Aug. 3, 2004
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Quick Facts 2004-05 Roster 2004-05 SeasonOutlook Coaching Staff Bios Player Bios Final2003-04 Statistics
The 13th head coach in Ohio State history was named July 7 when Andy Geiger, director of athletics for the Buckeyes, selected Thad Matta, 37, to take over the Ohio State men’s basketball program.
Matta instantly began recruiting for Ohio State, taking to the road July 8, the start of the 2004 prospect evaluation period, before he was officially announced as the head coach of the Buckeyes at a press conference July 9.
The new coaching staff begins with a roster of 13 players for the 2004-05 campaign, nine of which are returning letterwinners from a 14-16 squad in 2003-04. That Buckeyes finished ninth in the Big Ten with a 6-10 league mark and a first round exit in the Big Ten tournament.
Nonetheless, Matta’s staff is optimistic about the opportunity for success with three of the top four double-figure scorers returning. Matta, who coached for the last three seasons at Xavier and spent time during two stints as an assistant at Miami (Ohio), knows Ohio. He attempted to recruit several members of the current Ohio State squad. A look at the 2004-05 Buckeyes
Tony Stockman, a senior guard and the squad’s leading scorer from a year ago, contributed a solid campaign statistically during his first year in Columbus. The transfer from Clemson led the Buckeyes with 13.6 points per game, 74 assists and 61 steals. He knocked down 73 3-pointers and played the most minutes (972). His gambling defensive style and abilities to knock down long-range shots on the break, could mesh well with Matta’s plans for an up-tempo style of play.
To compliment the outside game, junior captain Terence Dials returns to shore up the Ohio State front court, depleted by the loss of 7-foot center Velimir Radinovic (10.3 ppg./6.0 rpg.). Dials was steady throughout the season, making 51 percent (111-220) of his shots from the field and nearly 72 percent of his foul shots (91-127). With a scoring average of 10.4 points and a rebounding mark of 6.6 rpg., the coaches will have a solid interior presence with Dials in the paint. He excelled at the end of last season, making 14 of 17 shots from the floor and 16 of 22 foul shots over the final two games of the season vs. Illinois and Indiana.
J.J. Sullinger also contributed double digits offensively with 10.1 points a game in his first year at Ohio State following a transfer from Arkansas after his freshman campaign.
A number of student-athletes will have an opportunity to fill out the starting lineup. Senior Brandon Fuss-Cheatham will be challenged by incoming freshman Jamar Butler, the 2004 Ohio Mr. Basketball honoree, at the point guard spot. Stockman also spent significant time quarterbacking the Buckeyes last year.
Guards Je’Kel Foster, a junior college transfer, and Ricardo Billings, a junior from Detroit, also will get opportunities with Sullinger at the wing position.
Sophomore Ivan Harris, junior Matt Sylvester, and freshman Jermyl Jackson-Wilson will vie for playing time at forward with freshman Matt Terwilliger battling for time inside with Dials and senior Matt Marinchick.
Stockman Puts Name in Record Book
Tony Stockman made 73 3-point field goals as a junior, the third most by an OSU player in a single season. His 61 steals total for 2003-04 tied him for the No. 7 spot with Michael Redd (1998) for single season steals at OSU. Stockman also attempted 202 3-pointers a year ago, good for the No. 3 spot all-time for single season long range attempts.
Close to 100 at VCA
The Buckeyes begin season No. 7 at Value City Arena in 2004-05. The facility opened for the start of the 1998-99 season and since the Buckeyes have built a record of 77-20 in 97 home games. The Buckeyes have not had a home losing season in the VCA’s existence and have 11 or more wins in five of the six years to date, including 15 victories in 1999-2000 and 2001-02 and 14 wins in both 1998-99 and 2000-01.
A Return to St. John
Ohio State will face Tennessee-Chattanooga the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27) at St. John Arena, the longtime home of the Buckeyes prior to the opening of the Jerome Schottenstein Center in the fall of 1998. A scheduling conflict at Value City Arena and the desire to play a game in Columbus that weekend provided the opportunity for the game to be played at St. John. Ohio State last played at St. John Arena Feb. 28, 1998, an overtime loss to Penn State (89-85). Ohio State is 426-151 in 577 games played from 1956-1998 at St. John for a winning percentage of .738.
The game at St. John marks the second-consecutive season in which the Buckeyes will play a game in Columbus away from Value City Arena. Ohio State faced Virginia Tech Dec. 6, 2003 at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus. That game was played as a preview of the 2004 NCAA First and Second round games, which were contested in Columbus last March at Nationwide.
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. Ohio State played host to the first and second rounds in 2004. Games were played at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which will again be the site of the event in 2007. Ohio State will act as the host institution for the event.
Clemson, LSU last to Face OSU
Entering the 2004-05 season, the Buckeyes had played every team from both the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences except for one member school from each league. With both Clemson (ACC) and Louisiana State (SEC) on the schedule this year, Ohio State will finish the year with at least one meeting against every member of the ACC and SEC.
Productive Decade Shaping UP
Ohio State’s record in the first decade of the 21st century is shaping up to be one of the best in the history of the program. Ohio State is 98-57 (.632) beginning with the 1999-2000 season. The winning percentage is the second highest since 1910-19. The Buckeyes were 188-69 (.732) from 1960-69.
Marinchick to represent Buckeyes in Italy
After a one-year absence, the Big Ten Basketball Foreign Tour teams return to play this summer. Penn State’s Ed DeChellis will serve as the head coach for the men’s team. The squad plays games in Italy from Aug. 10-20. The Big Ten squad last played in Europe in the summer of 2002 and went 4-1 during travels through Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Matt Marinchick, a fifth-year senior center for the Buckeyes, will work out with the team in State College, Pa., prior to the trip.
5th Ohio Mr. Basketball Joins Buckeyes
Jamar Butler is the 17th overall and fifth Ohio Mr. Basketball Award winner to play for Ohio State. Butler joins Tony Stockman (2000), Damon Stringer (1995), Greg Simpson (1991, 1992) and Jim Jackson (1988, 1989) as former Ohio Mr. Basketball award winners who went on to play for the Buckeyes.
Attendance in Top 20 for 6th-consecutive Year
Attendance at Ohio State men’s basketball games remained in the Top 20 nationally in 2003-04 and has ranked among the national leaders in all six seasons at Value City Arena. Attendance averaged 14,521 in 15 home games a year ago to rank No. 18 nationally. A total of 1,631,437 have crossed the turnstiles at VCA for an average of 16,819 over 97 total home games since the facility opened for the 1998-99 season. The average is 3,543 more than the capacity (13,276) at St. John Arena, the former home of the Buckeyes (1956-1998).