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Dec. 12, 2002

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Opponent Morehead State
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 1 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 (2-2)

G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3 – Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 20 – Emonte Jernigan, 6-3, Jr.
C 34 – Terence Dials, 6-9, So.
F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

Morehead State
Probable Starters (3-2)

G 11 – Marquis Sykes, 6-0, Sr.
G 4 – Kyle Hankins, 6-2, So.
C 35 – Ike Lopez, 6-9, Sr.
F 50 – Chad McKnight, 6-7, So.
F 24 – Ricky Minard, 6-4, Jr.

Buckeyes, Eagles Meet for 2nd Time
Ohio State is 1-0 in the series between the Buckeyes and the Eagles of Morehead State. The first meeting took place Dec. 16, 2000 in Columbus. The Eagles fell in that contest 93-62. The win was part of a 7-1 December run that year. The Buckeyes finished 20-11 and third in the Big Ten. Eagles Nearly Reach 100 Points in Win
Morehead State improved to 3-2 with a 98-88 road win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Dec. 7. The Eagles opened the season with a 59-56 loss to Arizona State. Morehead State did reach the century mark offensively in its next two outings with wins over Taylor (100-77) and Asbury (100-54) before dropping an 80-74 contest to Wright State.

Three Eagles Call Ohio Home
Senior guard Marquis Sykes, junior guard Ricky Minard and sophomore forward Chad McKnight all played high school basketball in Ohio before signing on to play college basketball in Kentucky for Morehead State. Sykes and Minard played for hometown Mansfield and McKnight played for Lancaster. Minard is the team’s leading scorer with over 23 points per game. Sykes averages 9.8 ppg., and McKnight is third on the team at 9.0 ppg.

Buckeyes Improve to 2-2 vs. TTU
Terence Dials scored seven of his 13 points during an 18-2 first-half spurt and Ohio State withstood repeated threats down the stretch to hold off Tennessee Tech 71-64. After trailing by as many as 16 points in the opening half, the Golden Eagles drew to 59-57 on two free throws by Antwyon Jones with 4:56 left. They never got closer. Ohio State’s Velimir Radinovic scored on a bucket inside off an assist from Brent Darby before the teams traded foul shots. Sean Connolly, who scored 14 points, hit a runner while cutting through the lane before Tech’s Brent Jolly made a 3-pointer. Emonte Jernigan then scored for the Buckeyes on a drive. Damien Kinloch, who had 10 rebounds to go with his eight points, hit a layup off a pass from Greg Morgan to draw Tech to 66-63 with 1:39 left. The Buckeyes put the game away on a Zach Williams basket inside – Darby again on the assist – with Williams, Jernigan and Connolly each hitting free throws in the closing seconds. Darby had eight assists, tying a career high, to go with his 15 points and four rebounds. Williams added 11 points. Dials had 11 rebounds to go with his 13 points for his first career double-double.

Noting the Win over Tennessee Tech

Ohio State is 3-0 all time vs. Tennessee Tech and 11-0 all timein games vs. the Ohio Valley Conference. With three 3-pointers madeagainst Tennessee Tech, senior Brent Darby moved into eighth placeon the career-made 3-pointers list with 108. He also is ninth onthe career 3-pointers attempted chart with 276. Redshirt freshmanMatt Sylvester connected on his first career 3-pointer as a Buckeyeat 10:12 in the first half. Ohio State went on a 23-12 run in thefinal eight minutes of the first half to build a 35-24 lead at thebreak. Brent Darby led Ohio State with nine first half points.Brent Darby’s 50 points in the last two games are his bestback-to-back scoring efforts of his career. He scored 35 againstDuke and 15 against Tennessee Tech. As a junior, Darby recorded 26points against Northwestern (2/2/02) and scored 22 points atWisconsin (2/6/02). He also tallied 22 points against Illinois(1/26/02), the game previous to Northwestern. Darby finished witheight assists against the Golden Eagles, tying a career high.Sophomore Terence Dials recorded the first double-double of hiscareer. Dials scored 13 points and also pulled down 11 rebounds.Brent Darby played 40 minutes for the fourth-consecutive game atthe point-guard position.

