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Dec. 19, 2002

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Opponent Seton Hall
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 7 p.m. (EST)
TV ESPN Plus
Local TV WBNS Ch. 10
TV Talent Tom Hamilton (P-by-P), Bill Hosket (Color)
Radio OSU Radio Network (63 stations)
Local Radio WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Color)

Ohio State Buckeyes
Probable Starters (3-3)

G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3 – Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 2 – Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, 6-1, So.
C 34 – Terence Dials, 6-9, So.
F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

Seton Hall Pirates
Probable Starters (3-2)

F 13 – Marcus Toney-El, 6-6, Jr.
F 23 – Damion Fray, 6-8, Jr.
C 1 – Kelly Whitney, 6-8, Fr.
G 12 – Andre Barrett, 5-10, Jr.
G 32 – John Allen, 6-5, So.

Seton Hall vs. Ohio State Ticket Sales Benefit Merry Makers, OSU Students
About 1,200 tickets for the Ohio State vs. Seton Hall men’s basketball game were purchased by area corporations and donated to inner city children. A portion of the ticket price was donated to the Merry Makers Club to assist African-American students at Ohio State. Monies will go into an endowment fund established in 1988. The Merry Makers, through its association with the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Ohio State, has built the fund to over $200,000. Their efforts have provided assistance to 40 African-American students over the years. Ohio State, Seton Hall Start 2-Game Series
Seton Hall travels to Columbus this season to start a two-game series with the Buckeyes, who will play a return game next year. The teams have met just three times with the Buckeyes winning two, including the last game, played in Columbus Dec. 16, 1995. The Buckeyes claimed a 105-96 victory in that game. The series began Dec. 27, 1960 at the ECAC Holiday Tournament in New York. The No. 1-ranked Buckeyes defeated the Pirates 97-57. Seton Hall earned is victory Jan. 26, 1992 at home, a 68-64 triumph over the No. 6 rated Buckeyes.

Pirates 3-2 in Early Going
Seton Hall won three of its first five games before traveling to Columbus to face the Buckeyes. Wins have come against San Francisco (77-51), St. Francis, N.Y. (84-76) and Monmouth (67-57). The Pirates have lost to Texas (78-61) and Louisville (91-70). The Buckeyes will play host to Louisville Jan. 4.

Three Pirates in Double Figures
Junior guard Andre Barrett leads the Pirates in scoring (16.8 ppg.), foul shooting (23-27/.852), assists (26) and steals (9). Sophomore guard John Allen (12.6 ppg.) and freshman center Kelly Whitney (10.6 ppg.) are the only other players in double figures. Junior forward Marcus Toney-El is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.8 per game.

Darby Earns First Career Big Ten Player of the Week Award
Senior Brent Darby broke the 30-point barrier for the second time in three games to earn Big Ten Conference Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. He poured in 30 points on 69 percent (11-16) shooting, including hitting 5 of 7 3-point attempts, to lead the Buckeyes past Morehead State (74-60). Darby tied the Ohio State Value City Arena scoring record with his 30-point outburst and set three career-bests with 11 field goals, five three-pointers and four steals. He is also ranked either first or second in the League in assists (T2nd, 5.00), steals (2nd, 2.20) and three-point field goal percentage (T1st, .600). The Detroit-native has also been an iron man on the court, playing all 40 minutes in each of the first four games of the season before posting “only” 36 minutes in the victory vs. Morehead State.

Buckeyes, Opponents Nearly Even Statistically After 6 Games
Ohio State’s wins and losses are even after six games at 3 in each column. That is not the only area that indicates just how close Ohio State is to the combined statistics of the six opposing teams to date. A total of 13 points separates the opposition (389) form Ohio State (376), a difference of 2.1 points per game. Foes have 203 rebounds to Ohio State’s 186, for a difference of 2.8 per game. Opponents lead 134-132 in field goals made, and 37-33 in 3-pointers made. Just five more free throws (84-79) and attempted 122-177 have gone in opposition’s favor. Ohio State is even with 74 assists and 85 turnovers with is six opponents to date. Opponents enjoy the biggest edge in blocks (25-15) and steals (33-24).

Louisville Earns Win Over Pirates
Seton Hall men’s basketball team dropped a 91-70 decision to the visiting Louisville Cardinals at Continental Airlines Arena last Saturday. The loss dropped the Pirates to 3-2 on the year. Seton Hall opened the game on a 13-3 run and led by as many as 12 in the first half. The Pirates shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) from the field in the opening half led by junior Marcus Toney-El, who shot 5-of-5 from field for 11 points, and junior Andre Barrett, who scored 12 of his 23 points in the first half, shooting 3-for-6 from the floor.

