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Dec. 5, 2002

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Opponent – Tennessee Tech
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 (1-2)

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.

Tennessee Tech
Probable Starters (4-1)

G 10 – Brent Jolly, 6-6, Sr.
G 23 – Cameron Crisp, 6-5, Jr.
C 00 – Greg Morgan, 6-8, Sr.
F 2 – Damien Perkins, 6-7, Jr.
F 33 – Damien Kinloch, 6-8, Sr.

Tennessee Tech, Buckeyes Meet for Third Time
Ohio State is 2-0 in the series between the Buckeyes and Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech. The last meeting took place during Ohio State’s early run to the Final Four in November of the 1998-99 season. The Golden Eagles fell in that contest 78-51 Nov. 24, 1998. The win was the last of a six-game winning streak to start the season that year. The Buckeyes then fell in a pair of road games to Vanderbilt and Toledo. Ohio State finished 27-9 that season, which ended with a trip to the Final Four in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Golden Eagles Prevail vs. MTSU
Trailing for the first 35 minutes by as many as 13 points, Tennessee Tech used an improbable 18-2 run late in the game to capture a 70-66 victory over rival Middle Tennessee State Wednesday in Murfreesboro. It was the fourth consecutive win for coach Mike Sutton’s Golden Eagles, who improved to 4-1 overall. Middle Tennessee slipped to 1-4. Senior Damien Kinloch led Tech with 24 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Cameron Crisp ignited the rally and finished with 18 points. Brent Jolly added 16 points, and Greg Morgan had five points and 10 rebounds. Tech struggled early in the game, shooting 19 percent and scoring only 18 points in the first half to trail 29-18 at the intermission. Trailing 61-49 with less than five minutes to play, Tech outscored MTSU 18-2 to take a 67-63 lead. The run featured crucial 3-pointers from Crisp and Jolly, plus important baskets from Antwyan Jones and freshman Keyon Boyd.

No. 4 Duke Holds on to Down Buckeyes
Senior guard Brent Darby turned in one of the best individual performances in Ohio State history with 35 points in the 91-76 loss to Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. His scoring effort ranks as one of the Top 50 offensive efforts of all time and the most since Doug Etzler poured in 37 against George Mason in 1995. The Buckeyes, playing against their second-consecutive Top 5 opponent without two major contributors, were tied at 28 with the Blue Devils with just over four minutes to play in the first half. Duke then built a 62-36 advantage with 13:55 to play in the game before Darby and the Buckeyes mounted a comeback. With 15 second-half points, Darby helped Ohio State close the gap to just eight points with 4:34 to play in the game. The Blue Devils closed the game with a 16-9 run for the win. Daniel Ewing played a brilliant first half and J.J. Redick keyed an early second-half run for Duke. Redick nailed three 3-pointers in the opening 8:40 of the second half, while Ewing had 18 points.

Noting the Duke Game

Junior Emonte Jernigan and sophomore Terence Dials were in thestarting lineup for the first time as Buckeyes. Senior Brent Darbyrecorded a career-high 35 points, which included a 13-of-14 effortfrom the foul line. Darby’s 35 points are the most since DougEtzler tallied 37 at George Mason in 92-87 win Dec. 9, 1995. Thelast Buckeye to score 30 or more points was Brian Brown with 33 inthe first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament against Davidson. The91 points scored by the Blue Devils are the most by an Ohio Stateopponent in a regulation game since Purdue claimed a 107-75 winFeb. 7, 1998. Darby played 40 minutes for the third-consecutivegame at the point-guard position.

Roster Down Two Following Injuries
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a sophomore point guard, and Shun Jenkins, a junior forward, will miss several weeks recovering from injuries suffered Nov. 22 against the Harlem Globetrotters in the final exhibition game of the season. 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.

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. 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.

Golden Eagles Start Season 4-1
Tennessee Tech opened the season with a loss to Cincinnati (54-48, 11/23) but has since rattled off four victories. Wins have come against Milligan (99-67, 11/25), Cumberland (85-57, 11/27), Air Force (60-47, 12/1) and Middle Tennessee State (70-66, 12/4).

Three Pace TTU Offensively
Tennessee Tech extended its 32-game home winning streak, the second longest streak in the country behind Brigham Young (36), with 23 points and six rebounds from senior forward Damien Kinloch in a 60-47 win over Air Force Sunday. Kinloch has been the team’s leading scorer in each of the last four games following a 24-point effort against Middle Tennessee State Wednesday. He leads the team with 17.6 points per game along with a team-leading 8.0 rebounds a contest. Cameron Crisp is second offensively with 12.2 ppg. Greg Morgan is the only other player in double figures with 10.2 ppg.

Buckeyes Undefeated Against OVC
Ohio State owns a 10-0 record against teams representing the Ohio Valley Conference. The Buckeyes have played each conference member, except Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri State. Eastern Kentucky has provided the competition in three of the 10 games. The Buckeyes will battle two other OVC members Dec. 14 against Morehead State and Dec. 28 versus Tennessee State. Both games will be played at Value City Arena.

Austin Peay 0-0 Eastern Illinois 1-0 Eastern Kentucky 3-0 Morehead State 1-0 Murray State 1-0 SE Missouri St. 0-0 Tennessee Martin 1-0 Tennessee State 1-0 Tennessee Tech 2-0 Totals 10-0

Sutton in 1st Season at TTU
Mike Sutton left his position as an assistant coach at Kentucky following the 2002 basketball season to take his first head coaching position at the collegiate level at Tennessee Tech. Sutton was a Wildcat assistant from 1997-2002 before making the move. He also spent time as a Division I collegiate assistant at Georgia (1995-97), Tulsa (1994-95) and Virginia-Commonwealth (1980-81). His previous head coaching experience was at the high school level, where he coached from 1981-94 at Meadowbrook (Va.) H.S.

This Date In History
Ohio State is 10-3 in games played on Dec 7. Ohio State has won its last four games, all at home, on this date. The last was an 83-46 win over Denver in 2000.

OSU on Dec. 7 12/7/37 W @Marietta 29-23 12/7/46 W Pittsburgh 39-33 12/7/57 L Butler (ot) 73-77 12/7/59 W Butler 99-66 12/7/63 W vs St. John’s 66(7)-64 12/7/64 W @Houston 77-69 12/7/70 W Alabama 74-58 12/7/74 L vs Davidson 80-88 12/7/75 L @Penn State 68-74 12/7/85 W Cleveland State 99-95 12/7/91 W Oregon State 84(4)-56 12/7/96 W Long Island 97-73 12/7/00 W Denver 83-46

Next 7 of 8 Games at Home
After playing two of the first three games of the season away from home, the Buckeyes will 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 and Morehead State (Dec. 14) 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.

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.

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 10th all-time in career 3-pointers made with 105 after knocking down four long-range attempts against Duke. 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 842 career points with a career-high 35 against Duke. 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 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.

Four Top 10 Opponents on Schedule
Ohio State is scheduled to play four teams currently in the Associated Press Top 10, a total of eight in the Top 25 and another two (Purdue and Louisville) receiving votes for Top 25 consideration. No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Pittsburgh, and No. 10 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 No. 10 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. 20 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. No. 23 Wisconsin visits Ohio State Jan. 18 and Ohio State travels to No. 25 Illinois Feb. 9.

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 59-8 (.881) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign. Ohio State is 4-1 in VCA home openers. Notre Dame beat the Buckeyes 57-54 on a buzzer beater to open the 1999-00 season in the first round of the 1999 Preseason NIT.

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.