series with Iona.
NCAA TOURNAMENT FACTS
Ohio State has appeared in 21 NCAA Tournaments since 1939.
The Buckeyes are 1-0 vs. Siena in the all-time series and 3-2 vs. current members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Ohio State defeated Iona, a MAAC member, earlier this season 71-53 (12/20/08) in Columbus.
Ohio State last faced Louisville Jan. 4, 2003, in Columbus. The Buckeyes, 4-3 all-time vs. the Cardinals, dropped that meeting to the No. 24-ranked Cardinals 72-64. Ohio State is 70-46 vs. Big East schools all time.
The Buckeyes are 1-0 all-time against Alabama State and 2-0 vs. Morehead State. Ohio State downed ASU Dec. 18, 1996, 81-40 in Columbus. The last meeting vs. Morehead State was a during Thad Matta’s first season in Columbus, a 74-48 victory Dec. 19, 2004.
Seven Big Ten teams were selected to participate in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin all will compete. Ohio State was 6-8 vs. those teams in the regular season and league tournament. The Buckeyes faced eight teams (7-9 rcd.) this season that qualified for the 2009 NCAA Tournament. In addition to the Big Ten foes, Ohio State played host to Butler (W, 54-51/Dec. 13, 2007) and West Virginia (L, 76-48)/Dec. 27, 2007).
Ohio State has played 56 teams in the 2009 field of 65 in 109 seasons of Buckeye basketball. The Scarlet and Gray holds an all-time record of 601-535 against these teams. By 2009 regional assignment, the Buckeyes are 95-81 vs. the Midwest, 112-116 vs. the West, 195-140 vs. the East and 199-198 vs. the South.
OSU BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Buckeyes are 11-8 all-time in Big Ten Tournament play since the event began in 1998. Ohio State was the No. 5 seed in 2009 and has won seven of its last 10 league tournament games. As the fifth seed, the Buckeyes are 2-2 after the championship game loss to Purdue Sunday.
|Year (seed)||W/L||Opp. (seed)||Score|
|1998 (11)||L||Indiana (6)||71-78|
|2000 (1)||L||Penn State (9)||66-71|
|2003 (8)||W||Iowa (9)||66-64|
|W||Michigan State (5)||55-54|
|2004 (9)||L||Indiana (8)||69-83|
|2005 (6)||W||Penn State (11)||72-69|
|2006 (1)||W||Penn State (8)||63-56|
|2007 (1)||W||Michigan (8)||72-62|
|2008 (5)||L||Michigan State (4)||60-67|
|2009 (5)||W||Wisconsin (4)||61-57|
|W||Michigan State (1)||82-70|
FOUR EARN ALL-LEAGUE HONORS
Sophomore Evan Turner was named 2009 First Team All-Big Ten by the league coaches and media, the Big Ten Conference office March 9. Turner earned the league’s player of the week honor three times and led the Buckeyes in scoring in 19 games, reaching 10 or more points 27 times and 20 or more in nine games. The Chicago native was the only unanimous first team selection by both the coaches and league media.
Freshman William Buford was selected as the conference freshman of the year. He leads all league rookies with an average of 11.3 points a game, earning one player of the week award along the way. Classmate B.J. Mullens was tabbed the league’s sixth man of the year. He has played in 32 games, starting two. He came off the bench to average 8.8 points a game while scoring on 64 percent of his field goals (116-183) to set an Ohio State freshman record for shooting accuracy. Buford and Mullens were both selected to the all-freshman team while Buford earned honorable mention (coaches) All-Big Ten honors as well.
Jon Diebler was selected honorable mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media after averaging 11.4 points a game, second on the team, and knocked down 94 3-pointers, good for the No. 2 spot in a single season at Ohio State. His eight made 3s at Northwestern this year rate No. 2 all-time in a single game at Ohio State.
BASKETBALL PROGRAM SAYS GOODBYE TO KEY SUPPORT STAFF
The Ohio State men’s basketball team will lose four members of its support staff following this season. Thad Matta would like to recognize two managers and two long-time staff members who will retire in 2009. Jacob Beede, who has spent the last four years as a student manager will graduate with a degree in Sports & Leisure Studies, while John DeTemple, another four-year manager, is a Cincinnati native who will graduate with an accounting degree.