Louisville closed the half on a 16-4 run in the final 3:48 to even the score at halftime 37-all. The Cardinals went on to outscore the Pirates 33-4 over an 8:52 span and pushed their lead to as much as 18. Louisville shot 67.7 percent (21-of-31) in the second half and held Seton Hall without a field goal for the first 5:23 of the half. It marks the third time in the last four games that a Pirate opponent has shot 60.0 percent or better in the second stanza.

Seton Hall freshman Kelly Whitney set a career-high, scoring 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Buckeyes Own 51-38 Rcd. vs. Big East
Ohio State has played each member of the Big East Conference at least once. The Buckeyes have faced Pittsburgh more than any other Big East Squad (26) and have won 15 of those meetings.

Boston College 1-1 Connecticut 3-2 Georgetown 2-1 Miami, Fla. 1-2 Notre Dame 6-5 Pittsburgh 15-11 Providence 1-0 Rutgers 0-1 St. John’s 7-2 Seton Hall 2-1 Syracuse 3-2 Villanova 1-1 Virginia Tech 0-4 West Virginia 9-5 Totals 51-38

Orr in Year 2 at Seton Hall
Seton Hall head coach Louis Orr is in his second season at Seton Hall. He led the Pirates to a 12-18 record in his first season a year ago. He coached for one season at Siena before taking over the Pirates’ program. His career record is 35-31.

This Date In History
Ohio State is 16-9 in games played on Dec 21. Ohio State won its last game on this date against Alabama-Birmingham at the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

OSU on Dec. 21 12/21/21 W Wittenberg 30-18 12/21/32 W @Vanderbilt 45-25 12/21/36 W @Creighton 35-28 12/21/40 L @Michigan State 38-46 12/21/45 W Oregon 57-41 12/21/46 L @Washington 45-49 12/21/48 W @California 74-60 12/21/53 W @Miami 106-81 12/21/54 L @California 63(11)-74 12/21/57 L @St. Louis 77-88 12/21/59 L @Utah 92-97 12/21/63 W Wichita 78-60 12/21/68 W Washington St. 84(17)-69 12/21/70 W Butler 96-77 12/21/72 W Ohio University 112-80 12/21/73 L vs Stanford 53-68 12/21/74 W Texas-Arlington 79-64 12/21/76 W Davidson 64-57 12/21/77 L West Virginia 89-80 12/21/82 W Holy Cross 81-60 12/21/89 W South Carolina 59-46 12/21/91 L @USC (ot) 77(7)-79 12/21/93 W vs Tennessee Tech 98-77 12/21/96 L @USC 68-79 12/21/98 W Ala.-Birmingham 71-64

No. 4 Pittsburgh Stays Unbeaten vs. Buckeyes
Ohio State, playing its third team of the year ranked at No. 4 in the Associated Press Poll, dropped a 69-49 decision to Pittsburgh. Sean Connolly led the Buckeyes with 15 points. He is the only Ohio State player to reach double figures offensively in all six games this season. The marked the return of sophomore Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a Pittsburgh area product who signed to play at Ohio State. He made his first career start after suffering a knee injury which kept him out for most of the first five games of the season. He played six minutes in Ohio State’s win over Morehead State Dec. 14. Fuss-Cheatham scored eight points, a career best, and played 26 minutes, also a career high. Pittsburgh was led by junior Julius Page with 18 points and senior Brandin Knight with 17.

Noting the Pittsburgh Game

Ohio State is 15-11 all time vs. Pittsburgh and 51-38 all timein games vs. the Big East Conference. Senior Sean Connolly recorded15 points against the Panthers, making him the only Buckeye toscore double figures in all six games this season. Redshirtfreshman Matt Sylvester tallied a career-high seven points for theBuckeyes. Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a native of the Pittsburgh, Pa.,area started for the first time in his career. He tallied eightpoints in 26 minutes, both career bests. Ohio State has playedthree teams who are currently ranked in the Top 5 nationally. Thecombined record of those teams, Alabama, Duke and Pittsburgh is20-0.

Four Top 10 Opponents on Schedule
Ohio State is scheduled to play four teams and five games against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls Top 6, a total of seven in the Top 25 and another three (Wisconsin, Purdue and Louisville) receiving votes for Top 25 consideration. No. 2/4 Alabama, No. 3/2 Duke, No. 4/3 Pittsburgh and No. 6/6 Indiana all face the Buckeyes early in the season. With games vs. No. 4 Alabama and No. 4 Duke in the books, the Buckeyes travel to take on Pittsburgh Wednesday and then welcome Indiana to Columbus. Indiana and the Buckeyes play twice in a span of 11 days beginning with a home game Jan. 11 and ending with a road contest Jan. 21. No. 25 Minnesota makes a visit to Columbus Feb. 5 for the only meeting of the year. Ohio State travels to No. 12/12 Illinois Feb. 9. No. 15 Michigan State plays host to the Buckeyes Jan. 9 in the Big Ten opener.

