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Feb. 11, 2003

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Opponent Penn State
Site Bryce Jordan Center (15,261)
Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
TV ESPN Plus
Local TV WBNS 10 TV
TV Talent Wayne Larrivee (P-by-P), Frank Giardinia (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 (11-10, 4-6)

G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3 – Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 40 – Matt Sylvester, 6-7, So.
C 50 – Shun Jenkins, 6-6, Jr.
F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

Penn State Nittany Lions
Probable Starters (5-14, 0-8)

G 33 – DeForrest Riley, 6-6, Fr.
G 10 – Brandon Watkins, 6-1, Sr.
F 44 – Ndu Egekeze, 6-6, Jr.
F 22 – Jan Jagla, 7-0, So.
F 21 – Robert Summers, 6-11, Fr.

Connolly 10 away from 1,000 Career Pts.
Ohio State senior Sean Connolly needs 10 points to reach 1,000 for his collegiate career. He scored 330 as a freshman at Providence College before making the move to Ohio State. In three seasons as a Buckeye he has scored 660 points to give him a career total of 990 heading into the game at Penn State.

Buckeyes Own Narrow Lead in Series
Ohio State has won 13 games in the series with Penn State with the Nittany Lions claiming victory in 12 contests. Ohio State has won three of the last five games, including the lone meeting last year, a 76-57 victory in Columbus. Ohio State is 4-6 in State College, Pa., and 9-4 in Columbus. The teams have met twice at neutral sites, once at the 2000 Big Ten Tournament and once at the 1950 MSU Holiday Classic in East Lansing, Mich. The Nittany Lions have won both neutral site games.

Penn State Plays Season of Steaks
Penn State started the season with six-consecutive losses before winning five games without a loss before the start of the Big Ten season. Since league play began, the Nittany Lions have gone winless in eight attempts heading into the game with the Buckeyes.

PSU Uses Layoff After Loss to Prepare for Buckeyes
The Iowa Hawkeyes used a 17-2 run over the game’s final eight minutes to pull away from Penn State and claim a 75-55 win over the Nittany Lions Feb. 5. Iowa used tough defense to force Penn State into a 20 of 69 shooting night (.290) from the field. The Hawkeyes, leading by just three at the 8:36 mark (56-53) limited Penn State to just two more points for the remainder of the game. Chauncey Leslie led the Hawkeyes during that spurt with nine points (all at the free throw line). Leslie led Iowa with 22 points in the game, had six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Penn State freshman DeForrest Riley (Cincinnati, Ohio) kept Penn State in the game early, acting as the lone hot hand in a first half that saw Penn State take 42 shots from the field, but make only 11. Riley was the exception to Penn State’s cold touch from the field as he hit four of eight shots, including three treys, to score 11 points in the first half. The Nittany Lions outrebounded Iowa 27-19 in the first half, including a superb 14 offensive boards.

Nittany Lions Led by Veteran Guards
Penn State has two players in double figures offensively with junior guard Sharif Chambliss (14.5 ppg.) leading senior running mate Brandon Watkins (13.7 ppg.). Jan Jagla, a sophomore forward, is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.8 rebounds per game.

Dunn in 8th Season as PSU Head Coach
Williams Plays Best Against Penn State
Junior forward Zach Williams has played his best basketball statistically in games against the Nittany Lions. In three career meetings, he has averaged 11.6 points while shooting 74 percent from the field (14-19). He also is the top rebounder with more than one game played against the Nittany Lions with 4.3 rebounds a game. Terence Dials, who has missed the last several weeks with a back injury, scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his only game against Penn State last year.

Ohio State vs. Ranked Opponents
The Buckeyes are 126-200 all-time against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. In the last five years, Ohio State has won 22 of 42 (.524) games against ranked foes.

Radinovic Misses Gopher/Illinois Games
Junior center Velimir Radinovic missed games against Minnesota Feb. 5 and Illinois Sunday with an injury to the little finger on his left hand. Radinovic watched the Ohio State win over the Golden Gophers from a hospital room, where he spent two nights as a precaution while receiving intravenous antibiotics. The injury occurred Feb. 4 during practice when an interior pass caused a compound dislocation near the tip of the left little finger. Because the small bone at the tip of the finger broke the skin and was exposed, Radinovic needed the extended hospital stay to avoid infection. It will be a game-time decision on whether or not he will be available against Penn State.