Janice Wicker, who has spent the last 38 years working for the University, has spent the last 18 in the athletics ticket office. She has worked with several teams but primarily men’s basketball during her tenure. Brice Westfall’s Ohio State career as an equipment manager has spanned the last 36 years. He has worked with many teams over the years at St. John Arena and the Schottenstein Center. He has focused on the basketball and cheerleading programs since the opening of the Schottenstein Center in 1998.
All four Buckeyes were honored prior to the last home game vs. Northwestern.
USBWA SELECTS TURNER TO ALL-DISTRICT SQUAD
Sophomore Evan Turner added to his list of recent honors with All-District V team recognition by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), based on voting from its national membership. District V is made up of schools from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and the all-district team features six Big Ten players. Turner, a 6-foot-7-inch guard from Chicago, was named First Team All-Big Ten after finishing the regular season as a three-time conference player of the week. He also received all-district honors by the NABC and is a finalist the Oscar Robertson trophy, given annually by the USBWA to its player of the year. Turner is one of 15 finalists and the lone representative of the Big Ten.
TURNER NAMED TO NABC ALL-DISTRICT 7 SQUAD
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced the NABC Division I All-District teams, recognizing the nation’s best men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes. Ohio State’s Evan Turner, a sophomore from Chicago, was selected a first team member in District 7. Turner leads Ohio State in scoring (17.1 ppg.), rebounding (7.0 rpg.), assists (123) and steals (56). Ohio State’s overall record is 22-10 and its Big Ten Conference record is 10-8. Turner has nine games this season with 20 or more points and 10 outings with 10 or more rebounds. He leads the team with nine double-doubles on the year. He is scoring on 51 percent of his field goal attempts (185-366) and on 79 percent of his foul shots (168-214).
TURNER AMONG FINALISTS FOR 2009 OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY
Sophomore Evan Turner is among 15 finalists nationally for the 2009 Oscar Robertson Trophy, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced recently. 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 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 EXTENDS 20-WIN STREAK
After defeating Northwestern March 8, Thad Matta earned his 20th win of the 2008-09 season and has won 20 or more games in each campaign 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 nine. The Buckeyes are 22-10 overall to date. Matta also reached 300 career games as a head coach this season. He is 229-76 (305) during his career.
MATTA’S 300TH GAME
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta coached his 300th career game when the Buckeyes took on Purdue Feb. 28 in West Lafayette. Matta is 229-76 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
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: L 75-50 at Purdue, 2/28/09
at Ohio State
DIEBLER ADDS TO RECORDS BOOK
With 5 3-pointers against Purdue March 15, sophomore Jon Diebler is in seventh place on the career 3-pointer charts. He has 142 in two seasons and needs three more to move into the No. 6 spot currently held by Jamie Skelton (1991-94). Sean Connolly (2001-03) and Neshaun Coleman (1996-99) are tied for the No. 4 spot with 147 makes from long range.
Diebler, a native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, 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 No. 2 on the single season 3-pointers made chart after making 12-of-25 treys at the Big Ten tournament. He has made 94 on the year.
TURNER TOPS BUCKEYE CHARTS
Sophomore Evan Turner is one of nine players nationally to lead his team in points (547/17.1 ppg.), rebounds (225/7.0 rpg.), assists (123/3.8 apg.) and steals (56/1.8 spg.). He also has played the second-most minutes (1,152/36.0 mpg.), made the most field goals (185) and free throws (168). He leads in defensive rebounds (172). With 547 points over 32 games, he joined Ohio State’s single-season 500-point club after scoring 59 points in three games at the Big Ten tournament last week. A total of 27 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. 1 in scoring and No. 3 minutes played. In Big Ten games only, Turner was the league’s top scorer (17.3 ppg.), was second in minutes played (38.1) and rated as the No. 3 defensive rebounder (5.4 drpg.) and overall rebounder (7.2 rpg.).
