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Nov. 11, 2006

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Date: Nov. 11, 2006
Opponent: Loyola, Ill. (1-0)
Site: Value City Arena (18,500)
Game Time: 8 p.m. ET
Television: ONN
Local TV: None
TV Talent: Tom Hamilton (P by P), Bill Hosket (Expert Analysis)
Radio: OSU Radio Network (59 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

Ohio State Handles VMI, Take on Loyola Saturday
The regular-season opened for Ohio State Friday with a 107-69 victory against Virginia Military Institute in the first round of the SportsTime Ohio Black Coaches Association Classic in Columbus at Value City Arena. The event runs through Sunday. Ohio State will play at 8 p.m. each night of the event. The Buckeyes will face Loyola in the semifinal round Saturday. Daequan Cook scored 22 points and No. 4/7 Ohio State’s 2006 recruiting class opened the season with a record-setting 107-69 victory over VMI. Cook, who came off the bench, also had nine rebounds to lead the freshmen. His 22 points is the most by an Ohio State freshman in an opener since Michael Redd’s total of 21 in 1997. Classmates David Lighty added 11 points and Mike Conley Jr. totaled 10 assists, which tied for the second most assists by a true freshman in Ohio State history. Othello Hunter, a junior transfer, added eight points and 13 rebounds for the Buckeyes. Among the veterans, Jamar Butler scored 18 points, Ivan Harris 17 and Ron Lewis 15 for the Buckeyes, who have one starter back (Butler) from last year’s team that went 26-6 and won the Big Ten title. The 107 points was an Ohio State record at Value City Arena, breaking by three points the mark set a year ago in a victory over Penn State. It was the biggest production from a Buckeyes team since a 121-96 win over George Mason in early 1995. The Buckeyes also tied an arena record with their 43 field goals. Noting the VMI Game

Ohio State opened its 108th season of men’s basketball Fridaywith a 107-69 win over Virginia Military Institute in the openinground of the BCA Classic in Columbus. The Buckeyes will take onLoyola (Ill.) at 8:05 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals. The Buckeyesare 86-18 in home openers and 82-22 in season openers all-time. TheBuckeyes’ 107 points Friday are a Value City Arena record, toppingthe 104 scored against Penn State Jan. 5, 2006 (104-69), which alsomarked the last time Ohio State scored 100 or more points. OhioState is now 65-1 with reaching the century mark, which includes a46-0 record in Columbus. The 107 points is the most in a regulationgame since a 121-96 win over George Mason Jan. 8, 1995. When rankedas a Top 10 team (No. 4 USA Today and No. 7 in AP) Ohio State hasan all-time record of 196-51. As a Top 25 squad, the Buckeyes are295-91. Thad Matta owns a record of 7-0 in season openers as a headcoach. He was 1-0 at Butler, 3-0 at Xavier and is now 4-0 at OhioState. The Buckeyes are 5-0 all-time vs. members of the Big SouthConference, which includes a record of 1-0 vs. VMI. During Matta’sstint in Columbus, the Buckeyes own a home record of 32-3. He is18-0 in vs. non-conference foes and has a 31-3 record at Value CityArena. Ohio State defeated Chattanooga in a non-league game at St.John Arena in November of 2004. Freshmen Mike Conley Jr. and DavidLighty made their first career starts Friday, marking the firsttime since Michael Redd in 1997 a true freshman started his firstgame in an OSU uniform. Redd made his debut vs. Kent State, scoring21 points in 39 minutes of court time. He also had nine rebounds.Also making their Ohio State debuts were freshman Daequan Cook andjunior Othello Hunter, who also started his first game as aBuckeye. Cook finished with 22 points, the most for a true freshmanin a debut since Redd in 1997. Conley Jr. finished the game with 10assists, one shy of the OSU freshman record. The freshman singlegame record for assists by an Ohio State player is 11 by DamonStringer vs. Central Connecticut (11/26/95). Hunter’s 13 reboundsFriday tied for the fourth-most by an OSU player in Value CityArena. After shooting 13-34 from 3-point range, Ohio State is 34-5all time when making 10 or more 3s in a game. In the last threeyears under Matta, Ohio State is 18-3 when making 10 or more fromlong range. Ohio State set a Value City Arena record with 107points scored. VMI’s 47 3-point attempts also is an opponent andbuilding record. Ohio State’s 43 field goals made also ties abuilding record.

