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Aug. 27, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Thad Matta, now in his 12th season as head coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, announced the complete 2015-16 schedule Thursday.

Matta, who set the Ohio State record for career wins late last year with a victory vs. Minnesota in Big Ten Tournament play, enters the season with 299 career wins, few veterans and a host of newcomers.

Five Buckeyes with playing experience in an Ohio State uniform, including one former walk-on, join seven others who will be eligible to complete in 2015-16. Five true freshmen, a sophomore transfer and a redshirt rookie make up the list of newcomers.

“We have a solid group of returning players and a class of skilled recruits,” Matta said. “The coaching staff is excited about what this group is capable of accomplishing. We’ve put together a challenging schedule to help us prepare for the rigors of the Big Ten.”

The Buckeyes will face three of the four Final Four teams from 2015. Ohio State will play Michigan State twice, Wisconsin once on the road and Kentucky in the CBSSports Classic on a neutral court in New York.

Other non-conference highlights include a home game vs. Virginia Dec. 1 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the start of a home-and-home series with Connecticut and a neutral-site game vs. Memphis in Miami, Florida.

Big Ten Conference play begins with a home game vs. Minnesota Dec . 30 at Value City Arena. The Big Ten Conference returned to the lengthier conference schedule in 2008 after playing a 16-game schedule from 1998-2007. With Maryland and Rutgers joining the league in 2014-15, Ohio State will face five teams both in Columbus and on the road (Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern and Rutgers).

Single games against Indiana, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin will be contested on the road while Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State only play in Columbus this Big Ten season. 

Fans will get their first look at the Buckeyes in an exhibition game vs. Nov. 8 vs. Walsh at Value City Arena. The regular season opener comes a week later vs. Mount St. Mary’ Nov. 15.

Ohio State will play at least 10 games this season vs. eight teams that played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament with six of those games taking place away from Columbus against Maryland, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Ohio State takes on Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa and Virginia at home.

In addition to the 2015 NCAA Tournament foes, the 2015-16 schedule has three games against 2015 National Invitation Tournament participants, including a home and home series with conference foe Illinois and a home game vs. Louisiana Tech Nov. 24. The Buckeyes travel to Columbus as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational. Other teams Ohio State faces at home in the event are Grambling and UT-Arlington. The event concludes with the Memphis game Nov. 27 in AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

Ohio State begins its quest for a sixth regular-season league crown under Matta’s direction when it opens Big Ten regular-season competition at home vs. the Golden Gophers. The Buckeyes will play three of the first five games at home in league play before ending the season with three of five games on the road. Michigan State, a 2015 Final Four participant, plays host to the Buckeyes March 5 of 6 to conclude the regular season.

A LOOK AT THE 2015-16 BUCKEYES

  • Ohio State qualified for the 2015 NCAA Tournament, its ninth appearance with Thad Matta as head coach.
  • Ohio State returns one starter and five letterwinners from the 2014-15 season. The Buckeyes finished 24-11 overall and 11-7 in Big Ten Conference play (6th).
  • The Buckeyes to not have a four-year scholarship senior on the roster. Junior Marc Loving has the most playing experience with a total of 67 appearances and 19 starts.
  • Jae’Sean Tate entered the starting lineup for the final 16 games of his rooking campaign a season ago. He was a member of the 2015 Big Ten All-Freshman team (8.8 ppg., 5.0 rpg.).
  • Others with OSU playing experience include Kam Williams a redshirt sophomore, 35 games (5.4 ppg./21-23/.913 at the FT line), sophomore Keita Bates-Diop (33 games/3.8 ppg./2.1 rpg) and senior Jake Lorbach, a former walking on scholarship this season (19 career appearances). 
  • Transfer Trevor Thompson will be a sophomore this season after sitting out at Ohio State last year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules following his rooking season at Virginia Tech in 2013-14.
  • David Bell, begins his playing career after spending the 2014-15 season as a redshirt.
  • The Buckeyes welcome five true freshmen to the roster this season. A.J. Harris (Dayton, Ohio/Dunbar), Mickey Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Plano West), Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall), Daniel Giddens (Mableton, Georgia/Oak Hill Academy) and JaQuan Lyle (Evansville, Indiana/Huntington Prep) make up the 2016 Class of Buckeyes.

Note: Previously unannounced times and television designations will be released at a later date

2015-16 Ohio State Schedule

Date            Opponent                     TV              Time                   Series

November
8-Sun.         Walsh (Exhibition)                                                                    
15-Sun.       Mount St. Mary’s         ESPNU      Noon                         0-0
17-Tues.     1-Grambling                                                                           0-0
20-Fri.         1-UT-Arlington                                                                      0-0
24-Tues.     1-Louisiana Tech                                                                   1-1
27-Fri.          2-vs. Memphis               ESPN         7:30 p.m.                  2-0
December
1-Tues.       3-Virginia                         ESPN         7:30 p.m.                  3-1
5-Sat.           VMI                                                                                            3-0
8-Tues.       Air Force                                                                                  0-0
12-Sat.        at Connecticut                                                                       3-1
16-Wed.     Northern Illinois                                                                   1-0
19-Sat.        4-vs. Kentucky               CBS            3:30 p.m.               9-11
22-Tues.     Mercer                              ESPNU      9 p.m.                        1-0
27-Sun.       South Carolina St                                                                  0-0
30-Wed.     Minnesota                                                                          83-56
January
3-Sun.         Illinois                                                                                69-101
6-Wed.       at Northwestern                                                            115-45
10-Sun.       at Indiana                                                                          77-103
13-Wed.     Rutgers                                                                                     1-1
16-Sat.        at Maryland                                                                            5-2
21-Thur.     at Purdue                                                                             83-84
25-Mon.     Penn State                                                                          31-14
28-Thur.     at Illinois                                                                                         
31-Sun.       Maryland                                                                                       
February
4-Thur.        at Wisconsin                                                                       86-68
9-Tues.       Northwestern                                  
13-Sat.        at Rutgers                                           
16-Tues.     Michigan                                                                              94-76
20-Sat. or   at Nebraska                                                                          12-3
21-Sun.                                                   
23-Tues.     Michigan State                                                                  55-64
27-Sat. or   Iowa                                                                                       72-76
28-Sun.                                                                       
March
5-Sat. or     at Michigan State                            
6-Sun                                                      

Home games in Bold // 1-Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational, Columbus, Ohio // 2-Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational, Miami, Florida // 3-Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Columbus, Ohio // 4- CBSSports Classic, Brooklyn, New York // 5-Big Ten Tournament, Indianapolis, Indiana.