Dec. 18, 2001
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%^$Site Value City Arena (19,200)
%^$Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
%^$TV ESPN Plus
%^$Local TV WBNS TV 10
%^$TV Talent Tom Hamilton (Play-by-Play), Bill Hosket (Color)
%^$Radio OSU Radio Network (64 stations)
%^$Local Radio WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
%^$Radio Talent Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Color)
%^$Ohio State Buckeyes
%^$Probable Starters (6-1)
%^$G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Jr.
%^$G 21 – Boban Savovic, 6-5, Sr.
%^$G 13 – Brian Brown, 6-4, Sr.
%^$C 14 – Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, So.
%^$F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, So.
%^$Probable Starters (9-1)
%^$G 1 – Julius Page, 6-3, So.
%^$G 20 – Brandin Knight, 6-0, Jr.
%^$G 4 – Jaron Brown, 6-4, So.
%^$C 55 – Toree Morris, 6-10, So.
%^$F 5 – Donatas Zavackas, 6-8, Jr.
%^$Buckeyes Face Pitt for 1st time in 40 years
%^$Pittsburgh will be making its first trip to Columbus since 1959 as the series with the Panthers resumes after a 40-year hiatus. Ohio State has not met a Pittsburgh squad since Dec. 6, 1961 when the Buckeyes, ranked No. 1 nationally, traveled to Pittsburgh and won 99-79. The Panthers were last in Columbus Dec. 5, 1959, a 94-49 Buckeye victory. Overall, Ohio State leads the all-time series 15-9, which includes a 9-4 record in Columbus. The Buckeyes won the first two games of the series, which began in 1926. The Panthers then won the next seven meetings. Ohio State won 13 of the next 15 contests.%^$
%^$Ohio State No Stranger to Big East
%^$Ohio State has faced every team in the Big East Conference at least once. Of the 31 NCAA Division I conferences, the Buckeyes have faced every conference team in just six leagues. In addition to the Big East, Ohio State has met every team in the ACC, Mountain West, Pac 10, Ivy and of course the Big Ten. Of all the Big East squads, the Buckeyes have faced Pittsburgh the most (24 meetings). West Virginia is next with 14 games against the Buckeyes.%^$
%^$Panthers Off to Hot Start
%^$Pittsburgh has started the season with a 9-1 record. Panthers wins have come against Morgan State, Northern Arizona, Robert Morris, Oakland, Illinois State, Savannah State, St. Francis (Pa.). Penn State and Rhode Island. The lone loss to date was to South Florida. The Panthers had little trouble with Big Ten opponent Penn State, winning at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh, 83-53.%^$
%^$Knight Tops Panthers’ Scorers
%^$Brandin Knight, a 6-foot, junior guard, is the leading scorer for the Panthers with 15.9 points a contest. He is followed by junior forward Donatas Zavackas and sophomore guard Julius Page, each at 10.8 ppg. The Panthers have outrebounded foes by 9.6 rebounds a contest with team balance in the rebounding category. Sophomore Jaron Brown is the leading rebounder with 6.0 caroms per contest. Zavackas and sophomore center Toree Morris are tied for second with 5.1 rebounds per game.%^$
%^$Howland in 3rd year at Pitt
%^$Pittsburgh head coach Ben Howland is in his third year at the helm of the Panthers. He is 41-30 overall in just over two seasons. Overall, his career record in eight years as a head coach is 120-89. His career started at Northern Arizona. His last three teams won 21 games each season. The 1997-98 squad was the first Lumberjack team to advance to the NCAA tournament.%^$
%^$Buckeyes Limit Foes’ Long Range Shooting
%^$Five of the seven teams Ohio State has played this season have been held at or below 25 percent shooting from 3-point range. None of the five connected on more than four 3-pointers. Four opponents have not reached 17 percent from long range.%^$
Opponent Pct. 3FG-A%^$Winthrop 16.7 3-18%^$N.C. State 14.8 4-27%^$UNC-Wilmington 15.4 2-13%^$Santa Clara 25.0 4-16%^$at Louisville 14.3 4-28%^$
%^$Buckeyes Finish Strong
%^$Ohio State has outscored its opponents by an average of 7.7 points in the opening 20 minutes this season. The second half is a different story. In seven games, the Buckeyes have managed a 20.6-point margin of victory behind strong play in the second half. The Buckeyes have outscored opponents 294-204 in the second half for a 12.9 advantage per game over the final 20 minutes.%^$
