The Top 30 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, the nation’s most coveted college basketball honor, were named Monday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award Committee. Composed of the players who will compete for the player of the year award this season, the midseason list is based on individual excellence and team record during the first half of the season. Ohio State’s Evan Turner was added to the list despite missing the last six games with an injured back. Before his injury, Turner was averaging 18.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists a game. 

The 1960 Ohio State men’s basketball team will be honored at halftime of the Minnesota game Jan. 31 at Value City Arena (1 p.m./CBS). The squad won the NCAA and Big Ten titles that season with a 25-3 record and a 13-1 mark in the Big Ten. A reception will be held Jan. 30 at St. John Arena from 7-9 p.m. Limited availability remains. For more information and for reservations ($100 for individuals and $175 for couples) for the “Cocktails & Hightops” event can be made by calling 614-292-9908. Reservation deadline is Jan. 20. The entire team is expected back for this weekend, including three-time All-American and  Big Ten Player of the Year Jerry Lucas, All-American and two-time All-Big Ten selection John Havlicek and Bob Knight, the NCAA career leader in coaching victories (Army, Indiana and Texas Tech) with 902. All three are members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Junior Jon Diebler has made 192 career 3-pointers to rank No. 2 all time at Ohio State behind Jamar Butler’s 242 career makes. Butler played from 2005-08 and averaged nearly 61 made 3s a season. Diebler has averaged 64 a season over three years with about half of the 2009-10 campaign remaining. Butler’s career percentage from long range ranks No. 8 all time at 37.2 percent accuracy (242-650). Diebler is shootng 38.4 percent (192-500) for his career. This after connecting on just 29 percent (48-166) as a freshman. He shot 42 pecent as a sophomore (96-231) and is making 46 percent this season (48-103). 

This is the 98th season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 54-42 (.563) in conference openers, 63-30 (.677) in league home openers and 35-59 (.372) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play. Ohio State has opened Big Ten play on the road 42 times and has an 18-24 record in those games.

Thad Matta, now in his sixth season as head coach of the Buckeyes, has an overall win percentage of .733 (137-50) after 187 games at Ohio State. That winning mean is the highest among the 11 head coaches in the history of the Ohio State men’s basketball program with three or more seasons on the sidelines. Matta’s 55-31 record in Big Ten regular-season play (.640) also has produced the highest winning percentage in conference play among any previous Ohio State coach. Fred Taylor (1959-76) is second in both overall win percentage (.653/297-158) and Big Ten win percentage (.608/158-102) in 18 seasons.

Starting with a dunk at 13:12 in the second half, the Dec. 22 ESPN Top Play of the Day, the Buckeyes went on a 16-6 run with junior forward David Lighty scoring 15 of Ohio State’s 16 points during a 5:47 stretch in a 72-59 win over Cleveland State. Lighty, the Big Ten Player of the Week, finished with a team-high 30 points (9-of-16) with seven rebounds and five assists vs. his hometown school. His 30 points was a career high. He is the first Buckeye since Jamar Butler to reach the 30-point mark. Butler had 32 points vs. Illinois Jan. 3, 2008. Lighty reached the 700-point mark in his career against the Vikings and now has 717 points. Lighty scored at least 20 points for the fifth time in his career and third time this season. He has had at least 20 points in two of the last three games. Against CSU, Lighty had a team-high five assists and has scored in double-digits in his  fifth-consecutive game, a career-long streak of at least 10 points. From behind the arc, Lighty went 3-of-5, which tied his career high in 3-pointers made. Lighty made nine free-throws on 13 free-throw attempts, both career highs. Evan Turner was named the Big Ten’s player of the week three times before suffering a back injury Dec. 5 vs. Eastern Michigan.

Thad Matta has directed Ohio State to at least 10 wins during non-conference play in each of six seasons in Columbus and is 10-2 this season with one game to play against a non-Big Ten Conference opponent. Matta is 75-15 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 62-34 vs. Big Ten competition for an overall record of 137-49. Ohio State has West Virginia (Jan. 23) remaining on the non-conference schedule.

