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Jan. 23, 2001

Game Notes in .PDF format

Opponent: No. 19 Wisconsin
Site: Kohl Center (17,142)
Game Time: 9 p.m. (EST)
TV: ESPN Plus
Local TV: WBNS 10 TV
TV Talent: Mike Gleason (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 (12-6, 3-3)

G 4-Brent Darby, 6-1, So.
G 21-Boban Savovic, 6-5, Jr.
G 13-Brian Brown, 6-4, Jr.
C 32-Ken Johnson, 6-11, Sr.
F 33-Zach Williams, 6-7, Fr.

No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers
Probable Starters (11-4, 2-3)

G 22-Mike Kelley, 6-3, Sr.
G 32-Roy Boone, 6-3, Sr.
F 5-Maurice Linton, 6-8, Sr.
F 50-Mark Vershaw, 6-9, Sr.
F 15-Andy Kowske, 6-8, Sr.

Brown leads 3 Buckeyes in double figures vs. Spartans
Jason Richardson scored 24 points as No. 3 Michigan State beat Ohio State, 71-56. Richardson was 9-of-13 overall and 4-of-5 beyond the 3-point line. The Buckeyes kept the game close for the first 25 minutes. Zach Randolph had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Adam Ballinger scored 10 points. Charlie Bell also had 10. Ohio State’s Brian Brown scored 14 points. Boban Savoic had 13 and Ken Johnson added 12 points. There were four ties over the first several minutes of the game. Michigan State did take the lead for good midway through the first half, but it struggled to dominate the Buckeyes. Richardson made consecutive baskets to give the Spartans a 22-14 lead late in the half, but their lead dwindled to 29-25 at halftime. Richardson scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes after making all five of his shots in the first half, including two 3-pointers. Ohio State cut its deficit to two points twice in the first five minutes of the second half, but each time Michigan State responded with a basket. When the Buckeyes trailed just 37-35 with 15 minutes left, Richardson scored five straight and eight of the next 10 points to give Michigan State a 45-37 lead with 12:27 left. Ohio State scored the next point, but was unable to get closer than seven points the rest of the way. Noting the game vs. Michigan St.

Ohio State extended its streak of consecutive games with atleast one 3-point goal made when Sean Connolly hit a 3-pointer latein the first half. Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-pointgoal in 268-consecutive games. Ken Johnson started his 110th careergame. He stands one start behind fifth-place Kelvin Ransey (111,1977-80) and is one of eight players in Ohio State history toeclipse 100 starts in his Buckeye career. Johnson blocked six shotsin the game, giving him 395 in his career. That leaves him 33behind former Penn State star Calvin Booth, who rejected 428 from1995-99. In five career games, Johnson has 17 career blocks againstMichigan State. Johnson now has at least one game with 5 or moreblocks vs. every Big Ten opponent. Johnson, first in field goalpercentage (.667) during Big Ten play, continued his torridshooting with a 6-of-10 performance. He has connected on 36 of 54shots against Big Ten foes. With 76 blocked shots this season,Johnson stands ninth on the OSU single-season chart – just twobehind eighth-place Herb Williams (78). Johnson holds the top twospots on the chart with 161 last season and 100 in 1998-99.

Buckeyes seek 7th win over a defending national champion, Final Four squads
Ohio State has met the defending national champion 28 times in history with a 6-22 record in those games. The Buckeyes have a record 22-51 record against teams who participated in the Final Four the previous year. The Buckeyes are in a stretch of three games against 2000 Final Four teams, including defending national champion Michigan State, twice. Ohio State has never played three-consecutive games against teams who participated in the Final Four the previous season. The last time Ohio State downed a defending national champion was during the 1989-90 season when the Buckeyes won 64-61 over No. 5 Michigan (2/18/90). Michigan won the 1989 national title.

Buckeyes pay back road games after run of home contests
Before traveling to Michigan State Sunday, Ohio State enjoyed a stretch of 12 home games in a stretch of 13 contests. Ohio State will now travel for eight of the final 12 games of the season. The Buckeyes are playing the second of three-consecutive ranked opponents against No. 9 Wisconsin. Ohio State last played against a trio of ranked foes at the end of the 1998-99 season vs. No. 4 Auburn, No. 8 St. John’s and No. 3 Connecticut. As of Jan. 21, seven of the final 12 Ohio State games will be against ranked opponents.