Darby Among Big Ten Leaders
Senior Brent Darby is second in scoring among Big Ten players with 18.0 points per game behind Illinois’ Brian Cook (20.7). Darby also is No. 7 in assists (4.14 apg.) and No. 3 in steals (1.71 spg.). In 3-point shooting statistics, Darby rates No. 10 in 3-pointers made per game (1.86).

Radinovic, Jenkins Among Leaders in Big Ten Conference Games
Junior center Velimir Radinovic has connected on 58 percent of his shots from the field in conference games (29-50) to rank No. 3 in the Big Ten. Junior Shun Jenkins is the sixth-best rebounder in league games with an average of 6.8 a game. He also is the No. 4-rated offensive rebounder in conference games with an average of 2.70 in 10 league games.

Darby Moves Up Scoring Chart, Connolly Closing on 1,000 Points
Senior guard Brent Darby became the 41st player at Ohio State to score 1,000 career points during his 28-point effort against Indiana (1/11). Darby has 1,160 career points and is No. 27 all-time on the Ohio State scoring chart. Lawrence Funderburke (1,179/1992-94) is next on the all-time scoring list at No. 26. Sean Connolly has scored 990 career points, which includes 330 while a freshman at Providence. At least one player has reached 1,000 points in each of the last five years at Ohio State. Michael Redd (5th/1,879) and Jason Singleton (40th/1,022) reached 1,000 in 1999 followed by Scoonie Penn (35th/1,076) in 2000, Ken Johnson (37th/1,055) in 2001 and Brian Brown (19th/1,384) in 2002.

Darby, Connolly Among Best 3-Point Shooters in Buckeye History
Sean Connolly has made 115 of 303 (.380) career 3-pointers in three seasons as a Buckeye. He is No. 4 all-time in 3-point shooting percentage among players with more than 200 career attempts. He is No. 7 in 3-pointers made and attempts as well. Senior Brent Darby is No. 7 in 3-point shooting percentage (.366) and is No. 4 in made (137) and No. 5 in attempted (374) 3-pointers.

Darby, Connolly Get Little Pine Time
Senior guards Brent Darby and Sean Connolly have little experience watching game action this season. Darby averages a team-high 37.7 minutes a game. Connolly plays 36.7 minutes a contest. Darby has played 40 or more minutes in 10 games, including six of the last 11 contests. Connolly has not come out of five games and has played 39 in two others. He played a season-low 18 minutes against Minnesota Feb. 5.

Three Buckeyes Playing More than 34 Minutes Per Game
Jim O’Brien has not had three players log more than 34 minutes per game until this season. Seniors Sean Connolly (36.7) and Brent Darby (37.7) along with junior Zach Williams (34.3) all have trouble finding time to rest this season. The Buckeyes have used 10 different starting lineups because of injuries but Darby, Connolly and Williams remain the anchors of the Buckeye lineup. No Buckeye in O’Brien’s six years has averaged as many minutes as Connolly or Darby since Michael Redd played 37.9 minutes a game as a freshman in 1997-98. Three other players averaged 30 or more minutes that season, but not more than 34 a contest.

O’Brien Nearing Win No. 350
Ohio State head coach Jim O’Brien has won 113 games in Columbus with the Buckeyes in six seasons. His career total of 348 wins includes 67 victories at St. Bonaventure and 168 victories at Boston College. With at least seven games remaining this season, O’Brien has averaged 18.8 wins a season at Ohio State, which includes an 8-22 record his first season in Columbus and a school-record four-consecutive 20-win seasons heading into the 2002-03 campaign.

Darby Leading Ohio State to Team Foul Shooting Mark of 73 percent
Brent Darby has been to the foul line 10 or more times in seven games this season. In those games, he has made 70 of 88 free throws (.800). He leads Ohio State in free throws made (131) and attempted (164). As a team, Ohio State has connected on 386 of 534 free throws for a .723 accuracy rating.

Buckeye Success at Foul Line Best Since 1990-91 Season
Ohio State has not shot a better percentage from the free throw line since the 1991-92 season when the Buckeyes connected on 506-702 foul shots for a .721 shooting percentage. Ohio State has made 386-534 (.723) free throws this year. The last time the Buckeyes finished the season above .700 at the foul line was in 1999-00 when the Buckeyes knocked down 443-629 free throws (.704). Ohio State is on pace to make over 500 foul shots for the second-consecutive season. The last time an Ohio State team made 500 or more foul shots in back-to-back seasons came in 1990-91 (551-778/.708) and 1991-92 (506-702/.721).