Ohio State is 9-0 at home to date and shooting well on familiar ground. The Buckeyes are shooting 54 percent as a team at home this season and 43 percent from 3-point range. The team has reached 100 or more points three times and average a margin of victory of +30.4. Five Buckeyes average more than 10 points a game, led by Evan Turner’s 16.5 points per game before his injury. Jon Diebler and David Lighty add 15 ppg. Diebler is making 52 percent of his field goals (42-81) and 53 percent of his 3-point attempts (35-66). Six Buckeyes are shooting 50 percent or better at home and four are making 60 percent or better. Dallas Lauderdale has missed five shots on the VCA court this season. He is 26-31 overall (.839). Jeremie Simmons has connected on 31 of 49 FG attempts (.633) and Kyle Madsen is 12 of 19 (.632). Evan Turner was shooting 60 percent overall before injuring his back vs. Eastern Michigan Dec. 5.

Ohio State begins the home portion of the Big Ten Conference season with Indiana after starting with road games at Wisconsin and Michigan. Ohio State travels to Minnesota and Purdue to complete an opening stretch of four road games in the first five league contests of the season. Indiana owns a 99-70 advantage in the all-time series with the the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 45-34 in Columbus vs. the Hoosiers. William Buford is the leading scorer for the Buckeyes in the Indiana series with an average of 21.5 points a game over two career meetings. Buford connected on 15-of-27 shots from the field (.556) and 60 percent from 3-point range (6-10) as a freshman vs. IU. Evan Turner is Ohio State’s top rebounder with 6.0 a contest over four career meetings. He averages 16 points a game in the IU series. Jeremie Simmons averaged 14.5 points in two games as a junior vs. Indiana scoring 29 points on 8-of-17 shooting and 6-of-12 from 3-point range. He also has knocked down 7-of-9 foul shots in the IU series. Jon Diebler is the fourth Buckeye averaging double-digits vs. Indiana. He has contributed 13.8 points over four career games and is shooting 53 percent from the field (18-34) and 48 percent from long range (15-31).

Last time vs. the Hoosiers: Jan. 31, 2009: Ohio State 93, Michigan 81
Evan Turner had 29 points and 10 rebounds  as Ohio State beat Indiana 93-81, a school record-tying 11th-consecutive loss for the Hoosiers,  Jan. 31, 2009. William Buford added 24 points for the Buckeyes, who won for only the sixth time in 35 tries at Assembly Hall and posted their first regular-season sweep of the Hoosiers in a decade. The win gave Thad Matta a record of 50-25 in Big Ten games. He became the second fastest in school history to reach 50 conference wins. Former Buckeyes coach Fred Taylor did it in 61 games. Freshman Matt Roth led the Hoosiers with 29 points, making nine 3s to tie a single-game school record.

  • The first half featured two ties and three lead changes. Ohio State secured its only lead of the first period at the 1:17 mark with a 3-point field goal by David Lighty to go up 32-31.
  • The Buckeyes hold an 85-71 advantage in the all-time series against Michigan, though the Wolverines are 44-35 vs. Ohio State when playing in Ann Arbor. OSU is 27-5 in the series when ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.
  • Jon Diebler led the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points, including 15 from behind the arc. Diebler was 5-of-11 from 3-point range, marking his 23rd-consecutive game with at least one made trey and his sixth this season with at least five made. The last time he was held scoreless from behind the arc was Feb. 14, 2009, against Wisconsin.
  • William Burford recorded his second career double-double and his first game with 10 or more rebounds with 16 points and 13 rebounds. His effort on the boards was a game-high effort. He also added three steals while playing all 40 minutes.
  • David Lighty has reached 10 or more points in each of his last seven games (11 this season), six of which have come during Evan Turner’s absence. Lighty’s streak of double-digit games is a career best.
  • Ohio State knocked down 10 3-pointers for the sixth time this season (5-1). The Buckeyes have reached 10+ made 3s in a game 64 times and are 53-11 all-time in those games. Thad Matta teams are 37-9 when making 10 or more treys in a game.
  • Ohio State fell to 345-102 all-time when ranked among the Top 25 teams nationally.
  • William Buford’s double-double marked the 795th game all-time in which an Ohio State player reached a combination of at least 10 points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks in a game. The Buckeyes are 539-256 in those situations.
  • Buford averaged a double-double last week on road games at Wisconsin and Michigan with a team-high 15 points and 10.5 rebounds.
  • With the women’s basketball win Sunday, Ohio State is 28-3 vs. Michigan in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball with Jim Tressel (8-1), Thad Matta (9-2) and Jim Foster (11-0) as head coaches.

