Dec. 29, 2013

Lenzelle Smith Jr.

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No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0, 0-0) at the Purdue Boilermakers (10-3, 0-0)

Date: Dec. 31, 2013
Site: Mackey Arena (14,846)
Game Time: 1 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN2
Talent: Dave Flemming (play-by-play)
Sean Farnham (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93/XM 192
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Buckeyes Open 102nd Season in B1G
This is the 102nd season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 55-42 (.567) in conference openers, 67-30 (.691) in league home openers and 35-62 (.361) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play. When the Buckeyes open the Big Ten season at home, their record is 37-18 (.673). When Ohio State begins Big Ten play on the road, the record is 18-24 (.429). Thad Mattais 7-2 in conference openers at Ohio State. In the last nine years under Matta, the Buckeyes have opened league play at home five times (5-0) and have a 2-2 road opener mark.

Big Ten Openers 55 42 0.567
Big Ten Home Openers 67 30 0.691
Big Ten Road Openers 35 62 0.361
Open Big Ten at Home 37 18 0.673
Open Big Ten on Road 18 24 0.429

Buckeyes Win BlackRock Gotham Classic
LaQuinton Ross (15.5 ppg.), Lenzelle Smith Jr., (15.0 ppg.) and Amir Williams (10.0 ppg.) all averaged better than 10 points over the four games of the 2013 BlackRock Gotham Classic. Ohio State, 4-0 in the event, downed Notre Dame 64-61 last Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York in the final game of the event. The Buckeyes scored 14 points in the final minute to overcome an eight point deficit. Williams shot 63 percent from the field in the event (17-27). Ross made 7 of 15 from 3-point range (.467) and Smith Jr. connected on 55 percent from the field (18-33) and knocked down 19 of 22 foul shots (.864). He scored all nine of his points vs. Notre Dame in the final minute. Aaron Craft handed out 16 assists, becoming Ohio State’s all-time leader in that category, while also climbing the all-time steals list in the Big Ten, to No. 3, with 10 over the last four games. Shannon Scottalso was credited with 16 helpers and led the Buckeyes with 11 steals in the Gotham event.

Buckeyes Own 17-7 Record on New Year’s Eve
Ohio State has won 17 games on Dec. 31 since first playing on New Year’s Eve in 1912. The Buckeyes are 7-6 on the road and have played the last three games on this date in opposing arenas. Thad Matta’sBuckeyes are 4-2 on this date. Ohio State has not played on this date since 1965 prior to Matta taking over the program for the 2004-05 season. The Buckeyes have been ranked in each of the last five games on NYE with an overall record of 5-2 as a ranked team. OSU is 3-1 while ranked in the Top 5.

Ohio State on New Year’s Eve

12/31/12 W @Toledo St. Johns 36-27
12/31/15 L @Detroit YMCA 1-20
12/31/19 W @Toledo 33-20
12/31/20 W Cornell 33-22
12/31/23 W Yale 43-30
12/31/24 W Butler 34-25
12/31/26 W Cornell 41-20
12/31/27 L @Pittsburgh 32-50
12/31/29 L @Pittsburgh (ot) 33-38
12/31/30 W Cornell 38-24
12/31/31 L Vanderbilt 27-28
12/31/34 W @Xavier 31-28
12/31/36 W @UCLA 48-39
12/31/42 W @Pittsburgh 48-44
12/31/60 W !vs. St. Bonaventure 84(1)-82
12/31/62 W BYU 97(2)-91
12/31/63 L @St. Louis (2ot) 89-91
12/31/65 W West Texas 78-53
12/31/04 W St. Joseph’s 72-61
12/31/05 W Louisiana State 78(21)-76
12/31/08 W Iowa 68(24)-65
12/31/09 L @Wisconsin 43(15)-65(23)
12/31/10 W @Indiana 85(2)-67
12/31/11 L @Indiana 71(2)-74(13)

Defense Clicking for Buckeyes
Ohio State has not allowed an opponent to reach 70 points this season over the first 13 games. Ohio scored 69 points in a 79-69 loss to the Buckeyes Nov. 12. The 13-game streak without an opponent scoring 70 or more points is the longest for Ohio State since a 22-game streak during the 2010-11 season from Nov. 20, 2010 to Feb. 6, 2011. The Buckeyes were 22-0 over that streak.