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 7, 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. 7/6 Indiana all face the Buckeyes early in the season. With games vs. No. 4 Alabama and No. 4 Duke in the books, the Buckeyes will travel to take on Pittsburgh Dec. 18 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. No. 21 Michigan State plays host to the Buckeyes Jan. 9 in the Big Ten opener. Ohio State travels to No. 15/14 Illinois Feb. 9.

Roster Down Two Following Injuries
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a sophomore point guard, and Shun Jenkins, a junior forward, have been out 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. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand. He had surgery Nov. 27 and will miss 3-5 weeks of game action.

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

Darby Ranks 2nd Among Big Ten Scorers
Senior Brent Darby has the second-highest scoring average among Big Ten players this season with 18.8 points per game. Bracey Wright of Indiana is the conference leader with 19.1 ppg. in seven games. Darby also is fourth in assists with an average of 5.0 a contest.

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 97 games at Providence (30) and Ohio State (67). Darby as played in 94 games as a Buckeye with 52 career starts.

Buckeyes Set Playing Time Records
With a roster depleted by injuries, Jim O’Brien, Ohio State head coach, has substituted little in the first three games of the season. Seniors Brent Darby and Sean Connolly have played all but two minutes this season, combined. Darby has not left a game for more than a few seconds all year. Junior Zach Williams has played all but one minute this season. Connolly and Williams have set career highs in minutes played, each with 40-minutes games this season. Darby played 41 minutes in an overtime loss to Wisconsin (2/6/02) last year.

Minard Lone Eagle in Double Figures
Mansfield, Ohio, native Ricky Minard, a junior forward for Morehead State, leads the team offensively with 23.8 points per game. He has been the leading scorer for the Eagles in each game, which includes a 42-point effort against Taylor Nov. 26. He is connecting on over 53 percent of his field goal attempts (42-79) and on half of his 3-point attempts (15-30). He also excels at the foul line where he has connected on 20-of-25 (.800) charity tosses. In addition, he is the team’s leading rebounder (6.8 rpg.) and is tops in steals (13). Another Mansfield, Ohio, native, Marquis Sykes, a senior guard, has averaged nearly 10 points a games (9.8) and is the team’s leader in assists with 35.

Eagle Offensive Productive Early
Morehead State averages nearly 86 points a game and is outscoring their first five opponents by 14 points a game (85.6-71.6). The Eagles are connecting on over 56 percent of their shots from the field (160-285). Morehead State already has reached 100 points twice and scored 98 in their last outing, a 98-88 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Buckeyes Undefeated Against OVC
Ohio State owns a 11-0 record against teams representing the Ohio Valley Conference. The Buckeyes have played each conference member, except Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri State. Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech have each provided the competition in three of the 11 games. The Buckeyes will battle three OVC members this season. Ohio State defeated Tennessee Tech 71-64 Dec. 7 and will face Tennessee State Dec. 28 in Value City Arena.

OSU vs. the OVC Austin Peay 0-0 Eastern Illinois 1-0 Eastern Kentucky 3-0 Morehead State 1-0 Murray State 1-0 Southeast Missouri State 0-0 Tennessee-Martin 1-0 Tennessee State 1-0 Tennessee Tech 3-0 Totals 11-0

Macy in Year Six at Morehead
Kyle Macy has a career record of 58-85 in his six seasons as the head coach at Morehead State. The Eagles were 18-11 a year ago with an 11-5 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference, which was good enough for second place in the regular-season race. Macy, born in Kendalville, Ind., and a high school standout at Peru (Ind.) High School, was a two-time All-American at the University of Kentucky and played on the Wildcats’ 1978 national championship team. He played three seasons at Kentucky after spending one season at Purdue.

