Oct. 29, 2012

Opponent:    Walsh
Site:             Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time:  7 p.m. ET
Talent:         Charlie Danis (play-by-play)
                   Neshaun Coleman (expert analysis)
Radio:          OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Local Radio:  WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
                    Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Ohio State Notes

Walsh Notes

Thomas Selected AP All-American
The Associated Press announced its preseason first team All-America selections Oct. 29 with Ohio State junior Deshaun Thomas among the six honorees. A pair of other Big Ten players also were selected. Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke also were named by a panel of 65 voters from across the country. Ohio State junior Aaron Craft also received votes for first-team All-America consideration.

Ohio State Picked 3rd in B1G Poll
Ohio State, winners of the last three Big Ten Conference regular-season titles and five of the last seven, has been selected to finish third in the 2013 conference race by league media. Juniors Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas also were selected as first team all-conference selections at the annual league media day in Chicago Oct. 25.  

Buckeyes Look to Extend Title Streak
Thad Matta’s Buckeyes earned their third-consecutive Big Ten regular-season title in 2011-12 when William Buford’s late-game heroics at Michigan State helped clinch a share of the crown in East Lansing. Not since Fred Taylor’s teams in the 1960s had Ohio State won three-consecutive Big Ten championships. The 2012-13 Buckeyes are vying for their fourth title in as many years, edging closer to the Big Ten record of five championships in succession accomplished from 1960-64 by Taylor’s troops.

Young Again
Ohio State advanced to the 2012 Final Four with just one senior, William Buford, on the roster. The 2012-13 team also features one player in the final year of eligibility, Evan Ravenel, a reserve a season ago. A bevy of freshmen dotted the Ohio State bench during Ohio State’s run to the Final Four last year. This year the lone rookie, Amedeo Della Valle, will have five experienced sophomores, three juniors and Ravenel on hand to offer advice.  

Spots Open
Juniors Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Deshaun Thomas are returning starters with lineup staples William Buford (eligibility) and Jared Sullinger (NBA-Celtics) gone from the program. Thad Matta will have several options to fill the void with six underclassmen and senior Evan Ravenel vying for opportunities. Sophomores Amir Williams and Trey McDonald, along with Ravenel, will battle for minutes in the paint. Sophomores Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson and LaQuinton Ross will complete at guard along with freshman shooter Amedeo Della Valle, an import from Italy via Findlay (Nev.) Prep.

Walkons Added to Roster
Andrew Goldstein and Jake Lorbach were added to the 2012-13 roster Oct. 22 as walk-on members of the squad. Goldstein, a junior guard, played prep basketball at Marlboro (N.J.) High School. Lorbach played in Ohio at St. Edward High School. Goldstein played a season of junior college basketball at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J., before transfering to Ohio State. Lorbach played both basketball and volleyball in high school, winning the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball state title as a senior. Goldstein will sit out the 2012-13 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility starting with the 2013-14 season.

Defense on Display
Aaron Craft, the reigning Big Ten defensive player of the year, spearheads the Ohio State defensive efforts but he will have plenty of help this season from his backcourt brethren and his teammates in the paint. Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Craft make up one of the best defensive backcourts in college basketball. Add to that the shot-blocking prowess of 6-11 sophomore Amir Williams, leaper Sam Thompson and the ever-improving Deshaun Thomas and the Buckeyes have all the ingredients in place to challenge opposing offenses. In just two seasons, Craft has amassed 171 career steals, already No. 2 all-time at Ohio State. As a team, Ohio State held opponents under 40 percent shooting 20 times last season.

2012-13 Schedule Notes
Ohio State will play at Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 28 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in a rematch of the 2011 Challenge game played in Columbus, a win for the Buckeyes. The Carrier Classic, in its second year, will feature both the Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball teams. The games will be played on the USS Yorktown, a museum ship at the Patriots Point historical complex in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., in Charleston Harbor. The men will take on Marquette while the women battle Notre Dame. The games will be played Nov. 9, the season opener for the Buckeyes. Ohio State also will take part in the 2012 Basketball Tip-Off Classic. Games will be played both in Columbus and at the Mohegan Sun Arena (Nov. 17-18) in Uncasville, Conn. Featured games include Ohio State vs. Rhode Island and either the Buckeyes vs. Washington or Seton Hall. Also in non-conference play, Kansas will travel to Ohio State Dec. 22 in a rematch of the 2012 Final Four matchup with the Buckeyes in New Orleans. In Big Ten play, Ohio State will play seven teams twice in home-and-home competition and four teams once. Iowa and Minnesota travel to Columbus this year in single-game play. The Buckeyes travel to Penn State and Purdue.