Buckeyes start same four all season
Four of the five OSU starters have remained constant all season with senior Ken Johnson, juniors Brian Brown and Boban Savovic and freshman Zach Williams starting all 18 contests this season. Sophomores Brent Darby (15 starts) and Sean Connolly (3 starts) have been the only changes to the lineup this season.

Road win streak at Wisconsin
Ohio State has not lost in the Kohl Center. The Buckeyes are 3-0 in Wisconsin’s new facility, including Ohio State’s only conference victory during the 1997-98 season. The Buckeyes have never won four-consecutive games against Wisconsin in Madison. Ohio State has 4-game road winning streaks in Big Ten play against Northwestern (1990-93), Illinois (1977-80), Minnesota (1958-63), Michigan (1967-71) and Purdue (1950-54).

Ohio State vs. ranked opponents
The Buckeyes will be playing the fourth ranked opponent of the season and the third on the road vs. No. 19 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are 119-190 vs. teams in the AP Top 25. The Badgers are the first ranked opponent of the season outside the Top 10. Ohio State has played No. 9 Kansas, No. 9 Illinois and No. 3 Michigan State this season. No. 8 Syracuse was not in the Top 25 when OSU played the Orangemen at the great Alaska Shootout earlier this year. The last Ohio State win over a ranked opponent came on the road at Indiana last year (No. 7 OSU 82, No. 10 Indiana 71, 2/19/00). The last time an unranked Buckeye squad defeated a ranked opponent was a 72-43 win over No. 16 Purdue in Columbus Jan. 19, 1999. The last time an unranked OSU squad defeated a ranked team on the road was Jan. 2, 1999 when the Buckeyes downed No. 19 Wisconsin 78-74 in Madison.

Brown has quality week, Buckeyes in tough stretch
Junior Brian Brown lead a trio of Buckeyes in double figures last week while splitting a pair of Big Ten Conference games. The Buckeyes downed Michigan 78-61 at home before falling to No. 3 Michigan State on the road, 71-56. Brown averaged 16.0 points while connecting on 10-of -21 (.476) of his shots from the field and 60 percent of his 3-point attempts (3-5). He also added 4.5 assists a contest and four steals in nearly 36 minutes a game. Senior Ken Johnson moved closed to the 400 mark in career blocks with six at Michigan State. He has 395 in his OSU career to hold down the top spot in Ohio State history. He is closing the gap on Big Ten career leader Calvin Booth, who ended his Penn State career with 428 career rejections. Johnson will tie Kelvin Ransey (110, 1977-80) for the No. 5 spot in career starts at Wisconsin Wednesday. Johnson has 110 career starts during his Buckeye career, which has spanned 114 career games over the last four years.

Three OSU basketball numbers set to be retired, Jackson and Smith to return for ceremonies
Gary Bradds (1962-64), Jim Jackson (1990-92) and Katie Smith (1993-96) will be honored by having their OSU jersey numbers retired during the 2001 Big Ten Conference men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Bradds’ No. 35 will be retired during ceremonies at halftime of the Ohio State men’s game against No. 3 Michigan State Saturday Jan. 27. Jackson’s No. 22 will be honored at the half of the OSU men’s game against No. 17 Wisconsin Saturday Feb. 10 and Smith’s No. 30 will be officially removed from future rosters Sunday Jan. 21 at the women’s game against Michigan. Ohio State great Jerry Lucas’ No. 11 is the only other basketball player to have a number retired. Smith is the first women’s basketball player to have a number retired. Three Buckeye football players have been honored beginning with Archie Griffin’s No. 45 in 1999. Vic Janowicz (No. 31) and Howard Cassady (No. 40) had their numbers retired during the 2000 football season.

Visitors struggle to win at VCA
Ohio State has lost just five home games in the 3-year history of Value City Arena. The Buckeyes have a combined record of 40-5 all time at the VCA following the win over Michigan. In the five home losses, no team has won by more than three points. The Buckeyes have lost by an average of 2.4 points in the five games.

O’Brien reaches career win No. 300
Jim O’Brien earned career win No. 300 as a collegiate head coach with the 93-62 win over Morehead St. (12/16/00). O’Brien is 305-261 in 19 seasons as a head coach. He has a record of 70-44, including a record of 62-22 over the last three seasons with the Buckeyes. O’Brien spent 11 seasons at his alma mater, Boston College. His teams compiled a record of 168-166 record with six postseason appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament in his last four years. O’Brien started his career at St. Bonaventure, where in four seasons, his teams posted a record of 67-51 (.568). His 100th career win came against Maine Dec. 6, 1988 (87-59) with No. 200 coming against Hartford Dec. 23, 1995 (106-67). O’Brien won both those games at Boston College.