This Date In History
Ohio State is 14-4 in games played on Dec 14. Ohio State has won its last five games, all at home, on this date. The last was a 92-56 win over Tennessee-Martin, another Ohio Valley Conference member, in 1996.

OSU on Dec. 14 12/14/27 W Ohio University 38-26 12/14/28 W Pennsylvania 29-23 12/14/29 W Ohio University 26-24 12/14/35 W Evansville 38-21 12/14/39 W Wabash 34-22 12/14/40 L Butler 49-51 12/14/57 L Texas A&M 69-72 12/14/68 W Harvard 89(13)-74 12/14/74 W Ohio University 96-87 12/14/77 W Cal. Poly-Pomona 90-63 12/14/82 L @Syracuse 85-91(16) 12/14/83 W @Tulane 80-57 12/14/85 L vs Arkansas (ot) 70(20)-79 12/14/88 W Nebraska 103(14)-76 12/14/91 W Howard 114(4)-53 12/14/93 W Cal-Santa Barbara 79-56 12/14/96 W George Mason 102-72 12/14/98 W Tenn. Martin 92-56

Next 7 of 8 Games at Home
After playing two of the first three games of the season away from home, the Buckeyes play seven of their next eight contests at Value City Arena. The only away game, the only true road contest of the non-conference season after a pair of neutral-site matchups, will be at No. 5 Pittsburgh Dec. 18. Tennessee Tech (W, 71-64/Dec. 7) and Morehead State visit Columbus before the game against the Panthers. Ohio State then plays host to Seton Hall (Dec. 21), Radford (Dec. 23), Tennessee State (Dec. 28), Hampton (Dec. 30) and Louisville (Jan. 4). The Buckeyes open the Big Ten season at Michigan State Jan. 9.

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 eighth all-time in career 3-pointers made with 108 after knocking down three long-range attempts against Tennessee Tech. 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 857 career points with 50, 35 vs. Duke, last week in two games. 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.

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.

Sylvester Begins Buckeye Career-Again
Matt Sylvester opens the 2002-03 season with the hopes of playing a more significant role for the Buckeyes after sitting out the majority of his true-freshman season. Sylvester played in three early games in 2001-02 before back and calf injuries forced him to the sidelines for the remainder of his freshman year. He received a medical redshirt to retain four years of eligibility.

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.

Nwankwo, Sherman Added to Roster
Jim O’Brien added a pair of walkons to the Ohio State men’s basketball roster in early November. Sophomore Ugo Nwankwo (OO-go WAN-kwo) and junior Nick Sherman, both guards, are eligible to practice and play for the Buckeyes this season. Nwankwo (6-2, 185) is a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Sherman (6-3, 190) is a Dayton, Ohio, native.

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 95-37 (.725) in the 132 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 home opener against Coppin State. Ohio State is 60-8 (.882) 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.

Ohio State 4-2 in Last 6 vs. Top 10 Foes
Ohio State is 54-104 (.342) all-time in games against Top 10 opponents. The Buckeyes are 4-2 in the last six games against Top 10 teams. No. 3 Michigan State (64-55) and No. 3 Illinois (63-61) fell in 2001. No. 9 Iowa (72-72) and No. 10 Illinois (94-88) lost to the Buckeyes in 2002. No. 4 Alabama broke a four-game winning streak vs. Top 10 foes with a 54-48 win over Ohio State at the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic Nov. 29. No. 4 Duke downed the Buckeyes 91-76 Dec. 3. The Buckeyes were not ranked in any of these games. The last time the Buckeyes downed a non-Big Ten foe ranked in the Top 10 was March 20, 1999. Ohio State beat No. 9 St. John’s 77-74 to advance to the Final Four. That game followed a 71-64 win over No. 4 Auburn in the 1999 South Regional semifinals played in Knoxville, Tenn., March 18.