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Jan. 19, 2001

Game Notes in .PDF format

Opponent: No. 3 Michigan State
Site: Breslin Center (14,659)
Game Time: 1 p.m. (EST)
TV: CBS
Local TV: WBNS 10 TV
TV Talent: Verne Lundquist (P-by-P)
Billy Packer (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 (12-5, 3-2)

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. 3 Michigan State Spartans
Probable Starters (14-1, 3-1)

G Charlie Bell, 6-3, Sr.
G Marcus Taylor, 6-3, Fr.
C Zach Randolph, 6-9, Fr.
F Andre Hutson, 6-8, Sr.
F Jason Richardson, 6-6, So.

Balanced Buckeye attack upends UM
Brian Brown scored 18 points – including the first seven in an 18-0 first-half run – as Ohio State beat Michigan 78-61, handing the Wolverines their 10th-consecutive road loss. Boban Savovic and Ken Johnson each scored 17 points and Sean Connolly had 11 for the Buckeyes. Bernard Robinson had 17 points, Josh Asselin 15 – hitting 13-of-14 free throws – and LaVell Blanchard finished with 13 points for Michigan. Ohio State took the lead for good with the burst in the first half as Michigan missed nine-consecutive shots from the field and had four turnovers over a 7:17 span. Brown hit a 3-pointer, slashed through the lane for a layup and added a dunk to start the run as the Buckeyes turned an 8-4 deficit into a 22-8 lead. The Buckeyes were on top 41-26 at the half, but Michigan battled back to cut the lead to 52-47 on a pair of Asselin free throws with 8:54 remaining. A Robinson 12-footer kept the Wolverines within five points at 58-53 with 6:29 left before Savovic hit consecutive 3-pointers. Savovic set up his first 3, stealing a pass from Robinson and then saving the ball before he fell out of bounds at midcourt. His second 3 was a looping shot from the right corner over the outstretched arm of Asselin. The lead never fell below seven points again. Johnson also had five rebounds and six blocked shots for the Buckeyes, while Brown had six assists. Ohio State has won the last four meetings and holds a 79-67 lead in the series between the rivals.

Noting the win over Michigan

Ohio State is now 40-5 all-time and 11-2 this season at ValueCity Arena. Michigan is now 0-2 in VCA. Ohio State leads theall-time series 79-67 over Michigan. OSU has won four consecutivemeetings with the Wolverines by an average of 15.25 points pergame. Boban Savovic scored a career high 17 points, topping hisprevious best of 16, set vs. Tennessee-Martin during his freshmanseason (12/14/98). He also tied a career high with four steals,matching his previous best, set vs. Michigan at the 1999 Big TenTournament (3/5/99). Savovic has played some of his best basketballagainst Michigan, averaging 9.25 points per contest. That includesa zero-point performance during his freshman season. Ohio Stateextended its streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-pointgoal made when Brian Brown hit a 3-pointer early in the first half.Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point goal in267-consecutive games. Ken Johnson started his 109th career game.He stands two starts 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 389 in his career. That leaves him 39behind former Penn State star Calvin Booth, who rejected 428 from1995-99. In seven career games, Johnson has 26 career blocksagainst Michigan – his most against any Big Ten foe. Johnson,second in field goal percentage (.697) during Big Ten play,continued his torrid shooting with a 7-of-11 performance. Johnsonentered the contest trailing only Michigan’s Josh Moore, who camein 9-of-9 from the field, but went 0-for-2 vs. the Buckeyes. With70 blocked shots this season, Johnson stands ninth on the OSUsingle-season chart – just eight behind eighth-place Herb Williams(78). Johnson holds the top two spots on the chart with 161 lastseason and 100 in 1998-99. Sean Connolly drilled all six of hisfree throw attempts. He has not missed a free throw since the St.John’s game (0-1), going 14-of-14. OSU hit 53.8 percent (7-of-13)from 3-point range, marking the second straight game the Buckeyeshave topped the 50-percent mark from long range. OSU shot 53.3percent (8-of-15) from 3-point range vs. Minnesota.

Buckeyes seek 7th win over a defending national champion
Ohio State has met the defending national champion 28 times in history and have a 6-21 record in those games. The Buckeyes have a record 22-50 record against teams who participated in the Final Four the previous year. The Buckeyes will meet 2000 Final Four teams in each of the next three games, including defending national champion Michigan State. 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.

Johnson has quality week, Buckeyes prepare for tough road ahead
Ken Johnson scored a career high and recorded his second-consecutive double double with a 24-point, 10-rebound effort in a home loss to Penn State in which the Buckeyes connected on 57 percent of their shots from the field. Johnson came back to score 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor, in a 75-72 home win over Minnesota. For the week, Johnson connected on 72 percent of his shots from the field (13-18) and 69 percent of his foul shots (11-16) while averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. As a team, OSU connected on 53 percent of its shots from the floor (53-101) and 46 percent of its 3-point tries. Ohio State will host Michigan Jan. 18 before embarking on a brutal week in which Ohio State will face Michigan State twice (Jan. 21 at MSU/Jan. 27 at OSU) and Wisconsin (Jan. 24) on the road for a string of three games against teams from the 2000 Final Four. The Buckeyes play 7-of-11 Big Ten games on the road following the home game vs. Michigan Jan. 18.