Ohio State Records 10+ Win Streak for 13th Time
With 13 wins this season, Ohio State now has won 10 or more consecutive games in 13 seasons all-time. This year also marks the sixth year in which an Ohio State team has won 10 or more games to start the year.

Yr. Streak Final Postseason
1933 14 17-3
1950 12 22-4 NCAA Regional Semifinals
1960 13 25-3 NCAA National Champions
1961 27* 27-1 NCAA Final Four
1962 22* 26-2 NCAA Final Four
1963 10 20-4
1971 11 20-6 NCAA Regional Semifinals
1991 17* 27-4 NCAA Regional Semifinals
2006 11* 26-6 NCAA Second Round
2007 22 35-4 NCAA Runner-up
2011 24* 34-3 NCAA Regional Semifinals
2013 11 29-3 NCAA Regional Finals
2014 13*

* Win streak at start of season

11 seasons ended with 20 or more wins (1950-60-61-62-63-71-91-2006-07-11-13)
11 seasons resulted in Big Ten Championship (1933-50-60-61-62-63-71-91-2006-07-11)
10 seasons led to NCAA tournament appearance (1950-60-61-62-71-91-06-07-11-13)
8 seasons resulted in NCAA Sweet 16 appearance (1960-61-62-71-91-07-11-13)
6 seasons started with 10 or more wins (1961-62-91-2006-11-14)
4 seasons resulted in NCAA Final Four appearance (1960-61-62-07)
2 seasons resulted in 30+ wins (2007, 2011)
1 season resulted in NCAA National title (1960)

Buckeyes Among National Stat Leaders
After 13 games, Ohio State ranks No. 3 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.243), No. 5 in scoring defense (54.0 ppg.), No. 3 in fewest fouls per game (15.2), No. 6 in scoring margin (20.8 ppg.) and No. 13 in field goal percentage defense (.364). Aaron Craft is No. 12 nationally in total steals (31). Shannon Scottis No. 24 (30).

Buckeyes Hot in December
In five of the last eight games the Buckeyes have connected on better than 52 percent of its field goals in each game. The best shooting effort over the first five games of the season was a 47.7 percent effort in the season opener vs. Morgan State (31-65). In wins vs. North Florida (36-52/.692), Maryland (25-48/.521), Central Connecticut State (29-55/.527), Bryant (32-61/.525) and North Dakota State (27-52/.529) the Buckeyes combined to shoot 56 percent from the field (149-267). LaQuinton Ross averaged 17.4 points over those games on 56 percent shooting from the field (32-57). Aaron Craft (17-27/.630) and Amir Williams (22-30/.733) were the most efficient during that stretch. Lenzelle Smith Jr. connected on 61 percent of his shots (26-43). The last time the Buckeyes hit on half their shots over five games was in 1991-92 when the Buckeyes started the season with six-consecutive games shooting 50 percent or better. The latest streak of five-consecutive games shooting 50 percent or better is the longest under Thad Mattasince he took over the Ohio State program for the 2004-05 season.

The Purdue Series
Purdue leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 83-79. The Boilermakers own a 52-28 advantage in games played in West Lafayette. The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings and are 25-4 all-time when ranked nationally in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Ranked Ohio State teams are 11-2 in the last 13 games vs. Purdue and have been among the Top 10 teams in 12 of those games. All-time, the Buckeyes are 12-2 vs. the Boilermakers when ranked in the Top 5. Ohio State is currently ranked No. 3. Since taking over the Buckeyes for the 2004-05 season, Thad Matta’s Buckeyes have won 13 of the last 18 meetings with the Boilermakers, including four games at Mackey Arena. Ohio State is 7-1 vs. Purdue in Columbus during the Matta era and 2-1 in Big Ten Conference tournament action. Aaron Craftaverages 11.8 points a game to lead the Buckeyes in the series with Purdue. He has played in five games vs. the Boilermakers and has made 21 of 36 field goals (.583) and 15 of 17 foul shots (.882). Senior classmate Lenzelle Smith Jr. averages 4.3 rebounds in the series.