Matta Nears 200 Mark
Thad Matta will coach game No. 199 in his seven year head coaching career in the contest vs. Loyola Saturday. Matta is 149-49 (.753) overall, which includes a record of 47-18 (.723) at Ohio State.

Ohio State Is 86-18 in Home Openers
Ohio State opened its 108th season of men’s basketball against Virginia Military Institute Friday. The Buckeyes are 82-22 (.788) all-time in season openers. In the first road game of the year, Ohio State is 50-53 (.485). Ohio State is 86-18 (.827) in home openers.

Buckeyes Open Season Among The Top 10 in Both Polls
Ohio State ended the 2006 season ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 13 in the last ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. This year, after losing four senior starters the Buckeyes are ranked No. 4 in the coaches poll and No. 7 in the AP preseason Top 25.

Buckeyes Looking for Win No. 200 as Top 10 Squad

Ohio State is 196-51 (.793) all time when carrying a Top 10 ranking and 295-91 (.764) when ranked among the Top 10 in the Associated Press rankings.

Matta Undeaten In Openers
Ohio State is the third stop as a head coach for Thad Matta. In his seven debuts, Matta defeated Eastern Illinois (90-73) in his first game at Butler in 2000. In his first game as Xavier head coach in 2001, Matta’s squad downed Coastal Carolina 72-41. He also guided the Musketeers to season-opening wins in 2002, an 87-48 win over St. Peters in the preseason NIT, and in 2003, a 62-37 victory over Coppin State. In his first game as a Buckeye in 2004, the Buckeyes knocked off Towson University 74-53 in the opening round of the Guardians Classic in Columbus. Ohio State defeated Chicago State in the 2005 opener 81-52 and handled VMI in the season opener this year 107-69.

OSU vs. The Horizon League
The Buckeyes own a 46-9 record vs. members of the Horizon League. The matchup with Loyola is the fourth meeting with the Ramblers. Ohio State is 30-8 vs. Butler and owns wins vs each of the league’s nine representatives.

Matta Inks New Deal With OSU
Thad Matta, who enters his third season as head coach of the Buckeyes, signed a new contract through the 2014-15 season, Eugene Smith, director of athletics at Ohio State, announced Nov. 3. Matta guided the Buckeyes to an outright Big Ten title in 2006 while earning league coach of the year honors along the way. He has produced 20+ win seasons in each of his six years as a collegiate head coach and has won league coach of the year awards in three NCAA Division I conferences.

Buckeyes Tabbed No. 1 in Big Ten
Big Ten Conference media selected Ohio State as its preseason favorite to win the league regular-season crown in 2006-07. The Buckeyes are looking to win back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1991 and 1992 after winning the outright regular-season title in 2006. Ohio State returns one starter from a year ago when the Buckeyes posted a 26-6 overall record and a 12-4 league mark.

Media Select Oden to Shine
Freshman center Greg Oden has yet to play a collegiate game and is recovering from right wrist surgery which has prohibited him from working out with the Buckeyes in contact situations. Even so, Oden appears on the preseason All-Big Ten list turned in by the conference media Oct. 29 in Chicago. Oden is expected to be available in time for the Big Ten regular-season opener against Indiana Jan. 2. The preseason recognition is believed to mark the first time a true freshman has been so recognized in conference history.

Butler on Wooden Watch List
Junior guard Jamar Butler is one of 50 student-athletes participating in NCAA Division I basketball to appear on the John R. Wooden Award preseason watch list. The list will be cut to 30 in January. The award was created in 1976 and is annually given to the nation’s best player.