Fuss-Cheatham Returns to Action, Jenkins Still Recovering
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a sophomore point guard, and Shun Jenkins, a junior forward, have missed game action while recovering from injuries suffered Nov. 22 against the Harlem Globetrotters in the final exhibition game. Fuss-Cheatham, who started both exhibition contests this year, went down with an injury to his left knee. The injury, a partially torn lateral meniscus, required arthroscopic surgery Nov. 25. Fuss-Cheatham returned to action with six minutes of playing time against Morehead State Dec. 14. He made his first career start Dec. 18 vs. Pittsburgh and played 26 minutes. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand. He had surgery Nov. 27 and has missed the first five games of the season to day. He had the pins removed Dec. 19. He has been cleared for limited contact in practice and should be fully recovered in late December. .

Connolly on Scoring Streak
Senior Sean Connolly has reached double figures offensively in each of the six games this season. The streak is the longest since he opened his freshman campaign at Providence with six-consecutive double-digit games.

Darby Leads Big Ten in Scoring
Senior Brent Darby is the Big Ten’s second leading scorer with 18.0 points a game. He has reached 30 or more points twice this season and leads Ohio State in scoring, 3-point shooting (15-28/.536), foul shooting (27-34/.794), assists (32) and steals (12).

Darby, Connolly Near 100 Games Played
Seniors Brent Darby and Sean Connolly are approaching 100 games played in their collegiate careers. Connolly has played a total of 99 games at Providence (30) and Ohio State (69). Darby as played in 96 games as a Buckeye with 54 career starts.

Buckeyes to Play 8 of 9 Games at VCA
After six games in which Ohio State opened the season with a pair of neutral games, one road contest and three home games, the Buckeyes will play eight of the next nine games in Columbus. The next five games, vs. Seton Hall, Radford, Tennessee State, Hampton and Louisville will be played at home before the Big Ten opener at Michigan State Jan. 9. The Buckeyes will then play host to conference foes Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

O’Brien Names Captains
Seniors Brent Darby and Sean Connolly along with junior Zach Williams will serve as tri-captains for Ohio State in 2002-03. All three are serving their first full seasons as captains.

Darby on Preseason All-League Squad
Both the Big Ten Conference men’s basketball coaches and the league’s media selected Brent Darby to the Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team. Darby joins Brian Cook (Illinois), Tom Coverdale (Indiana), Kirk Penney (Wisconsin) and Rick Rickert (Minnesota) on the preseason squad. The Buckeyes have had a preseason first team member in each of the last four seasons. Michael Redd made the team in 1998, Scoonie Penn and Redd in 1999, Ken Johnson in 2000 and Brian Brown in 2001.

Darby Closing on 1,000 Pts., Reaches 100 Made 3-pointers
Senior guard Brent Darby is sixth all-time in career 3-pointers made with 113 after knocking down five long-range attempts against Morehead State. He has averaged 41 made 3-pointers the last two seasons, which if he were to connect on 41 again as a senior, would put him fourth all time with 139 behind Scoonie Penn (153/1998-00), Neshaun Coleman (147/1996-99) and Jamie Skelton (144/1991-94). Darby also has 890 career points. He has averaged 353 the last two years with a career-high of 409 as a junior. He is on pace to become Ohio State’s 41st player all-time to reach 1,000 career points. At least one player has reached 1,000 points in each of the last four years. Michael Redd (5th/1,879) and Jason Singleton (39th/1,022) reached 1,000 in 1999 followed by Scoonie Penn (34th/1,076) in 2000, Ken Johnson (36th/1,055) in 2001 and Brian Brown (19th/1,384) in 2002.

Buckeyes Seek 20th 20-Win Season
Jim O’Brien has guided the Buckeyes to 20-win seasons in each of the last four years. Another 20-victory campaign in 2002-03 would set an Ohio State record for consecutive seasons (5) with 20 or more wins. Only the 1960-1963 teams won more games over a four-year period (98) than O’Brien’s last four squads, which finished with 94 victories. Ohio State teams have won 20 or more games 19 times in 104 years of basketball.

Buckeyes Also On Big Ten Win Streak
Ohio State has won 11 or more games in Big Ten Conference play in each of the last four years, winning co-championships in 2000 and 2002, finishing second in 1999 and third in 2001. Only the 1960-64 teams, which won or shared a record five-consecutive Big Ten titles, had a more successful stretch in league play.