Junior Evan Turner fell hard to the floor on a dunk attempt early in the first half vs. Eastern Michigan Dec. 5. He left the game and tests revealed a fracture in his lower back. He is expected to miss eight weeks recovering from the injury. After eight games, Turner led the Buckeyes in scoring (18.5 ppg.), rebounding (11.4 rpg.), assists (47) and field goals (62). He was shooting 61 percent from the field (62-102) and was second in blocks (10) and steals (12).

Evan Turner was selected the Big Ten’s co-player of the week Nov. 30, the third conference award in as many weeks for the junior guard from Chicago. Turner recorded Ohio State’s third all-time triple-double in win vs. Lipscomb Nov. 24 with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He shot 71 percent from the field for the week (15-21) and was a perfect 7-7 from the field vs. St. Francis Nov. 28. Averaged 16 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists for the week with four blocks and three steals. Turner also became the 44th Buckeye to reach 1,000 points with 16 vs. St. Francis (Pa.) in just 27 minutes vs. the Red Flash.
Only 20 players in Ohio State history have scored more than 1,000 points and collected 500 rebounds. Turner has 1,033 career points and 489 career rebounds at Ohio State. The most recent addition to the list was Terence Dials, who from 2002-06, scored 1,566 points and grabbed 876 rebounds. He was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2006. Just 26 Ohio State players have recorded 500 or more career rebounds. J.J. Sullinger was the last to join the list in 2006 in his third season in Columbus. He finished his career with 535 career rebounds. Turner could become just the second player in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Jim Jackson is the only other Buckeye to do so with 1,785 career points, 552 career rebounds and 372 career assists from 1990-92. Turner has 276 career assists to date and is averaging 5.9 assists a game this season.

Ohio State has seven opponents currently in the Top 25 nationally in the ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press weekly polls. Purdue, West Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida State are listed in both polls, while Butler appears in the ESPN Top 25. California and Minnesota are receiving votes in at least one of the polls.

Evan Turner opened the season with five-consecutive double-doubles for the first time since Clark Kellogg did so in 1980-81. Turner reached 10 or more points and rebounds vs. Alcorn State (14/17/10 assts.), James Madison (24-17), North Carolina (23/11), California (26/14) and Lipscomb (16/10/11 assts.). Kellogg began the 1980-81 campaign with double-doubles in five-consecutive games vs. Cleveland State (23/14), at Kentucky (12/13), Colgate (16/17), South Alabama (18/18) and at Arizona State (18/10). 
The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 131-219 vs. ranked opponents in the Associated Press Top 25. That includes a mark of 54-111 vs. Top 10 foes. The Buckeyes are 2-4 in the last six games vs. Top 10, including a victory over then-No. 13 California, 76-70, in Madison Square Garden Nov. 20. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 345-102 all-time.

 Evan Turner has scored 1,033 points over 78 Ohio State games in his career for an average of 13.2 points a game. His 16 points vs. St. Francis (Pa.) Nov. 28 made him the 44th player in Ohio State history to reach 1,000 career points. With 25 points vs. Florida State Dec. 2, Turner moved to No. 41 all-time on the career scoring chart at Ohio State. Jamie Skelton and Ken Johnson are next, tied for No. 39 with 1,055 career points. Two others on the current roster are on pace to reach 1,000 points. Junior David Lighty has 727 career points over 96 career games. Jon Diebler has 768 points (83 games) in his three seasons at Ohio State. William Buford is well on his way as a sophomore as well (537/56 games).

Ohio State has had a player record a double-double (10+ points, rebs, assists, steals or blocks) in 795 games. The Buckeyes are 539-256 in those contests (.678). Evan Turner has 17 career double-doubles and the Buckeyes are 11-6 in those contests, including wins in nine of his last 11 games with a D-D. Turner is among the Top 20 players in OSU history with 17 career double-doubles at No. 18, tied with Dennis Hopson (1984-87) and Steven Wenner (1973-75). Terence Dials (2002-06), Bill Andreas (1973-75) and Tony Campbell (1981-84) are tied for No. 15 with 18 career double-doubles. William Buford became the 100th Ohio State player to record a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists in Ohio State’s win vs. Eastern Michigan Dec. 5. He added his second D-D with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds at Michigan Jan. 3. 