Players Leading Their Team in Pts, Rebs, Asts, & Steals
Through 03/15/09, Division I Only
Source: STATS — Chicago
Evan Turner, Ohio State
Troy Jackson, Alcorn State
Tywain McKee, Coppin State
Alex Barnett, Dartmouth
Mike Rose, E Kentucky
Jeremy Lin, Harvard
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
Jeremy Chappell, Robert Morris
Bobby Davis, USC Upstate
NOTING THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
Evan Turner averaged 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds to earn a spot on the 2009 All-Big Ten Tournament squad. He connected on 20-of-46 shots from the field and on 91 percent (19-21) of his foul shots. He also added 11 assists and 6 steals for the Buckeyes.
Freshman William Buford connected on 56 percent of his shots from the field in the tournament (14-25) while Dallas Lauderdale made 7-of-8 shots (.875).
In nine seasons as a head coach, Thad Matta has led his team to six conference championship games, including three Big Ten title games in five seasons at the helm of the Buckeyes. He is 4-2 in conference title games and 1-2 in Big Ten tournament title games. The Buckeyes have appeared in the title game in three of the last four years.
In three games against Purdue this season, William Buford shot 58 percent (18-of-31) from the field.
The Buckeyes lost for only the third time this season (18-3) and 14th time with Matta as head coach (104-14) when leading at the half.
Sophomore guard Jon Diebler connected on a 2009 tournament-high 12 3-point baskets on 29 attempts (.414)
The Buckeyes blocked 15 shots during the tournament, tied for the fourth-most in tournament history.
Sophomore guard Evan Turner averaged 19.7 points per game for the tournament and had the most points in the tournament (59).
Turner recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 22 points and 10 rebounds vs. Purdue.
Junior guard P.J. Hill tied a career high with five assists vs. the Boilermakers.
Diebler made at least five 3-point baskets for the second-consecutive game and eighth time overall this season.
Diebler played all 40 minutes vs. Purdue Sunday and in the second-consecutive game. It is the 15th time this season he has played 40 or more minutes in a game. In the past 14 games, Diebler has missed only seven total minutes.
The loss Sunday was the Buckeyes’ first in Indianapolis this season. They were 3-0, including a win over Notre Dame in Lucas Oil Stadium, 67-62, on Dec. 6. Under Matta, OSU is 6-4 all-time in the Circle City.
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 following a pair of wins vs. ranked teams the week of Feb. 9. 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.
A total of 99 Buckeye players have recorded a double-double all-time at Ohio State. Evan Turner has 11 total to his credit, nine this season. B.J. Mullens also has a double-double for the Buckeyes with 11 points and 11 rebounds at Northwestern Feb. 18. There have been 787 games in which an Ohio State player as recorded a combination of 10 or more points, rebounds, assists or steals. Ohio State is 533-254 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 48-12 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), No. 25 Michigan (W, 65-58/Jan. 17) and No. 6 Michigan State (W 82-70/March 14) 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 129-215 all-time vs. ranked opponents. The Buckeyes have won eight of the last 15 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 six 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 55-29 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 84 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 63.4 percent of his shots to date (116-183). He also will be among the best rookie shot blockers before this season is done (36 to date).
William Buford is among the Top 10 in points scored by an Ohio State freshman. He has 361 points to date. Buford also is on pace to climb the 3-pointers made list. He has 42 makes to date for No. 3 spot among all Ohio State freshmen. Buford’s field goals percentage from 3-range is 36.8 percent, good for the No. 5 spot behind Greg Simpson, who made 37.8 percent of his 3s in 1993.
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 116 field goals on 183 attempts (.634). In league games only, Mullens also tops the list in field goal percentage (.703/78-111). In conference games, William Buford leads freshmen in scoring (12.6 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.
BIG TEN BALANCE
Three players, two sophomores and a freshman, average 10 or more points in Big Ten Conference play this season for the Buckeyes. Sophomore Evan Turner led the way with 17.3 ppg. Classmate Jon Diebler averaged 12.6 ppg. and freshman William Buford was next with 12.4 points per game. Rookie B.J. Mullens added 9.9 ppg. Mullens scored at a 71 percent clip (73-103) from the field. Turner led the team in minutes (647/38.1 mpg.) and was the top rebounder (7.1 rpg.). Buford made 20 of 21 (.952) foul shots vs. Big Ten foes in regular season competition.