A Look at The Boilermakers
Purdue has not played since a 73-70 win at West Virginia Dec. 22. The Boilermakers are 10-3 overall with losses to Oklahoma State, Washington State and Butler. Purdue has won five of the last six games behind the 14.0 points per game from Terone Johnson and 10.8 ppg. from his brother Ronnie Johnson. A.J. Hammons leads the team with 6.8 rebounds per game.

Ohio State vs. The Big Ten
Ohio State is in its 102nd season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes own an overall record of 755-673 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 13 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 133-52 vs. league members, including a mark of 130-50 while coaching the Buckeyes.

Matta Extends Streak vs. Non-Conference Foes
Thad Mattahas directed Ohio State to at least 10 wins during non-conference play in each of his 10 seasons in Columbus. Matta is 133-23 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 130-50 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 263-73. In 14 seasons as a head coach (1 at Butler, 3 at Xavier and 10 at Ohio State) Matta is 133-52 vs. the Big Ten. He has winning records vs. 10 league teams (ILL (12-5), IND (11-7), IOWA (11-4), MICH (17-4), MINN (10-5), NW (15-1), PSU (17-0), PUR (14-6) and NEB (5-0). Matta is 10-9 vs. MSU and 11-11 vs. Wisconsin.

Noting the ULM Game

  • The game last Friday was the first meeting all-time between Ohio State and ULM. The Buckeyes are 8-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.
  • Ohio State opened the first half with a 12-0 run and the second half with a 15-0 spurt. ULM was held scoreless for the first 9:19 of the second half.
  • Three players scored in double figures for Ohio State: Lenzelle Smith Jr. (17 points), LaQuinton Ross (15) and Amedeo Della Valle (14).
  • The combination of Smith Jr. and Ross (32 points) outscored the Warhawks (31 points) for the game.
  • OSU held ULM to season lows in: points (31), points scored in a half (11, second half), field goal percentage (18.5 percent, 10-54), 3-point field goal percentage (16.7 percent, 3-18) and assists (four).
  • No ULM player made more than two field goals for the game.
  • The Buckeyes owned a 30-12 edge in points scored in the paint and a 14-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
  • With 13 wins to start the 2013-14 season, Ohio State now has won 10 or more consecutive games in 13 seasons all-time. This year also marks the fifth year in which an Ohio State team has won 10 or more games to start the season.
  • Ohio State has won 78-consecutive home games against unranked opponents, 51 consecutive against unranked nonconference opponents. The last loss was Dec. 27, 2008 vs. West Virginia.
  • Ohio State is 108-6 all-time vs. non-conference opponents at Value City Arena.
  • As a ranked team, No. 3 Ohio State is 468-124 all-time. The Buckeyes are 334-73 when ranked in the AP Top 10.
  • Thad Matta is 263-73 during his career at Ohio State and 365-104 overall as a head coach.
  • Against unranked opponents, Matta owns a 217-22 record as Ohio State head coach. Matta is 144-2 against unranked opponents at home.
  • Matta has directed Ohio State to at least 10 wins during non-conference play in each of his 10 seasons in Columbus. Matta is 133-23 vs. non-conference competition.
  • Matta owns a 164-14 home record as head coach of the Buckeyes.
  • Matta is 62-9 in the month of December as OSU head coach.
  • Lenzelle Smith Jr. led all scorers with 17 points.
  • LaQuinton Ross posted his third career double-double with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
  • Ross has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games.
  • Amedeo Della Valle tied career bests with five rebounds and two assists and passed 100 career points (106).
  • Aaron Craft had four assists against the Warhawks. He is Ohio State’s all-time assist leader with 590 for his career.
  • Craft scored four points. He ranks 43rd all-time at Ohio State with 1,096 career points. He needs five points to pass Mel Nowell (1,100) for 42nd.

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Notes link above.