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Feb. 22, 2016

Ohio State Notes Michigan State Notes Big Ten Notes 2015-16 Schedule
Preview: Coach Matta  |  Preview: Marc Loving and Keita Bates-Diop
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The Ohio State Buckeyes (18-10, 10-5) vs. Michigan State Spartans (22-5, 9-5)

Date: Feb. 23, 2016
Site: Value City Arena (18,809)
Game Time: 9 p.m.
Television: ESPN
Talent: Mike Tirico (Play-By-Play)
Dan Dakich (Expert Analysis)
Allison Williams (Sideline)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 84/XM 84
Local Radio: WBNS-FM 97.1, AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (Play-By-Play)
Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

Starting Five, Plus One
•    Ohio State has won at least 10 Big Ten regular season games over the last 11 seasons, the longest streak in school history and the longest streak among BigTen schools over Thad Matta’s 12-year tenure with the Buckeyes. Wisconsin (9-5 in conference play this year to date) entered the 2015-16 season with a streak of nine-consecutive seasons with 10+ victories in regular season league play.
•    Thad Matta is No. 14 all-time in career Big Ten regular-season victories … Matta owns 142 career league triumphs. Harold “Bud” Foster (WIS 1935-59) won 143 league encounters to hold the No. 13 spot in conference history.
•    The game vs. Michigan State is the third matchup this season for the Buckeyes vs. a 2015 Final Four participant. Ohio State defeated Kentucky earlier this year in Brooklyn and fell to Wisconsin in Madison.
•    Three Buckeyes are among the Top 12 in the Big Ten in blocks per game. Ohio State is No. 2 as a team in the league with an average of 5.5 rejections a game. Freshman Daniel Giddens is No. 5 in the conference with 1.6 (42) blocks per game. Trevor Thompson is tied for No. 9 (37/1.3) and Keita Bates-Diop is 12th with 32/1.1.     
•    The game vs. Penn State Jan. 25 was the 200th regular-season Big Ten contest for Thad Matta while coaching the Buckeyes. The game vs. the Nittany Lions also was the 100th Big Ten home game for Matta’s Buckeyes. Since he took over the program in 2004-05, the Buckeyes are 86-17 (.835) at home and 56-48 (.538) on the road for a career record of 142-65 (.686) against Big Ten regular season competition.
•    JaQuan Lyle rates No. 4-t nationally among freshmen in total assists with 121. As a team, Ohio State is No. 10 nationally in total blocks with 155. Lyle’s 11 assists (part of a triple-double at home vs. Rutgers 16p/12r/11a) are tied for the third-most in a game by an Ohio State freshman all-time. Daniel Giddens’ 42 blocks are tied for fifth in a single season among Ohio State freshmen all-time. Lyle’s season assist total is No. 5 among Ohio State freshmen all-time.

Balance in the Big Ten
In Ohio State’s 15 Big Ten Conference regular season games the Buckeyes have spread the wealth offensively. Four Buckeyes average in double figures with a fifth contributing 9.2 points a game. Sophomore Jae’Sean Tate leads with 11.9 points a game followed by junior Marc Loving (11.5), sophomore Keita Bates-Diop (11.2) and freshman JaQuan Lyle (11.2). Sophomore Kam Williams is close with 9.2 points per game in league play. Tate and sophomore Trevor Thompson both score at a better than 50 percent rate from the field (.528/.533 respectively). Williams makes 50 percent of his 3-point attempts (26-52) and Bates-Diop is the leader a the foul line (27-33/.818).

Evan Turner Recognized
The Ohio State Department of Athletics and its men’s basketball program honored former Buckeye Evan Turner Feb. 16 during a halftime ceremony when the Buckeyes played Michigan (W, 76-66) at Value City Arena. Turner, the 2010 National Player of the Year, had a banner unveiled baring his jersey No. 21 alongside Ohio State’s three other national players of the year. Buckeye players have won the honor five times. No. 11 Jerry Lucas, twice, No. 35 Gary Bradds and No. 22 Jim Jackson also have banners hanging in the rafters of Value City Arena in honor of their POY accomplishments. No. 5 John Havlicek was selected by former Ohio State athletics director Andy Geiger to have a banner on display recognizing his many accomplishments and contributions to Ohio State basketball.
Men’s Basketball Number Recognition Dates
11-Jerry Lucas Feb. 23, 2000
35-Gary Bradds Jan. 27, 2001
22-Jim Jackson, Feb. 10, 2001
5-John Havlicek, Feb. 27, 2005
21-Evan Turner, Feb. 16, 2016

Ohio State vs. Michigan State
Michigan State leads the overall series with the Buckeyes 64-55. The Buckeyes are 35-22 in Columbus and 17-39 in East Lansing. The teams each own three wins on a neutral court in the series. Thad Matta is 11-12 vs. the Spartans, including a 5-3 home record. Over the 23 games in the Matta era (2005-present), the teams are separated by just eight points with the Spartans on top 1,508 (65.6 ppg) to 1,500 (65.2 ppg.). Seven of the last nine games in the series have been decided by four or fewer points. Ohio State junior Marc Loving has the most experience on the Ohio State roster with four total games played. He averages just over three points and a rebound in the series. Jae’Sean Tate averages 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in two games played vs. the Spartans a year ago.       

Last Time vs. Michigan State
Denzel Valentine had 23 points and Branden Dawson anchored Michigan State’s stout defense, leading the Spartans to a 76-67 victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals March 15, 2015. Travis Trice scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half. D’Angelo Russell had 19 points for sixth-seeded Ohio State. Shannon Scott had 13 points and nine assists. The Buckeyes shot 39.7 percent (23 for 58) from the field. Dawson finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots. With Ohio State trying to rally in the second half, the senior rejected Scott’s layup attempt and then hustled down for a dunk on the other end that lifted the Spartans to a 47-37 lead. Trice scored eight in a row for Michigan State, helping the Spartans increase their lead to 17 at 60-43, but the Buckeyes battled back. Marc Loving’s 3-pointer made it a five-point game with three minutes left. Trice then made two foul shots and Dawson had a rebound dunk on the break, making it 65-56 with 2 1/2 minutes to go. The Buckeyes then had to foul down the stretch and the Spartans wrapped it up at the line. Valentine scored 12 points in the first half and the Spartans led by as many as 16 on their way to a 36-28 advantage at the break. He also had five of Michigan State’s 13 first-half assists on 15 field goals.

Scouting the Spartans
Michigan State travels to Columbus for the first of two games with the Buckeyes in the next two weeks. MSU is led by senior national player of the year candidate Denzel Valentine’s 19.7 points and 7.7 rebounds a game. He also contributes 7.3 assists a contest. Senior Bryn Forbes contributes 14.1 ppg. and classmate Matt Costello chips in with 10.1 points and 8.2 boards a game. The Spartans enter the game with the Buckeyes with an overall record of 22-5 and a league mark of 9-5.

Ohio State vs. The Big Ten
Ohio State begins its 104th season as a member of the Big Ten Conference in 2015-16. The Buckeyes own an overall record of 793-698 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 16 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 168-75 vs. league members, including a mark of 164-72 while coaching the Buckeyes.