OSU Freshmen in Starting Five
Jamar Butler was the last true freshman to crack the starting lineup for the Buckeyes prior to the season opener vs. VMI when rookies Mike Conley Jr. and David Lighty earned starting nods for Thad Matta’s Buckeyes. Butler started his first game at Northwestern Jan. 29, 2005. He has been a mainstay in the first five ever since. The last true freshman to start the season opener was Michael Redd vs. Kent State Nov. 19, 1997. Redd played 39 minutes and scored 21 points on 9 of 17 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds.

Ohio State on National TV
The Buckeyes will appear on national television at least 14 times this season with the possibility of additional exposures as the regular season concludes, during the Big Ten tournament and in postseason play–should Ohio State qualify. Fans across the country will get their first look at Ohio State over national airwaves Nov. 29 when the Buckeyes travel to No. 2 North Carolina for a Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup on ESPN. On Dec. 16, Cincinnati and Ohio State renew a rivalry at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis. CBS will televise that contest at 3:45 p.m. ET. Other CBS games include a matchup at No. 1 Florida Dec. 23, a home game vs. Tennessee Jan. 13, at Michigan State Feb. 3, at Minnesota Feb. 18 and vs. Wisconsin in Columbus Feb. 25. The regular season finale at Michigan also could be picked up by CBS. ESPN will televise the Buckeyes vs. their first three Big Ten foes Jan. 2 vs. Indiana, at Illinois Jan. 6 and at Wisconsin Jan. 9. Four other league games will be featured on ESPN or ESPN2 during regular season play.

Ohio State VS. The Big Ten Conference
Ohio State is 644-635 vs. the current members of the Big Ten Conference.

OSU vs. The Big Ten

Illinois 56 97
Indiana 67 97
Iowa 61 72
Michigan 79 69
Michigan State 45 54
Minnesota 71 52
Northwestern 101 44
Penn State 18 12
Purdue 69 78
Wisconsin 77 60
Totals 644 648

Matta Goes For 6th 20
Thad Matta does not know what it’s like to end a season with fewer than 20 wins during his head coaching career. The third year Ohio State coach came to the Buckeyes with a streak of four 20+ win seasons at Butler (24 wins in 2001) and Xavier (26 in all three years from 2002-04). With 20 victories in 2004-05 and 26 a season ago at Ohio State, Matta is one of two coaches nationally to record 20 or more wins in the first six seasons of his coaching career. Mark Few of Gonzaga is the other with 20+ in all seven years with the Bulldogs.

2007 NCAA Tournament Returns to Columbus
The NCAA tournament will return to Columbus for the opening rounds of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the organization announced in July 2004. Ohio State played host to the first and second rounds in March 2004, as it will in 2007. Games were played at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which will again be the site of the event in 2007.

Buckeyes Tough To Beat At Home Under Matta
Thad Matta has directed the Buckeyes to a 32-3 record in Columbus in three seasons as head coach of the Buckeyes. He is 31-3 overall at Value City Arena, which includes an 18-0 record vs. non-conference foes. Ohio State defeated Chattanooga in Nov. of 2005 at St. John Arena on the OSU campus. The 30-3 mark from 2004-06 at VCA (13-3 vs. the Big Ten) is the best two-year record in the facility since Ohio State began play in 1998-99. The Buckeyes set the building record with 16 victories in 2005-06.

Banner In Downtown Columbus Recognizes Oden, Davenport
A 160-foot banner is on display in downtown Columbus recognizing two of the more prominent centers in college basketball. Two-time All-American Jessica Davenport, a senior on the Ohio State women’s basketball team, along with two-time National High School Player of the Year Greg Oden, a 7-0 freshman center for the Buckeyes, are featured on the larger-than-life display. The banner is part of Ohio State’s effort to publicize it’s outstanding student-athletes and coaches around the city of Columbus.

The Newcomers
Thad Matta recruited one of the best classes nationally for the 2006-07 season. Four of the top freshmen in the country along with a talented junior college forward joined the Buckeyes for 2006 fall quarter in Columbus.

The four incoming Ohio State freshmen all played for state championships during their senior high school seasons. Three won titles with the other finishing as runner-up.

