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Nov. 12, 2003

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Date Nov. 13, 2003
Opponent E.A. Sports All-Stars
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
TV ONN
Local TV None
TV Talent Tom Hamilton (P-by-P), Bill Hosket (Color)
Radio OSU Radio Network (59 stations)
Local Radio WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Color)

Ohio State Buckeyes
Probable Starters (0-0)
G 2 – Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, 6-1, Jr.
G 10 – Tony Stockman, 6-1, Jr.
G 0 – J.J. Sullinger, 6-5, So.
C 14 – Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, Sr.
F 34 – Terence Dials, 6-8, So.

EA Sports All-Stars
Probable Starters

G 1-Kameron Sufi, 6-1, St. Mary’s
G 15-Al Faux, 6-2, San Diego State
C 22-Paul Shirley, 6-8, Iowa State
F 31-Jamar Brown, 6-9, N. Colorado
F 33-Monty Buckley, 6-6, California

New Faces Pace Buckeyes In Exhibition Opener
Newcomers J.J. Sullinger and Tony Stockman shook off a year away from basketball with a combined 43 points in Ohio State’s 95-87 exhibition opener against Coaches vs. Cancer last Friday. Sullinger, a transfer from Arkansas and Columbus, Ohio, native, led the Buckeyes with 26 points and four steals in just 28 minutes. Stockman, a Medina, Ohio, native and a transfer from Clemson, contributed 17 points and tied for the team lead with five assists. Terence Dials, who was sidelined a year ago with injuries, returned to add 14 points while Matt Sylvester contributed with 13 points off the bench.

Point Position Players Perform Well
Junior point guards Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and Tony Stockman split time in the exhibition opener running the Ohio State offense. Combined, the duo connected on 8-of-13 shots from the field and 4-of-7 3-pointers. Fuss-Cheatham orchestrated the offense the majority of the time with Stockman moving over to the No. 2 guard position. Each contributed five assists as well.

Buckeyes Buy Into Time Share
A year ago senior starters Brent Darby and Sean Connolly almost never left the court. The two averaged 38.1 and 36.1 minutes per game, respectively, because of a bench depleted by injury. In the exhibition opener this year, no player saw more than 28 minutes of action. Six played more than 20 minutes and nine reached nine or more minutes played.

First Five Years at VCA a Success
Nov. 5, 2003 marked the five-year anniversary of the opening of Value City Arena. The 2003-04 campaign is the sixth season of basketball in the facility. Ohio State has a record of 69-13 (.841) at the VCA and has ranked among the Top 10 nationally in attendance each year. A total of 1,413,620 fans have passed through the gates for an average of 17,239 a game. When all 19,200 seats are occupied, the Buckeyes have responded with a 21-5 record over the last five seasons. The nation’s best teams have also had their troubles with the Buckeyes at Value City Arena. Sixteen teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 have battled the Buckeyes at VCA. Ohio State has turned away 13 of those squads.

E.A. Sports 2-8 on Exhibition Tour
Ohio State’s final exhibition opponent, E.A. Sports All-Stars, is 2-8 over the first 10 of its 15-game schedule. E.A. Sports defeated Virginia Tech 86-82 Oct. 31 to begin its tour. Losses then came at Xavier (100-63), Louisville (90-78), Tennessee (110-83) and Western Kentucky (76-67). St. John’s then fell 80-74 to E.A. Sports before losses to Old Dominion (106-65) and Cincinnati (92-75). Kentucky faced E.A. Sports Wednesday. After facing the Buckeyes, E.A. Sports will travel to Dayton, Wright State, Duquesne, St. Louis and Ball State.

Four Games Away From Columbus to Start Season a First Since 1988
Ohio State has not opened the regular season with four games away from Columbus since the 1988-89 season when the Buckeyes played their first three games at the Maui Invitational and then traveled to face Western Michigan on the road. The Buckeyes open at San Francisco this year before traveling to Maui, Hawaii, for three games.

The Buckeyes have not opened the season on the road during Jim O’Brien’s tenure in Columbus. Ohio State last opened the season on the road in 1996, a 60-56 loss to South Florida.

Buckeyes Seek 50th November Victory
The fall portion of the men’s basketball season at Ohio State typically goes well for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has played 64 November games with a record of 49-15, for a winning percentage of .766 heading into the season opener with San Francisco. The Buckeyes will play four games this year in November, all away from Columbus.

O’Brien Names Captain
Senior Velimir Radinovic will serve as team captain for Ohio State in 2003-04. The 7-foot center was named following a vote of his teammates. He is serving his first season as an OSU captain.

Buckeyes Seek 20th 20-Win Season
Jim O’Brien has guided the Buckeyes to 20-win seasons in four of the last five years. Ohio State teams have won 20 or more games 19 times in 104 years of basketball.

Buckeyes Open at San Francisco
Ohio State opens the 2003-04 regular season at San Francisco Nov. 21. The Buckeyes then travel for three games at the E.A. Sports Maui Invitational. The Buckeyes open the home portion of the 2003-04 schedule Dec. 3 against Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Dials Back on Court After Year Layoff
Sophomore center Terence Dials returns to the Ohio State lineup after missing the majority of his true sophomore season with a back injury. Dials played the first six games in 2002-03 before going down for the remainder of the year with the injury. He was awarded a medical redshirt season a year ago and will retain three years of eligibility. The 6-9, 250-pounder from Youngstown, Ohio, set a freshman record at Ohio State with a .620 field goal shooting percentage (86-138) .