Ohio State to host NCAA Tournament 1st, 2nd rounds in 2004
The Ohio State Department of Athletics, along with Nationwide Arena and the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been selected to host the 2004 National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds, the NCAA announced Dec. 7. Ohio State will serve as the host institution for the 2004 Midwest Region early round contests. The games will be played at Nationwide Arena March 19 and 21, 2004.

Johnson, No. 1 in Big Ten
Ohio State senior Ken Johnson holds the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten with an average of 4.22 blocks a game (77).

Robinson out indefinitely
Doylan Robinson (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel), a junior guard, will be out indefinitely recovering from injuries sustained as a passenger in a traffic accident Sunday, Dec. 3, 2000. Robinson suffered several lacerations to his face and right hand. He is expected to recover fully. Robinson has played in five games to date for the Buckeyes. He is averaging 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.4 minutes a game.

Johnson No. 1 on OSU career swat chart
Ken Johnson has 76 blocks on the season for a career total of 395, which places him first all-time at Ohio State in career rejections. Johnson passed Herb Williams (1978-81) at the Great Alaska Shootout in November. Johnson averaged 1.9 bpg. (58/30 gms.) as a freshman, 2.8 bpg. (100/36 gms.) as a sophomore and 5.37 bpg. (161/30 gms.) in 1999-00. He has an average of 4.22 blocks a game this season.

1,000 career points on horizon for Johnson
In 114 career games, senior Ken Johnson is closing on career point No. 1,000 as a Buckeye. He has scored 896 for a career scoring average of 7.9 a contest in his four seasons at Ohio State. With a 104 more points this year, he will become the 39th player in OSU history to reach 1,000 career points. He is averaging 12.6 points this season, the highest single-season scoring average of his career.

Johnson paces Buckeyes in the Big Ten
Among Big Ten players, senior Ken Johnson rates among the Top 10 in four statistical categories. He is the league’s best shot blocker with 4.22 rejections a game. With a .590 field goal shooting percentage, he rates No. 5. Sophomore Sean Connolly is the No. 3 3-point shooter in the conference with a .462 shooting percentage. Junior Brian Brown is No. 4 in steals (1.72) and junior Boban Savovic is No. 7 in 3-point shooting (.433). In Big Ten games, Johnson is the top percentage shooter in the league, connecting on 66.7 percent of his shots. His 3.83 blocks a contest also tops all others vs. Big Ten foes.

Johnson moving up career starts list
Ken Johnson has started 110 career games as a Buckeye since the 1997-98 season. He is one of only eight Buckeyes to reach 100 or more career starts. Currently No. 6 all-time, Johnson will next overtake Kelvin Ransey (1977-80) at No. 5 with 111 starts.

Badgers surprise Iowa
The Big Ten’s best backcourt was baffled and befuddled. Mike Kelley and Travon Davis shut down Iowa’s duo of Dean Oliver and Luke Recker as Wisconsin beat the Hawkeyes (No. 67-54 victory last Tuesday. Oliver (14.1) and Recker (18.3) are usually good for 32 points a game, but on Tuesday, Oliver was held to seven and Recker six. Shooting a combined 5-for-31, they matched their season low output against Tennessee on Dec. 29, when Recker played sparingly because of a sore knee. Moreover, Oliver, the league’s premiere point guard, didn’t get a single assist. Mark Vershaw also scored 18 points for the Badgers, who made 29 of 35 free throws in winning for the ninth consecutive time at the Kohl Center.

Boone only Badger in double figures
Wisconsin senior Roy Boone leads the Badgers in scoring with a 14.7 scoring average. Three other players are close to double digits with 9.0 points a contest. Senior Andy Kowske leads in rebounding with 5.7 a contest.

Soderberg in first season with Badgers
Wisconsin interim head coach Brad Soderberg was in his sixth season as an assistant to Dick Bennett when Bennett decided to retire earlier this season. Since then, Soderberg has led the Badgers to a 9-3 record since taking over. Soderberg played for Bennett at Wisconsin Stevens Point.

The Wisconsin series
Ohio State has the edge in the all-time series against Wisconsin 78-53. Wisconsin has won 36 of 66 meetings in Madison but the Buckeyes have won the last three games at the Kohl Center and the last five overall.

The Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin
Just four returning players from the Buckeye squad last season have scored against Wisconsin. Ken Johnson leads with 32 points in six career meetings vs. UW for an average of 5.3 a contest. Brent Darby has played in just two contests vs. the Badgers and has a 4.0 scoring average. Johnson has fared well in the rebounding department with an average of 8.0 caroms a game. In the six games vs. Wisconsin, Johnson has blocked a total of 20 Badger shots.

Leading the Buckeyes
Junior Brian Brown leads the Buckeyes offensively with a scoring average of 14.1 points per game. He leads the team in minutes played (32.6 mpg.). Sophomore Sean Connolly leads in 3-point shooting (30-65, .462) just ahead of junior Boban Savovic (26-60, .433). Sophomore Brent Darby is the team’s leading free throw shooter (20-26, .769). Ken Johnson is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.7 a game. He is the most accurate Buckeye from the field as well hitting 59 percent of his shots (85-144). Brown leads in assists with 73 and steals, 31.

OSU opponents fare well in polls
Seven 2000-01 Buckeye opponents are rated among the Top 25 in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. Another two are receiving votes. Michigan State (3/3), Kansas (5/4), Syracuse (8/8T), Illinois (11/7), Iowa (14/17), Alabama (15T/15) and Wisconsin (19/16) are rated in the Top 25. Purdue and Minnesota are receiving votes in both polls.

Johnson’s name appears 3 times in OSU single season blocks chart
With 76 blocks this year, senior Ken Johnson has his name listed three times on the Ohio State single season blocked shots chart. His 161 blocks as a junior is an OSU single season record. He swatted 100 as a sophomore, the second highest single season total. His senior total rates No. 9 behind the 78 Herb Williams rejected in 1981.

Johnson closing on 400 career blocks, 2nd on Big Ten list
Buckeye senior Ken Johnson has 395 blocks in his career after swatting six against Michigan and Michigan State last week. Johnson is second in Big Ten history in career blocks. Calvin Booth of Penn State (1995-99) is the next target at No. 1 with 428 career blocks.

Big Ten Career Blocked Shots leaders 1. Calvin Booth, PSU 1995-99 428 2. Ken Johnson, OSU 1998- 395 3. Acie Earl, IOWA 1989-93 365 4. Joe Barry Carroll, PUR 1977-80 349 5. Herb Williams, OSU 1977-81 328

Big Ten Season Blocked Shot leaders 1. Ken Johnson, OSU 1999-00 161 2. Calvin Booth, PSU 1997-98 140 3. Jim Pitts, NU 1965-66 123 4. Acie Earl, Iowa 1991-92 121 5. Acie Earl, Iowa 1990-91 106 6. Joe Barry Carroll, PUR 1977-78 105 7. Calvin Booth, PSU 1995-96 101 8. Ken Johnson, OSU 1998-99 100 9. Dean Garrett, IND 1987-88 99 10.Roy Tarpley, MICH 1985-86 97 Brad Sellers, OSU 1985-86 97

Johnson led nation in blocks, average fifth in NCAA
Ohio State center Ken Johnson led the Big Ten and the nation in blocks in 1999-00. Johnson sent back 5.37 shots per game with 161 blocks on the year. Johnson has the fifth highest block per game average in NCAA history. His total of 161 is the seventh most in a single season in NCAA history.

NCAA Single Season Blocks Avg. 1. #Adonal Foyle, Colgate 1997 6.43 2. #Keith Closs, C. Conn. St. 1996 6.36 3. #David Robinson, Navy 1986 5.91 4. Adonal Foyle, Colgate 1996 5.69 5. #Ken Johnson, OSU 2000 5.37 # Led nation in blocks.

Big Ten coaches, media select Johnson preseason First Team All-Big Ten
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches and league media chose Ken Johnson (Sr., Detroit, Mich./Henry Ford) as a preseason First Team All-Big Ten selection. The announcement was made Oct. 30 at the annual Big Ten Men’s Basketball media day. Johnson joins Cory Bradford (Illinois), Charlie Bell (Michigan State), Kirk Haston (Indiana) and LaVell Blanchard (Michigan) on the squad selected by the coaches. The media selected the same squad with the exception of Haston. Joe Crispin of Penn State filled that spot. Johnson, who averaged nearly eight points, over six rebounds and 5.4 blocks a game last year as a junior, is the only senior on Ohio State’s squad this season.

A change in lineup
Ohio State used its second starting lineup of the season with sophomore Sean Connolly starting in place of sophomore Brent Darby against Eastern Kentucky. Darby had a slight knee sprain but did play vs. the Colonels. According to STATS Inc., Ohio State was among just six schools to use just one or two different starting lineups in 1999-00. Hawaii used the same starters all season. Ohio State, Southern Illinois, St. John’s, Vermont and Wofford used just two lineups in 1999-00.