%^$Success Usually Follows Hot Buckeye Starts
%^$Since the NCAA tournament began in 1939, Ohio State has started a season with a 5-0 or better record 13 times. In 10 of those seasons the Buckeyes have advanced to postseason play, nine times to the NCAA tournament. Ohio State began the season 5-0 in 1985-86 and eventually won the National Invitation Tournament. The only teams to start 5-0 and not advance to the postseason were the 1995-96 Buckeyes and the 1962-63 squad. The 1996 team finished the season with a 10-17 record. The 1963 team was 20-4 and did not qualify for the NCAA tournament because only the conference champion (Illinois) was allowed to play in the event at the time. Since 1903, the Buckeyes have started 5-0 or better 22 times.%^$
NCAA Tournament Era 5-0 Starts%^$Yr. Postseason Rcd. Start%^$1959-60 NCAA Champions 25-3 6-0%^$1960-61 NCAA Runners Up 27-1 27-0%^$1961-62 NCAA Runners UP 26-2 22-0%^$1962-63 – 20-4 7-0%^$1967-68 NCAA Final Four 21-8 5-0%^$1979-80 NCAA 2nd Rd. 21-8 5-0%^$1985-86 NIT Champions 19-14 5-0%^$1986-87 NCAA 2nd Rd. 20-13 6-0%^$1990-91 NCAA 3rd Rd. 27-4 17-0%^$1991-92 NCAA 4th Round 26-6 6-0%^$1995-96 – 10-17 5-0%^$1998-99 NCAA Final Four 27-9 6-0%^$2001-02 — 6-0 6-0%^$
%^$O’Brien 30-2 in VCA vs. Non-Conference Foes
%^$In four seasons at Value City Arena, Jim O’Brien and the Buckeyes have a combined record of 30-2 (.938) against non-conference opponents. Ohio State was 7-0 in 1998-99, 8-1 in 1999-00 and 9-1 in 2000-01 in non-Big Ten home games. The Buckeyes are 6-0 at home this year. Losses have come to Notre Dame (59-57) in the 1999 Preseason NIT (11/16) and to Kansas (69-68) Dec. 23, 2000. O’Brien is 37-4 in non-conference home games in five seasons at Ohio State, which includes a 7-2 record his first season at St. John Arena.%^$
%^$Savovic, Brown Climbing 3-point Chart
%^$Boban Savovic is 10th on the Top 10 list for career 3-pointers made with 81. He has connected on 16-of-30 3-point shots this season for a shooting percentage of 53.3 percent. Savovic is just behind Jim Jackson (1990-92) who finished his career with 82. Brian Brown, who started the season 10th all-time, is just outside the Top 10 with 78. He has made 5-of-23 on the season (.217). Brent Darby could crack the Top 10 this season as well. He has made 66-of-176 (375) for his OSU career. Sean Connolly has made 118-of-293 career 3-pointers, which includes a 64-of-165 (.388) long range shooting effort as a freshman at Providence. At Ohio State, Connolly had connected on 54-of-128 treys (.422).%^$
%^$Brown Claims Top 10 Spot in Assists
%^$Brian Brown passed former teammate Scoonie Penn on the Ohio State career assists list with five against IUPUI. Brown is now 10th all-time with 295. Carter Scott (1978-81) is ninth with 326.%^$
%^$Dials’ 13 Boards Most for Freshman Since ’97
%^$Buckeye freshman Terence Dials grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the loss to Louisville. That total is the most for a freshman since Jon Sanderson grabbed 14 against Toledo Dec. 3, 1997 in his freshman season. Sanderson played two seasons at Ohio State before transferring to Ohio University following the 1999 Final Four season.%^$
%^$Noting the Game at Louisville
Sean Connolly made Ohio State’s only 3-point shot with 12:34remaining in the first half to keep the Buckeyes streak alive. OhioState has made at least one 3-point basket in 288-consecutivegames.%^$
Freshman center Terence Dials set a career high for reboundswith 13, 11 of which came in the second half. The last time afreshman had 10 or more rebounds in a game was against MoreheadState (12/16/00) when Zach Williams grabbed 11. Dials has led theBuckeyes off the bench in each of the last two games.%^$
Brian Brown has 961 points in his career. He is on pace tobecome the 40th Ohio State player to reach 1,000 points.%^$
