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Jan. 28, 2009
Ohio State (13-5, 3-4) vs. Michigan (14-6, 4-4)
Site:                  Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time:       6:30 p.m.
Television:        Big Ten Network
Talent:              Tom Werme (Play by Play)
                         Shon Morris (Expert Analysis)
                         Mike Hall (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)
Tickets:             Go to OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Lose The Blue
 For the second time this year, Ohio State will sponsor a “Lose the Blue” clothing donation event surrounding the Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry. In the fall, more than 7,000 pounds of blue clothing items were collected and donated to Goodwill Columbus. Fans are encouraged to donate gently used items of blue clothing Wednesday at the Ohio State vs. Michigan men’s basketball game at Value City Arena.

Mullens, Buford making mark in freshman record book
 B.J. Mullens currently is No. 3 in field goal percentage for freshmen in Ohio State history behind Greg Oden (.616/2007) and Terence Dials (.623/2002). Mullens is scoring on 61.1 percent of his shots to date (69-113). 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 194 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 25 makes to date. Neshaun Coleman is No. 6 all time with 31 in 1996. Buford’s field goals percentage from 3-range is 35.2 percent. Alex Davis made 35.8 percent of his 3s in 1990 to hold down the No. 5 spot (38-106). 

The Michigan Series
 Ohio State leads the overall series vs. Michigan 84-70 with a record of 35-43 in Ann Arbor and 48-26 in Columbus. Thad Matta is 8-1 overall against Michigan as the head coach of the Buckeyes. Ohio State has swept the season series in three of the last four years, including all three meetings in 2007. Evan Turner averages 11.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in three games against Michigan. Ohio State has faced ranked Michigan teams 34 times with a 12-22 record in those games. Ohio State has won three of the last four games at Crisler Arena when the Wolverines were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. Ohio State freshmen William Buford and B.J. Mullens combined for 30 points in their debut in the series earlier this month in Ann Arbor.

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 69 field goals on 113 attempts (.611). In league games only, Mullens also tops the list in field goal percentage (.692/36-52). In conference games, William Buford leads freshmen in scoring (13.9 ppg.) and steals (1.43 spg.).

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 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 13-5 overall to date with at least 12 games remaining this season (11 regular season, 1 in Big Ten tournament). Matta also is working on 300 career games as a head coach. He is 220-71 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 14.4 ppg. Freshman William Buford is next with 13.9 points per game. Sophomore Jon Diebler averages 12.4 ppg. and freshman B.J. Mullens adds 11.4 ppg. Mullens scores at a 69.2 percent clip (36-52) from the field. Turner leads the team in minutes (260/37.1 mpg.) and is the top rebounder (7.0 rpg.). Buford has made 12 of 13 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 24-of-49 3-point field goals in the seven Big Ten games to date (.490).

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.
 
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                      13-5                     —
Totals       53-10                    118-40

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 15.4 ppg. His 7.1 rebounds a game, 36 steals, 278 points, 93 field goals, 83 free throws and 617 minutes all lead the Buckeyes this season. Classmate Jon Diebler leads in 3-pointers (46) and is second in steals (20). Another sophomore, Dallas Lauderdale, is one of the nation’s top shot blockers with a team and Big Ten leading 44 swats on the year. He also leads the team in field goal percentage at 67 percent (41-61).
 
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 675-649 all-time vs. Big Ten Conference opponents.
Illinois                       59-98
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                    675-649

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 .756 (220-71) after 291 games. His record at Ohio State is 118-40 (.746) after 158 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 48-25 record in Big Ten regular-season play (.658) 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 25-16 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 25-16 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 3-4
Totals           21-4 30-4 25-16

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 126-211 all time vs. ranked opponents. The Buckeyes have won five of the last nine 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 (94-278) with three made vs. Delaware State Nov. 20 … his career total improved after a 3 of 6 outing from long range vs. Michigan State Jan. 25 … he is connecting on 41 percent of his treys (46-112) 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 seven Big Ten games this season, Diebler has made 24-of-49 treys (.490) … needs 32 made treys to crack the Top 10 in career made 3-pointers (M. Redd No. 10 with 126) … Diebler has played in 55 games to date with 26 starts … he reached 100 career rebounds (145) with three vs. Butler Dec. 13 … his scoring average is up from 5.9 ppg. as a freshman to 10.6 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 … 94 of 123 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 44 shots this season in 18 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 67 percent from the field (41-61) and is a career 65 percent shooter (53-82). 
  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 27th game as a Buckeye at Illinois Jan. 20 … 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 (591) 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 (152) 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 52 on the year … has 2 or more steals in 10 games this season … 22 career games with 2 or more thefts … Ohio State is 24-7 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 eight of the last nine games … has 11 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 26 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 17-of-18 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 166 points on the season and is shooting 61 percent from the field (69-113) … double figures in each of the last six games …. shooting 69 percent from the field in Big Ten play (36-52).

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. 9 (AP) Michigan State is the highest ranked opponent in the most recent polls.
Team  AP ESPN/USA Today
Michigan State   9         9
Butler 13         13
Purdue           16          17
Illinois          19         20
Notre Dame  RV 22
Minnesota        RV         24
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.

NOTING THE MICHIGAN STATE GAME
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State 58-48. In Columbus, Ohio State holds a 32-24 advantage.  The teams have split the last eight games. In Value City Arena, the Buckeyes have a record of 2-4 vs. the Spartans.
Junior guard Jeremie Simmons went 2-for-4 from the 3-point line He has made a 3-point basket in 17 of 18 games this season.
Sophomore guard Evan Turner made his 200th (202) field goal in the first half.
Turner led the team in scoring for the seventh time this season, contributing 19 points.
With a free throw in the first half, sophomore guard Jon Diebler scored his 400th (408) career point.
Ohio State is 53-110 vs. teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 and 126-212 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25. The Buckeyes are 4-15 when playing the No. 7-ranked team.
Ohio State went on a 13-3 run from 10:31 in the first half until 6:19.
The Buckeyes are 40-16 against Big Ten Conference opponents in Value City Arena.
For the fourth time this season, the Buckeyes shot at least 50 percent from both the field and 3-point range. Ohio State was 23-of-42 (54.8 percent) from the field and 10-of-20 (50 percent) from behind the arc. The other opponents were Jacksonville, Iowa and Indiana.
Ohio State fell to 12-1 when leading at the half this season.
Matta is 76-8 overall in Columbus with a record of 71-8 at VCA, 3-0 at St. John Arena and 1-0 at Nationwide Arena.
Matta’s career record is 220-71 in his ninth season as a head coach. He is 117-40 in his fifth year at Ohio State.

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