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 made 60-of-132 3-point field goals in the 18 Big Ten games (.455). 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 indefinitely. 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. Kecman 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|
|2005-06||11-0||26-6||NCAA 2nd Rnd.|
|2006-07||12-2||35-4||NCAA Title Game|
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 17.1 ppg. His 7.0 rebounds a game, 123 assists, 56 steals, 547 points, 185 field goals and 168 free throws all lead the Buckeyes this season. Classmate Jon Diebler leads in 3-pointers made (94) and minutes played (1,162/36.3) and is second in steals (34). Another sophomore, Dallas Lauderdale, is one of the nation’s top shot blockers with a team with 65 swats on the year. He also leads the team in field goal percentage at 70 percent (57-81).
BUCKEYES COMPETED 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 684-654 all-time vs. Big Ten Conference opponents.
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 .751 (229-76) after 305 games. His record at Ohio State is 127-45 (.738) after 172 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 55-29 record in Big Ten regular-season play (.655) 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.)|
MARCH RECORD 25-7 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 25-7 in the month of March, including a record of 14-2 in 2007 and 2008. He is 22-13 in February, 27-16 in January, 30-4 in December and 21-4 in November.
NOTING THE BUCKEYES…
Sophomore Jon Diebler reached 100 career 3-pointers made (142-386) with five vs. Indiana Jan. 31 … connecting on 43 percent of his treys (94-220) 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 18 Big Ten regular-season games this season, Diebler made 60-of-132 treys (.455) … with 12 3-pointers in the Big Ten tournament, took over the No. 7 spot on the career trey chart (142) … Diebler has played in 69 games to date with 40 starts … reached 100 career rebounds (198) with three vs. Butler Dec. 13 … scoring average is up from 5.9 ppg. as a freshman to 11.4 ppg. this season and 8.4 ppg. for his career … reached 500 (581) 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 … 142-of-178 career field goals are 3-pointers … handed out a career-high eight assists in win vs. Houston Baptist (Jan. 9) … reached 100 career assists (125) 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 65 shots this season in 31 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 70 percent from the field (57-81) and is a career 68 percent shooter (69-102).
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 41st game as a Buckeye against Purdue March 15 … has seen action in all but three games this season … scored four points and had four rebounds in the win vs. the Nittany Lions Feb. 24… late shot clock 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 the consistent contributor this season for the Buckeyes … reached 800 career points (860) in the Northwestern game March 8 with 17 … has 185 field goals and 168 free throws made this season … at least one assist in every game this season and has 123 on the year … has 2 or more steals in 15 games this season … 27 career games with 2 or more thefts … reached 100 career steals (103) with a theft vs. Michigan State March 14 … Ohio State is 31-12 when Turner scores 10 or more points … 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 ninth double-double of the season and 11th career D-D vs. Purdue in the Big Ten tournament title game March 15 with 22 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 200 career assists (221) with a career-high nine helpers in road win at Iowa March 3.
Freshman William Buford has tallied double-figure points in 17 of the last 22 games and has 19 double-figure outings this season … led the Buckeyes in scoring four times this season … tallied 11 points and career-high eight rebounds vs. Northwestern March 8 … 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 … 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 … 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.
Junior transfer Jeremie Simmons has 44 made 3s on the year and has tallied at least one in 27 of 32 games, including the go-ahead trey in the road win vs. No. 21 Miami Dec. 2 … led the Buckeyes in scoring for the first time against Penn State Feb. 24 with 14 points off a career-best four 3s … 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 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 … 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 has 282 points on the season and is shooting 63 percent from the field (116-183) … double figures in 13 of last 20 games …. shot 70 percent from the field in Big Ten play (78-111) … has five or more rebounds in 18 games this season … recorded first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds at Northwestern Feb. 18 … grabbed six boards and blocked two shots vs. the Spartans Jan. 6 … 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. 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.).
OPPONENTS RANKED NATIONALLY
Three 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. 8/7 Michigan State is the highest ranked opponent in the most recent polls.
HOME WON 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).
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 William Buford (Toledo, Ohio), B.J. Mullens (Columbus, Ohio) and Walter Offutt (Indianapolis). From the JC ranks, the Buckeyes welcomed junior Jeremie Simmons (Chicago) and Nikola Kecman, a sophomore from Belgrade, Serbia. Zisis Sarikopoulos, a transfer from Alabama-Birmingham and native of Athens, Greece, joined 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)