Opponent Experience Prevalent
The Buckeyes will play a total of 15 regular-season games against teams that participated in postseason competition in 2002. Ten games will be against NCAA tournament teams with the remaining five against National Invitation Tournament participants. Alabama and Duke provided NCAA tournament-tested opponents in two of the first three games of the season. When January rolls around, the Buckeyes will face a stretch of seven games against six opponents with 2002 postseason tournament experience. Three of those battles are against 2002 Big Ten Champions Indiana, twice, and Wisconsin. Another is against Michigan State, the 2002-03 preseason favorite win with the league title.

Sylvester Back Sooner Than Expected
When redshirt freshman Matt Sylvester underwent successful back surgery Aug. 7, he was expected to miss significant practice time while recuperating. He has progressed ahead of schedule and is participating in full practices with the Buckeyes. The 6-7 guard missed the majority of his freshman season with calf and back injuries. He was granted a medical redshirt year by the NCAA and will retain four years of eligibility at Ohio State. He made his first career start in the season opener against Coppin State. He has played in a five games to date for an average of just over 19 minutes a game.

Three Card Monte, LaMonta, Emonte
When Jim O’Brien looks down his bench this season, he’ll have a full compliment of Monte’s with assistant coach LaMonta (la-MON-tay) Stone, Monte (MON-tee) Mathis and junior guard Emonte (e-MON-tee) Jernigan. O’Brien also will have a trio of players, who use the same pronunciation but different spellings of the first name (SHAWN). Seniors Sean Connolly and Shaun Smith along with junior Shun Jenkins all pronounce their names the same.

O’Brien Selected for NCAA Committee
Jim O’Brien will serve as one of four NCAA Division I men’s basketball coaches on the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee. O’Brien will serve for one year. Coaches and administrators on this committee will meet to discuss NCAA Division I men’s basketball issues.

Stockman, Sullinger Wait for 2003-04
A pair of Ohio natives will be on the bench during home games this season but will not dress, travel or play this season. Sophomore J.J. Sullinger and junior Tony Stockman transferred to Ohio State from Arkansas and Clemson, respectively, following the 2001-02 season. Both will practice with the Buckeyes this year and will begin their eligibility in 2003-04. Sullinger will have three years of eligibility with the Buckeyes. Stockman will have two.

Jernigan Familiar with Adjusting
Junior guard Emonte Jernigan knows how to adjust to new challenges as a student-athlete. He began his career as a junior college player before signing to play NCAA Division I basketball with Oregon State. After one season with the Beavers, Jernigan left to attend another junior college for the 2001-02 campaign. He did not play organized basketball last year and will have two seasons of eligibility at Ohio State. His season out of basketball last year allows him to play immediately at Ohio State without having to sit out following his transfer.

O’Brien Welcomes Changes in Staff
Paul Biancardi, a longtime assistant to Jim O’Brien both at Boston College and Ohio State, was promoted to associate head coach in the offseason. Bruce Parkhill, who held the spot for two seasons, returned to his native State College, Pa., to spend more time with his family. In addition to Biancardi’s new role, a couple other positions were filled over the summer. LaMonta Stone, who last coached at Eastern Michigan, accepted one of the assistant positions on O’Brien’s staff. Monte Mathis, who was a full-time assistant on an interim basis in 2001-02 was made a full-time assistant as well. Andy Murphy, who had been a volunteer helping with the video needs of the OSU program, took over that spot on a full-time basis this year.

Winning Percentage Soars for O’Brien in Last Four Seasons
Jim O’Brien has won nearly 72 percent of the games he’s coached at Ohio State after an 8-22 record in his first season with the Buckeyes. O’Brien is 96-38 (.716) in the 134 games following the 1997-98 campaign, his first in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won 20 or more games and advanced to the NCAA tournament in each of the last four seasons, while finishing in the Top 3 in the Big Ten regular season race all four years, winning a pair of Big Ten regular titles (2000 and 2002) and a claiming the Big Ten tournament crown (2002) once.

Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
The Buckeyes began their fifth season in Value City Arena in the 2002-03 home opener against Coppin State. Ohio State is 61-8 (.884) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign.

Buckeyes Play 104th Hoops Season, 91st in Big Ten Conference
Ohio State has a record of 82-22 (.788) in season-opening games over the 104 years of men’s basketball at OSU. The Buckeyes are 86-18 (.827) in home openers and 49-54 (.476) in road/neutral openers. Ohio State did not play a road game in 1900-01. This is the 91st season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 50-40 (.556) in conference openers, 61-29 (.678) in league home openers and 34-56 (.378) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play.