Thomas, Craft Approaching 1,000 Points
Juniors Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft both could join Ohio State’s 1,000-point club this season. Thomas needs just 103 points while Craft is 399 points away. Thomas averages 11.8 points over his career after contributing 15.9 points a game last year. Craft has averaged just under eight points a game over 76 career games. He averaged 8.8 as a sophomore. Jared Sullinger was the last Buckeye, the 48th all-time, to reach 1,000 career points. He finished his two-year career with 1,282 points, good for the No. 29 spot all-time in Ohio State history.

Buckeyes Return Numbers
The Buckeyes return more than 50 percent of its offense this season. Junior Deshaun Thomas is the top returning scorer at 15.9 points a game. Aaron Craft, also a junior, added 8.8 points a game. In all, the Buckeyes return 53 percent of the offense (1,552 of 2,913 pts.), 59 percent of the rebounds (846 of 1,440), 70 percent of the team’s assists (396 of 568) and 63 percent of its steals (188 of 281).

Rogers Earns Scholarship
Alex Rogers, a junior who transferred to Ohio State following the 2010-11 season from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, was awared an athletics scholarship in August 2012. Rogers sat out while practicing with the Buckeyes in 2011-12 but was not eligible to play per NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility at Ohio State. Before arriving at Ohio State, Rogers, a Cincinnati, Ohio, native, started 34 of 35 career games at CBU. He averaged 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds with a career total of 94 assists.

Matta Continues to Build Impressive Ohio State Resume
Thad Matta has accomplished a remarkable list of accomplishments in eight years as head coach of the Buckeyes. The 2012-13 season should be no different. Matta’s teams have never failed to win 20 games, a record streak in Ohio State history. In fact, Matta has never failed to reach the 20-win plateau in 12-years as a head coach. Ohio State has reached 30 or more wins three times, all with Matta at the helm. Back-to-back seasons with 30 wins in 2010-11 (34) and 31 in 2011-12 only trail the 35 wins recorded in 2006-07, the Ohio State record for single-season victories. In addition, Matta has won five Big Ten titles, including the last three, three Big Ten postseason tournament crowns, in six title game opportunities, six NCAA tournament appearances, including three consecutive runs to the Sweet 16, a pair of Final Four trips (2007, 2011) and a title game appearance in 2007. Throw in a National Invitation Tournament title in 2009 and Matta has guide the Buckeyes to postseason play in seven-consecutive attempts and in ever year in which Ohio State was eligible.

3     Consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 Appearances (2010-12)
    Consecutive Years with First Team All-American
    (2010, E. Turner; 2011, J. Sullinger; 2012, J. Sullinger)
4     Consecutive Years in NCAA Tournament (2009-12)
    Consecutive Years in B1G Tournament Title Game (2009-12)
7     Consecutive years with 10+ wins in B1G Regular Season
    Consecutive years with 1st Team All-B1G representative
    (2006, 07(2), 08, 09, 10, 11, 12)
8     Consecutive 20-win seasons (all under Thad Matta)
    Consecutive Seasons with 10+ non-conference wins
    (all under Matta)
    Consecutive seasons with 15 or more home wins
    (all under Matta)
41     Consecutive weeks in Associated Press Top 10
    (last 4 in 2010, 18 in 2010-11, 19 in 2011-12)
46     Consecutive weeks in Associated Press Top 25 Poll
    (last 9 2010, 18 in 2011, 19 in 2011-12)

Another Craft Added to Basketball Roster
Another member of the Craft family is playing basketball for the Buckeyes this season. Cait Craft signed on with the Buckeyes last November and will be a freshman this season with the Ohio State women’s team. Aaron Craft is a junior on the men’s team. The Craft siblings are the second brother-sister duo to play for the Buckeyes while Thad Matta and Foster have led the basketball programs. P.J. Hill (2008-09) of the men’s team and Tayler Hill, currently a senior on the women’s team, were the first siblings to represent the Buckeyes under Matta and Foster. There currently are five brother-sister tandems playing Division I basketball.

Thomas Tabbed Sporting News Preseason All-America
Junior Deshaun Thomas was selected by the Sporting News as a preseason first team All-American. Thomas is the top returning scorer from a year ago. He averaged just shy of 16 points a game last year for the 31-8 Buckeyes, who advanced to the 2012 NCAA Final Four and won a third-consecutive Big Ten regular-season title.  

Buckeyes picked as high as No. 3 in Preseason
The Sporting News has selected the Buckeyes as the No. 3 team nationally in its preseason poll (released Oct. 2). The Big Ten has three teams among the Top 5 in the poll with Indiana picked No. 1 and Michigan No. 5. Both the Associated Press and ESPN/Coaches polls selected Ohio State in the preseason No. 4 position.

Thomas Returns for Junior Season
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State’s top returning scorer (15.9 ppg.) and rebounder (5.4 rpg.) from the 2011-12 Final Four squad, will return for his junior season. Among the starters from the 2011-12 season, Thomas shot the highest field goal percentage (.520/243-467) while scoring 619 points an grabbing 209 rebounds, 100 of which came on the offensive end of the court.