Wait over for Stockman, Sullinger, Billings in 2003-04
A trio of Buckeyes will get their first official action as Buckeyes when the regular season opens Nov. 21 at San Francisco. Sophomores Ricardo Billings and J.J. Sullinger along with junior Tony Stockman all were on the Ohio State campus a year ago but did not play in games for the Buckeyes. Both Sullinger and Stockman practiced with the Buckeyes following transfers from Arkansas and Clemson, respectively. Billings sat out the 2002-03 season to concentrate on academics. He did not practice with the Buckeyes last season. Sullinger and Billings will have three years of eligibility with the Buckeyes. Stockman will have two.

Nwankwo Added to Roster
Jim O’Brien added walkon Ugo Nwankwo (OO-go WAN-kwo) to the Ohio State roster in late October. Nwankwo, a 6-2, 185-pound guard, is a native of Ann Arbor, Mich. His brother Ije is a freshman basketball player at Purdue.

O’Brien Welcomes Changes on Staff
Rick Boyages, who originally was on Jim O’Brien’s staff at Ohio State following their move from Boston College in 1997-98, is back with the Buckeyes as the associate head coach. Boyages spent the last three years as the head coach at William and Mary. Boyages fills the spot vacated by Paul Biancardi, a longtime assistant to O’Brien both at Boston College and Ohio State, who left to take the head coaching position at Wright State following last season. Another former Buckeye also returns in 2003-04. David Egelhoff, a former student manager, returns to take over the video operations of the men’s basketball team. He worked in the same capacity a year ago with the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

The Postseason Streak
Ohio State will be looking to qualify for postseason play for the sixth-consecutive season under head coach Jim O’Brien in 2003-04. The Buckeyes made four trips to the NCAA tournament from 1999-2002 before accepting a bid to play in the 2003 National Invitation Tournament a year ago. The current streak is the second longest in school history behind a 12-year stretch (1982-1993) in which Ohio State played in seven NCAA tournaments and made five NIT appearances.

O’Brien is tied with Eldon Miller for the most consecutive postseason appearances while coaching the Buckeyes. Miller took three teams to NCAA tournament play and two to the NIT from 1982-86.

Lefty Luxury
The Buckeyes feature four left-handed players on the 2003-04 roster. Junior Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, sophomores J.J. Sullinger and Charles Bass and freshman Ivan Harris all are southpaws.

Back to 20
The Buckeyes will be shooting for their fifth 20-win season in six years during the 2003-04 campaign. Ohio State won 20 or more games from 1999-2002 before winning 17 games a year ago. Ohio State has not enjoyed five 20-win seasons during a six-year stretch in the 104-year history of the program.

Boyages Back with Buckeyes
Rick Boyages has returned to the Ohio State sidelines after spending three seasons as the head coach at William and Mary. Boyages came to Ohio State with O’Brien in 1997 after serving as an assistant on O’Brien’s staff at Boston College. After the 1999-2000 season, Boyages left Columbus to take over at William and Mary, where he compiled a record of 35-52.

The Schedule
Ohio State will travel to the West Coast and then on to Hawaii early in the 2003-04 season. The Buckeyes will face San Francisco on their way to the Maui Invitational. Ohio State will be making its third trip to the Maui event with a 4-2 record in the tournament. The Buckeyes are 8-10 in Hawaii, which includes a 4-8 record in four appearances at the Rainbow Classic. Ohio State was last in Hawaii in 1997, O’Brien’s first year, at the Rainbow event. The Buckeyes also will travel to New Jersey for a return game against Seton Hall at the Meadowlands. Home games this season include a matchup against Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and a battle against Texas Tech in early January. Bob Knight returns to his alma mater as head coach of the Red Raiders.

Ohio Product Joins Buckeye Squad
Nick Dials, a 6-foot-1-inch point guard from New Haven, Ohio, turned down several Division I scholarship offers to walk-on with the Buckeyes in 2003-04. Once on campus, Dials was awarded a scholarship for the 2003-04 campaign. He averaged 27 points and 5.9 assists per game as a senior in high school. Dials made 86 percent of his free throws in high school. He was first-team All-Ohio in Division II as a junior and senior. For his career, he averaged 22.2 points and 5.5 assists per game and helped Willard to an 85-14 record. Dials had 52 points and 11 assists in a high-school game as a senior.

Nationwide Welcomes Buckeyes, Hokies
Ohio State will face Virginia Tech Dec. 6 at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus this season. The game will be a preview of the first and second rounds of the 2004 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which will be played at Nationwide March 19 and 21. Ohio State will serve as the host school for both the Virginia Tech game and the NCAA tournament games. The Buckeyes also will play host to the first and second rounds of the 2004 Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. Those games will be played at St. John Arena March 20-23.

Buckeyes Begin Outside Top 25
Ohio State, after a 17-15 season with an appearance in the postseason National Invitation Tournament a year ago, is receiving votes on both national preseason polls. The Buckeyes received 10 votes for Top 25 consideration in the Preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and 46 votes in the Preseason Associated Press writers poll.

7 Buckeyes Spend Year in Residence
A total of seven student-athletes on the 2003-04 roster have spent a year on the Ohio State campus without playing in games for the Buckeyes. Sophomore Ricardo Billings sat out 2002-03 to satisfy academic requirements for eligibility this season. Sophomores Terence Dials (2002-03) and Matt Sylvester (2001-02) each sat out a season with back injuries but received medical redshirt seasons to retain four years of eligibility. Senior Shaun Smith (1999-00) did not play basketball his first season in Columbus before walking on with freshman eligibility for the 2000-01 campaign. Junior Matt Marinchick (2000-01) decided to redshirt his first year in Columbus to gain strength and experience. Finally, junior Tony Stockman and sophomore J.J. Sullinger both sat out the 2002-03 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules after leaving Clemson and Arkansas, respectively, following the 2001-02 season.