A total of 54 fouls were called in the game vs. the Cardinals.The last time Ohio State was involved in a contest with 50 or morefouls called was against Iowa last year in the Big Ten tournament(3/9/01). A total of 57 fouls were called in that contest, an Iowawin (75-66).%^$
Ohio State led the Cardinals 26-25 at the half but lost for thefirst time this year when owning an edge after the first 20minutes.%^$
The Buckeyes have outrebounded all seven opponents this season,including a 44-40 edge over the Cardinals. Ohio State averages a7.6 advantage in rebounding after seven games.%^$
Louisville narrowed the 4-3 lead the Buckeyes hold in theall-time series between the two schools. Ohio State has a combinedrecord of 42-25 vs. members of Conference USA.%^$
%^$Brown Holds Team Lead in Scoring
%^$Senior Brian Brown owns the team lead in scoring following a 12-point effort at Louisville. He tops four Buckeyes in double digits in a well-balanced offensive attack. Brown is averaging 13.9 points per game followed by Boban Savovic with 13.0. Brent Darby (12.1 ppg.) is just ahead of sophomore Zach Williams (11.3).%^$
%^$Ohio State Tops Big Ten in Several Areas
%^$Ohio State is among the top two Big Ten teams in several league statistical categories. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in scoring margin (+20.6), field goal percentage (.497), 3-point field goal percentage (.394), scoring defense (56.7), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.227) and rebounding defense (29.4). Ohio State is No. 2 in rebounding margin (+7.6) and assists (17.57).%^$
%^$Ohio State Shooting Well From Field
%^$The Buckeyes have made 185-of-294 shots from the field this season for a shooting percentage of .497. Ohio State shot 50 pct. (34-68) in the win over Santa Clara. The Buckeyes have tied or eclipsed the .500 mark in five of the seven games this season.%^$
%^$Buckeyes Eclipse 900,000 in Attendance
%^$In the fourth season of play in Value City Arena, the Buckeye men’s basketball team has drawn an average of 17,479 per game for a total of 961,382.%^$
%^$Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
%^$Ohio State has played 55 home games at Value City Arena since the facility opened for the 1998-99 season. Those fans have been instrumental in the Buckeyes’ 49-6 (.891) home record at Value City Arena.%^$
%^$Buckeyes Enter 103rd Season
%^$Ohio State has a record of 81-22 (.786) in season-opening games over the 103 years of men’s basketball at OSU. The Buckeyes are 85-18 (.825) in home openers and 49-53 (.480) in road openers. Ohio State did not play a road game in 1900-01. This is the 90th season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 49-40 (.551) in conference openers, 60-29 (.674) in league home openers and 33-56 (.371) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play.%^$
%^$Foul Line Familiar, Comfortable for Connolly
%^$Junior Sean Connolly has made 85 percent (106-125) of his foul shots in three seasons of college basketball. He was 60-of-70 (.857) as a freshman at Providence in 1998-99. As a Buckeye sophomore last year, he drilled 42-of-50 free throws (.840) and was a remarkable 27-of-28 (.964) in Big Ten games. He had a stretch of 25-consecutive made foul shots in the conference season a year ago. He is 4-of-5 from the line this season.%^$
%^$Senior Class Continues Successful Run
%^$Ohio State seniors Brian Brown, Will Dudley and Boban Savovic have been a part of three of the more successful seasons in Ohio State history. As freshmen, the trio helped the squad reach the 1999 Final Four. As sophomores, they were a part of a Big Ten Championship team and another trip to the NCAA tournament. As juniors, they were instrumental in taking Ohio State to its third-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and 20-win season. Combined, these seniors have been a part of 76 wins (28 defeats), three NCAA tournaments, three 20-win seasons, the 1999 Final Four and the 2000 Big Ten Co-Championship. Another senior, Tim Martin, did not play for OSU until the 2000-01 season. Martin, a transfer from Kent State, sat out the 1999-00 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.%^$
%^$A 4th-consecutive NCAA trip, 20-win season?