Ohio State vs. the Big Ten Conference
Ohio State has a winning record against the Big Ten Conference overall and has a winning mark all-time against five league members. This is the 91st season Ohio State has been affiliated with the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes have won or shared 17 league titles, including the 2001-02 co-championship.

Ohio State vs. The Big Ten Illinois 59-96 Indiana 68-95 Iowa 64-68 Michigan 82-68 Michigan State 45-55 Minnesota 72-51 Northwestern 102-44 Penn State 13-12 Purdue 70-78 Wisconsin 79-56 Totals 654-623

This Date In History
Ohio State is 13-13 in games played on Feb. 12. The Buckeyes have won six of the last seven games on this date.

OSU on Feb. 12 2/12/09 W Wooster 44-16 2/12/16 L @Indiana 17-26 2/12/17 L Minnesota 16-19 2/12/18 W @Indiana 23-21 2/12/21 L @Purdue 23-41 2/12/23 L Iowa 25-36 2/12/26 L @Northwestern 18-27 2/12/27 L Purdue 29-33 2/12/34 L @Wisconsin 23-42 2/12/38 W Purdue 37-29 2/12/40 L @Iowa 33-43 2/12/44 W Iowa 56-42 2/12/49 L @Illinois 49(18)-64(4) 2/12/51 L @Illinois 59-79(16) 2/12/52 W Northwestern 79-61 2/12/55 L @Wisconsin 63-86 2/12/62 W @Michigan 72(1)-57 2/12/66 W Purdue 68-54 2/12/68 L @Wisconsin 78-86 2/12/72 W Purdue 64(7)-62 2/12/73 W @Iowa 86-80 2/12/77 L Michigan State 57-71 2/12/81 W @Michigan 105-87(13) 2/12/83 W @Minnesota 74-69(19) 2/12/87 W @Wisconsin 83-69 2/12/00 W Penn State 88(5)-75

Illinois Handles Ohio State in Champaign
Brian Cook scored 22 points and reserve Roger Powell added 14 as No. 16 Illinois built a 32-point lead and then held off a late rally for a 76-57 victory over Ohio State. Illinois made a season-high 12 3-pointers in winnings its 14th-straight home game. Powell was 5-of-5 for the Illini, which shot 50 percent from the field, including 12-of-28 on 3s, and held the Buckeyes to 31 percent shooting. Darren Williams had 12 points for Illinois on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. The Buckeyes trailed by 32 points early in the second half. A 14-0 run, with half the points coming from Brent Darby, helped cut the deficit in half with 7:58 left. But Ohio State never got the lead under double digits. Darby lead the Buckeyes with 20 points. Ohio State’s zone defense frustrated Illinois early, collapsing on Cook and James Augustine in the post and forcing the Illini to shoot long jumpers. That didn’t last long. Held to one field goal over the first three minutes, Illinois quickly adjusted and outscored the Buckeyes 14-0 over the next 5:02.

Noting the Game vs. Illinois

Junior center Velimir Radinovic and senior guard Sean Connollydid not make the trip to Champaign. Both remained in Columbus toreceive treatment of finger (Radinovic) and ankle (Connolly)injuries.. Freshman Charles Bass played the first significantstretch of minutes against his home state Illini and responded witha team high six rebounds while adding four points and a block in acareer high 20 minutes. Freshman Nate Salley played a career-high15 minutes off the bench, he grabbed three rebounds, recorded asteal and scored two points. Jim O’Brien started the 10 differentstarting lineup of the season in the game against the Illini. BrentDarby, Emonte Jernigan, Matt Sylvester, Zach Williams and ShunJenkins started for the first time as a unit. Brent Darby moved to27th all time in career scoring with 20 points against the Illini.He has scored 1,160 in his Ohio State career.

Four Foes Among Top 25 Teams in Associated Press Poll
Ohio State has played 10 teams and 11 games against teams currently ranked or receiving votes in the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls. No. 2/2 Louisville, No. 7/7 Pittsburgh, No. 8/8 Duke, and No. 14/13 Illinois all have faced the Buckeyes this season. Purdue (RV/25), Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota are all receiving votes in one or both polls.