 Ohio State has scored 100 or more points 69 times all-time and has a record of 68-1 in those games. The Buckeyes are 49-0 at home when reaching the century mark, 3-0 on neutral courts and 16-1 on opponent courts. The last win with 100 or more points was a 111-60 victory vs. Eastern Michigan Dec. 5. The only loss for OSU when scoring 100 points was a double-overtime thriller at LSU Jan. 15, 2005. The Buckeyes battled the Tigers but fell 113-101.

Ohio State has made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 64 times since the long-range shot was instituted for the 1986-87 season. The Buckeyes are 53-11 in those games after knocking down 10 of 32 treys against Michigan Jan. 3. Opponents have made double-digit 3s 82 times and are 33-49 in those games vs. the Buckeyes. Matta’s Ohio State teams are 37-9 when making 10 or more 3s in a game.   

The first four games of the regular-season made up the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer event on the Ohio State schedule. Alcorn State (Nov. 9) and James Madison (Nov. 12) traveled to Columbus before the Buckeyes played at Madison Square Garden in New York vs defending national champions North Carolina Nov. 19 and California Nov. 20.

 Mark Titus, senior walk-on from Brownsburg, Ind., has been writing and publishing his blog – –  for the last two years on college basketball from an “end-of-the-bench” perspective. Approaching 2,000,000 hits, the blog is somewhat popular in college basketball circles. To take advantage of the interest in the site, Titus has teamed with “A Kid Again,” a local charity for children with life-threatening illnesses, to help support the charity’s efforts. For a $25 donation fans of the blog will receive a Club Tril T-shirt. All the proceeds will then go to support “A Kid Again.” Get your shirt today by placing an order at 
Evan Turner was tabbed a preseason first team All-Big Ten selection by league media at the annual media day in Chicago. Turner is the league’s top returning scorer (17 ppg.). He led the Buckeyes in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals as a sophomore last year. Thad Matta’s Buckeyes were selected No. 3 in the preseason media poll behind Michigan State and Purdue.

Ohio State will play five of the preseason Top 10 ranked teams (ESPN/coaches poll) in the country by year’s end. Preseason No. 2 Michigan State, No. 4 North Carolina, No. 7 Purdue, No. 9 West Virginia and No. 10 Butler all dot the Ohio State slate in 2009-10. Five Big Ten teams were ranked among the Top 20 with No. 15 Michigan, No. 18 Minnesota, and No. 17 Ohio State all slated among the top teams nationally. Ohio State also faced No. 12 California at the 2K Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer in New York, defeating the Bears 76-70. Illinois was just outside the preseason Top 25 at No. 27. 
Ohio State leads all Big Ten teams with seven players on current NBA rosters. The Big Ten started the season with 33 players on NBA active lists. Nine Big Ten teams have at least one player competing in the NBA. Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks) is the longest-tenured Buckeye in the NBA. Greg Oden (Portland), Michael Conley (Memphis), Daequan Cook (Miami), Othello Hunter (Atlanta), Kosta Koufos (Utah) and B.J. Mullens (Oklahoma) represent Ohio State in the NBA.

Four of the first five games of the Big Ten season will be played away from Value City Arena. The Buckeyes opened the league season at Wisconsin Dec. 31 (L, 65-43) before a trip to Michigan Jan. 3. A home game vs. Indiana Jan. 6 splits road games at Minnesota (Jan. 9) and at Purdue Jan. 12. The Buckeyes face a similar stretch of road games at Indiana Feb. 10, at Illinois Feb. 14, home vs. Purdue Feb. 17 and away vs. Michigan State Feb. 20/21 and at Penn State Feb. 24.
 The Ohio State roster grew by two in late October when Thad Matta added walk-on juniors Eddie Days and Dustin Reynolds. Days is the nephew of Buckeye great Jim Cleamons, a current assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. Reynolds is the younger brother of former Ohio State women’s basketball player DiDi Reynolds. Dustin will sit out the 2009-10 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules (from Hillsdale College in Michigan). Days started his career vs. Presbyterian College Dec. 16, playing one minute in the victory over the Blue Hose. The Buckeyes now have four walk-on players on the roster. Danny Peters is a fifth-year senior and Mark Titus is in his senior campaign as well. Peters will end his career with five varsity letters, one as a manager (2006) and four as a student-athlete (2007-10).
Junior Evan Turner averaged 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and led Team USA with 18 assists at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. The United States finished with a 6-1 record at the early-July event with Turner making three starts and averaging 16.3 minutes a game. He connected on 52 percent of his shots (12-23) and 4 of 5 free throws.