%^$The Buckeyes have been to 21 NCAA Tournaments in the history of the program, including the past three. No Ohio State coach has ever led four-consecutive teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes have made three-consecutive trips four times (1944-46, 1960-62, 1990-92 and 1999-01). Ohio State also has a streak of three-consecutive 20-win seasons. The only time the program enjoyed four-consecutive 20-win campaigns occurred from 1960-63 with 25, 27, 26 and 20 wins, respectively. Ohio State won the national championship in 1960 and won four of five-consecutive Big Ten titles during that span.%^$
%^$Brown Close to 1,000 Career Points
%^$Ohio State senior guard Brian Brown should reach the 1,000-point mark in his Buckeye career before the Big Ten Conference season gets underway in January. Brown will become the 40th player in Ohio State history to reach 1,000 points. He has scored 961 points in 104 career games for an average of 9.2 points a contest.%^$
%^$Summer in Europe
%^$Ohio State spent 16 days (Aug. 20-Sept. 4) traveling through Italy, Switzerland, France and The Netherlands in preparation for the 2001-02 season. The trip offered Ohio State’s big men an opportunity to play competitively while allowing the guards to experiment with lineups during the six-game schedule. Ohio State won all six contests with the guards leading the way. Senior Boban Savovic averaged 17.5 points (105 total) to lead all scorers. Senior Brian Brown and junior Brent Darby each scored 96 points for 16.0 averages. Sean Connolly scored 10.5 points a contest and was the only Buckeye to connected on at least one 3-pointer in each of the six games. Sophomore Zach Williams registered a pair of double-doubles and led the Buckeyes with 7.3 rebounds a game.%^$
%^$Buckeyes to Play in 2003 Maui Invitational
%^$The Maui Invitational will draw attractive fields for the following three seasons. Chaminade, the NCAA Division II school from Honolulu, will serve as host as it has every year since 1984. The 2002 field includes: Arizona State, Gonzaga, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Utah and Virginia. The 2003 participants are: California, Dayton, Florida State, Hawaii, Ohio State, San Diego State and Villanova. The 2004 field, which could be subject to change pending NCAA legislation regarding early season tournaments, is: Iowa, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas and Stanford.%^$
%^$Ohio State Successful on This Date in History
%^$Ohio State has played on this date in history 18 times with average success, winning 10 times. The Buckeyes broke a three-game losing streak on this date in 1999 with a 72-40 win over Eastern Kentucky%^$
%^$Ohio State Among Attendance Leaders
%^$The Buckeyes have been among the Top 7 teams nationally in average home attendance in each of the last three years. Ohio State averaged 17,540 fans in 2000-01 to rank No. 4, its highest ranking in team history. The Buckeyes have been a draw on the road as well. Ohio State has been among the Top 10 in NCAA all-games attendance the last three seasons, including a No. 2 ranking in 1999.%^$