Key Buckeyes Miss 34 Games to Date With Various Injuries
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham (7 games), a sophomore point guard, Shun Jenkins (8), a junior forward, Terence Dials (15), a sophomore center, senior guard Sean Connolly (2) and junior center Velimir Radinovic (2) have missed game action recovering from injuries. Fuss-Cheatham, who started both exhibition contests and then missed the first four regular-season games and two contests in Big Ten play, went down with an injury to his left knee in an exhibition game against the Harlem Globetrotters. The injury, a partially torn lateral meniscus, required arthroscopic surgery Nov. 25. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand against the Globetrotters. He had surgery Nov. 27 and missed the first eight games of the season. He had the pins removed Dec. 19 and played for the first time as a Buckeye against Tennessee State. Dials has missed the last 14 games with a stress fracture in his lumbar spine (level 2). He is out indefinitely. He last played against Pittsburgh Dec. 18. Connolly did not play at Michigan State or at Illinois while recovering from a left ankle sprains sustained Jan. 4 against Louisville and Feb. 1 vs. Northwestern. Radinovic suffered a compound dislocation to his left little finger Feb. 4 and missed the Minnesota game Feb. 5 and the Illinois game Feb. 9.

Connolly, Darby Reach 100 Career Games Played
Sean Connolly reached 100 games played against Seton Hall. Connolly played a total of 30 games at Providence and has appeared in 82 at Ohio State. Brent Darby has played in 111 games as a Buckeye with 69 career starts.

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.

Winning Percentage Soars for O’Brien in Last Four Seasons
Jim O’Brien has won 71 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 104-44 (.703) in the 148 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 season titles (2000 and 2002) and a claiming one Big Ten tournament crown (2002).

Buckeyes Fare Well vs. the Ranked at Value City Arena
No. 15 Indiana (W, 81-69) was the 15th opponent to visit Value City Arena with an AP national ranking since the facility opened in 1998. Ohio State has won 12 of 15 previous games against ranked foes at home under head coach Jim O’Brien at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were 4-1 in 1998-99, 1-0 in 1999-00, 3-1 in 2000-01 and 3-0 in 2001-02 against ranked teams at home. No. 9 Kansas (2000), No. 12 Iowa (1999) and No. 24 Louisville (2003) are the only ranked teams to claim victory at VCA.

Fans Boost Buckeye Record in Sellouts
Value City Arena has been sold out for 25 games in the last five years since the building opened in 1998. The Buckeyes have won 21 of those games for a winning percentage of .840 when the VCA is sold out. Iowa, Kansas, Indiana and Michigan State are the only teams to overcome the home crowd and the Buckeyes in sold out games at VCA. Jim O’Brien led Ohio State to a 1-0 record in 1998-99, a 11-1 mark in 1999-00, a 3-2 effort in 2000-01 and a 5-1 record in 2001-02 in sold out games at VCA. Ohio State is 1-0 this season.

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 50-41 (.549) in conference openers, 62-29 (.681) in league home openers and 34-57 (.374) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play.

Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
The Buckeyes are in the fifth season at Value City Arena. Ohio State is 68-11 (.861) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign.

Ohio State Win 10 Home Games for 5th Season in a Row
With the 73-68 win over Minnesota Feb. 5, Ohio State extended its steak to five years in which the Buckeyes have won at least 10 home games in a season. Ohio State is 10-3 this season with three remaining home contests against Iowa, Purdue and Michigan State. Ohio State started the streak with a 14-1 home record in 1998-99. The Buckeyes were 15-2 in 1999-00, 14-3 in 2000-01 and 15-2 in 2001-02. The last time Ohio State put together five-consecutive seasons with 10 or more home wins was from 1985-1994, a stretch of 10 seasons with 10 or more victories in St. John Arena.

Salley Added to Buckeye Roster
Nate Salley, a freshman safety on the Ohio State football team, joined the men’s basketball team Jan. 7. Salley took three days off after helping the football team win the national title before donning basketball practice gear and working out with Jim O’Brien’s squad. Salley, a 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound guard, averaged more than 19 points a game as a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He wore the No. 21 on the football field and will do same as a member of the basketball team. On the gridiron, he played in all 14 games, primarily on special teams, recording six total tackles and three solos.