2-year home record rates high at OSU
Ohio State has compiled a 40-5 (.889) record over three seasons in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were 14-1 in the inaugural season in VCA (1998-99) and notched a 15-2 record at home in 1999-00. In back-to-back seasons in which the Buckeyes have won at least 25 combined home games, the OSU record from 1999-00 of 29-3 stands fourth all-time for home record in consecutive seasons. The 1962-63 teams posted a 25-0 record during a span of 50 home games in which the Buckeyes were undefeated from 1960-64.

Ohio State home record in back-to-back seasons Seasons 2-yr. home Rec. Win Pct. 1962-63 25-0 1.000 1991-92 30-1 .968 1990-91 27-2 .931 1999-00 29-3 .906 1985-86 26-5 .839 1982-83 25-5 .833 1986-87 26-7 .788 1985-86 26-5 .781

OSU 3-pt FG streak extended to 268
Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point field goal attempt over the last 268 games. Brian Brown extended the streak in the first half against Michigan St. (1/21/01). The last time an OSU team missed all attempts from 3-point range was Feb. 2, 1992 when the Buckeyes went 0 for 5 in a 68-58 OSU win over Michigan. Buckeye opponents have a streak of 260-consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer made. Michigan went 0-10 from long range March 3, 1992 in an OSU 75-66 victory, marking the last time an opponent was held without a 3-pointer.

OSU vs. the Big Ten
The Buckeyes opened the Big Ten season Jan. 3 at home against Northwestern. The Buckeyes have more victories over the Wildcats (98) than any other league school. Ohio State has 78 wins each over Michigan and Wisconsin. Illinois has the most wins over the Buckeyes with 95. This is the 89th season of Big Ten play for Ohio State in men’s basketball.

Big Ten Series Records
Illinois 56-95
Indiana 66-92
Iowa 59-67
Michigan 79-67
Michigan State 44-52
Minnesota 70-50
Northwestern 98-44
Penn State 11-12
Purdue 67-77
Wisconsin 78-53
Totals 627-609

Johnson on watch list for Naismith Award
Ken Johnson, a senior on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, is among 30 preseason candidates for the 2000-01 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award. The Naismith Awards program, now in its 33rd year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. Charlie Bell (Michigan State), Cory Bradford (Illinois) and Mike Kelley (Wisconsin) also represent the Big Ten on the list.

Johnson helps Olympic team prepare for Gold in Sydney
Ken Johnson was selected as one of 12 collegiate players who gathered to practice against the 2000 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team last summer in Maui, Hawaii. Johnson was the only true center on the 2000 USA Basketball Men’s Select team and its tallest player at 6-feet 11-inches. The Select team scrimmaged the Olympic team each day during the week-long camp. The camp ended with a nationally-televised (NBC) contest Sept. 2 at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center.

Three student-athletes added for 2001-02 season
Jim O’Brien signed one of the best recruiting classes of his coaching tenure Nov. 8, the first day of the fall men’s basketball signing period.

Matt Sylvester (Loveland, Ohio/Moeller), Terence Dials (Youngstown, Ohio/Boardman) and Brandon Fuss-Cheatham (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) all signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to play for Ohio State.

Sylvester, a 6-foot-7-inch, 200-pound wing forward, is considered to be among the top two players in Ohio. He is ranked by Prep Spotlight Magazine as one of the Top 60 players in the country. Sylvester played for the powerful Cincinnati AAU program. As a junior, he averaged 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds. As a sophomore, Sylvester helped guide Carl Kremer’s Moeller squad to a Division I State Championship.

Dials, the second recruit from Ohio to sign with the Buckeyes, is a 6-foot-9-inch, 240-pound power forward/center. He gives the Buckeyes an athletic big man. As a junior, Dials averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and 4.0 blocks.

Fuss-Cheatham (6-1, 190) is the No. 1-ranked point guard in the Midwest by Vince Baldwin of Midwesthoops.com and the No. 6 nationally-ranked point guard. He also is considered a Top 30 all-around player in the high school class of 2001. He averaged 21.3 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.1 rebounds as a junior. He shot 59 percent from the field (279-476) and 77 percent (123-160) from the free-throw line. He has been Blackhawk’s starting point guard since his freshman season. The Cougars are 85-11 during that time. Over the last two seasons, Blackhawk is 62-4 with two conference championships and a state title.