Greg Oden (a 7-0 center) and 6-1 guard Mike Conley Jr., led Indiana’s Lawrence North High School to its third-consecutive state championship March 25, 2006 with a victory over Muncie Central (80-56). Oden led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. He also was the game’s top rebounder with 11. Conley added 21 points and seven boards in the win.

Daequan Cook, a 6-5 guard, led Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar to its first state title in 19 years with a 73-46 victory over Triway in the Ohio Division II state championship game (3/25/06) at Value City Arena in Columbus. Cook scored 23 points in the victory.

David Lighty, a 6-5 guard/forward, led his Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio) squad to the Ohio Division III state title game as well. Lighty scored 20 points in a loss to North College Hill.

Four First Teamers
All four incoming freshmen were named to their state’s first team all-state squads as seniors. Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., were honored in Class 4A, the large school division in Indiana, while Daequan Cook (Ohio Division II) and David Lighty (Ohio Division III) made their respective teams. Cook, the Division II Ohio Player of the Year, and Lighty both made the Associated Press all-state tournament teams as well in their respective divisions.

Three More McDonald’s All-Americans
With the addition of Oden, Conley Jr., and Cook, Ohio State will have four former McDonald’s High School All-Americans on its squad in 2006-07.

Senior Ivan Harris played in the annual game (first played in 1977) in 2003. Ohio State has had a total of 10 current or former student-athletes compete in the McDonald’s game. Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992) and Greg Simpson (1992) all played in the prestigious event.

Ohio State has had multiple players play in the game twice previously with Carter and Lee in 1987 and Macon and Simpson in 1992. Ohio State and North Carolina had three players compete in the 2006 game.

Oden Claims Several National Awards
Greg Oden is one of the most recognized and honored high school student-athletes of all-time. His list of accomplishments grew when he was recognized in April 2006 as the Gatorade Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season, a rare feat accomplished just once before when LeBron James was so honored in 2001 and ’02.

U.S. National Team Invites Oden to Workouts
The only high school player invited to work out with the U.S. Senior National team July 19-26, 2006 in Las Vegas, Greg Oden was scheduled to practice against members from the national team who were selected to represent the United States at the 2006 World Championships in Japan and ultimately the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. Oden was unable to participate after right wrist surgery in June ended his summer competitive schedule.

Junior College Forward Completes 2006-07 Class
Othello Hunter, a 6-9 forward/center, was the final player to commit to the five-player incoming class of student-athletes in 2006-07. He averaged nine points and six rebounds a game for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., as a freshman. He improved those numbers to 16.8 points and 11.4 rebounds a game as a sophomore.

Hunter had 15 games in 2005-06 with 10 or more rebounds with a season-high 20 boards vs. St. Petersburg College (1/21/06). For his career, he managed 10 or more rebounds 19 times and 10 or more points 32 times.

Hunter recorded 18 career double-doubles at HCC, including 14 during his sophomore season.

Hillsborough finished 24-6 in 2005-06 and 19-14 in 2004-05. The team lost in the 2006 Florida Community College Activities Association State Tournament opening round to River Community College (75-68). Hunter scored 22 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked six shots in the loss.

The Schedule
Ohio State will open the 2006-07 season as the host school for the 2006 SportsTime Ohio BCA Classic. Eight teams will play 12 games in Columbus Nov. 10-12 at Value City Arena. The field will be made up of Alabama A&M, IUPUI, Kent State, Loyola (Ill.), Princeton, South Dakota State and Virginia Military Institute.

The Buckeyes also will take on two of the nation’s top teams on the road in 2006. Ohio State travels to North Carolina as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 29 and later takes on Florida, the defending NCAA champions, in Gainesville Dec. 23.

A neutral-site game vs. Cincinnati in Indianapolis at the Wooden Classic renews a rivalry between the intrastate foes. Dec. 16. Tennessee also begins a home-and-home series with the Buckeyes with a clash in Columbus Jan. 13. The Big Ten season gets underway Jan. 2 with Indiana, an ESPN-televised game in Columbus.

Ohio State will play Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota once this season with home-and-home matches vs. the remaining league schools. Indiana and Iowa travel to Columbus while Illinois and Minnesota play host to the Buckeyes this season.