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 305-260 in 19 seasons as a head coach. He has a record of 70-43, including a record of 62-21 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.

Homestand longest since 1910
Ohio State ended a nine-game homestand vs. Northwestern and completed a span of 12 home games in 13 outings against Michigan. The homestand began vs. E. Ky. (W 90-44, 12/2/00). The Buckeyes then hosted Denver (W 83-46, 12/7/00), Massachusetts (W 54-51, 12/10/00), St. John’s (W 71-58, 12/13/00), Morehead State (W 93-62, 12/16/00), Robert Morris (W 99-46, 12/20/00), No. 9 Kansas (L 69-68, 12/23/00), Coppin State (W 80-42, 12/30/00) and Northwestern (1/3/01). OSU then traveled to Illinois (L 83-68, 1/6/01) before returning home to host Penn State (L 78-75, 1/10/01), Minnesota (W 75-72, 1/13/01) and Michigan (W 78-61, 1/18/01). The last time Ohio State hosted nine-consecutive games was at the start of the 1910 season when OSU played at home for the first 10 games of the season in an 11-1 campaign. The Buckeyes were 9-1 in that homestand. The Buckeyes finished 8-1 in the most recent home streak.

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 4.11 blocks a game (70).

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 70 blocks on the season for a career total of 389, 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 4.11 blocks a game this season.

1,000 career points on horizon for Johnson
In 113 career games, senior Ken Johnson is closing on career point No. 1,000 as a Buckeye. He has scored 884 for a career scoring average of 7.8 a contest in his four seasons at Ohio State. With a 116 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 4.11 rejections a game. With a .590 field goal shooting percentage, he rates No. 4. Sophomore Sean Connolly is the second best 3-point shooter in the conference with a .475 shooting percentage. Junior Brian Brown is No. 4 in steals (1.82) and junior Boban Savovic is No. 4, just behind Connolly, in 3-point shooting (.448).

Johnson moving up career starts list
Ken Johnson has started 109 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.

Spartans survive overtime vs. Badgers
Jason Richardson’s four 3-pointers, spectacular alley-oop dunk and 25 points would have meant nothing if Charlie Bell had not made two key plays vs. Wisconsin last week. Bell came through at both ends of the court as No. 3 Michigan State rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minute of regulation and beat No. 17 Wisconsin 69-59 in overtime in a rematch from last season’s Final Four. Wisconsin went on a 17-2 run late in the second half to take a 55-52 lead with 4:01 left, but the Badgers lost their third straight game. After Wisconsin’s Mike Kelley missed the front end of a one-and-one at the line, Bell, who had missed three consecutive 3-pointers, made a shot from beyond the arc to tie the game at 57 with 28.5 seconds left. Bell forced Wisconsin’s Mark Vershaw into a contested 10-foot shot with about two seconds left, and the game went to overtime, where Michigan State outscored Wisconsin 12-2. Bell, Andre Hutson and Zach Randolph each scored 10 points for Michigan State, which has won seven consecutive games against Wisconsin. Roy Boone led the Badgers with 22 points, and Vershaw added 18.

Michigan State led by experience
Seniors Charlie Bell (16.5 ppg.) and Andre Hutson (13.3) are among four Spartans players averaging double figures in scoring. Sophomore Jason Richardson (15.5 ppg.) and freshman center Zach Randolph (11.3) are the others. Hutson is the leading rebounder at 7.7 rpg.

Izzo in sixth season in East Lansing
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has a career record of 134-49 in six seasons at Michigan State. The defending national champions are 14-1 this season following a 32-7 campaign last year. The Buckeyes tied the Spartans for a share of the 2000 Big Ten Championship with 13-3 records.

The Michigan State series
Michigan State leads the all-time series 51-44, which includes a 34-13 edge in East Lansing. The Buckeyes are 31-17 in Columbus. The Buckeyes snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 78-67 win in Columbus last year. Michigan State won in East Lansing 83-72 to even the season series a year ago.

The Buckeyes vs. Michigan State
Junior Brian Brown is the leading scorer in games played against the Spartans with 7.6 points a game in three career meetings. Brown has connected on 10-of-14 shots from the field (.714) vs. Michigan State. Senior Ken Johnson averages 7.3 points and a team high 5.3 rebounds against the Spartans. No current OSU player has made a 3-pointer against MSU.

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 (29-61, .475) just ahead of junior Boban Savovic (26-58, .448). Sophomore Brent Darby is the team’s leading free throw shooter (20-26, .769). Ken Johnson is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.8 a game. He is the most accurate Buckeye from the field as well hitting 59 percent of his shots (79-134). Brown leads in assists with 70 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 four are receiving votes. Michigan State (3/3), Kansas (5/5), Syracuse (8/9), Illinois (11/10), Iowa (14/16), Alabama (16/12) and Wisconsin (19/18) are rated in the Top 25. Purdue, Penn State, St. John’s and Minnesota all are receiving votes in at least one of the polls.

Johnson’s name appears 3 times in OSU single season blocks chart
With 70 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 389 blocks in his career after swatting six against Michigan. 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- 389 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 267
Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point field goal attempt over the last 267 games. Brian Brown extended the streak in the first half against Michigan (1/18/01). 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 259-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 44-51
Minnesota 70-50
Northwestern 98-44
Penn State 11-12
Purdue 67-77
Wisconsin 78-53
Totals 627-608

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.