Dec. 29, 2002

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Opponent Hampton
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
Local TV WBNS Ch. 10
TV Talent Tom Hamilton (Play-by-Play); 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 (6-3)
G 4-Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3-Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 2-Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, 6-1, So.
C 14-Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, Jr.
F 33-Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

Probable Starters (4-2)
G 21-Mackel Purvis, 6-2, Sr.
G 2-Devin Green, 6-7, So.
C 52-Rodney Hughes, 6-8, Jr.
F 34-David Johnson, 6-8, Jr.
F 4-Isaac Jefferson, 6-5, Sr.

Buckeyes, Hampton Play for 1st Time
Hampton and Ohio State will be facing one another for the first time. The Pirates are 4-2 this year after claiming the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championship in 2002 on their way to an NCAA tournament bid. Ohio State is 6-3 overall in 2002-03. The Buckeyes have appeared in the last four NCAA tournaments under head coach Jim O’Brien.

The Pirates are led by two Columbus, Ohio natives. Point guard Isaac Jefferson and guard/forward Devin Green. Jefferson graduated from Beechcroft High School and Jefferson from Columbus West. Pirates Start Season 4-2
Hampton opened the season with wins over Western Illinois (82-59), Richmond (61-60), Old Dominion (77-70) and Norfolk State (72-62) before falling to Virginia-Commonwealth (90-85) and Akron (84-79).

Guards Battle for Scoring Lead
A pair of senior guards lead the Pirates offensively. Mackel Purvis leads Hampton with 15.2 points per game. Columbus native Devin Green is next with 14.8 ppg. Barry Hairston is third with 14.3 points a contest. Another Columbus native, Isaac Jefferson, is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.8 a game. Jefferson, a point guard, averaged 9.7 ppg. a year ago. Green contributed 13.1 ppg last year.

Akron Gives Hampton Second Loss
Derrick Tarver, who scored a game-high 25 points, led three players in double figures as Akron used a strong second-half defensive effort to rally for a 84-79 win over Hampton in a non-conference men’s basketball game played Saturday. Devin Green was one of four Hampton players in double figures with 23 points on 9 for 14 shooting from the floor. Jeff Granger and Frank Russell came off the bench to score 14 and 13 points, respectively. Mackel Purvis added 10, while Barry Hairston. who entered the game as the Pirates’ leading scorer (16.4 ppg) was held to four.

Buckeyes Own 8-0 Rcd. vs. Mid Eastern Athletic Conference
Ohio State has played seven members of the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. The Buckeyes have played six teams – Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan State and North Carolina A&T – and Coppin State twice, including a 58-51 win to open the season this year. This will be the first meeting against Hampton.

Bethune-Cookman 1-0 Coppin State 2-0 Delaware State 1-0 Florida A&M 1-0 Hampton 0-0 Howard 1-0 Maryland Eastern Shore 0-0 Morgan State 1-0 Norfolk State 0-0 North Carolina A&T 1-0 South Carolina State 0-0 Totals 8-0

Bobby Collins in First Year at Hampton
Bobby Collins is in his first year at Hampton. Collins, who joined the Pirate family eight years ago, previously served as the assistant head coach for the men’s basketball team. Collins earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and management in 1991 from Eastern Kentucky University, where he finished as a four-year letterman. Collins’ coaching career began as a restricted earnings coach with the Old Dominion Monarchs (1994-95). Collins aided the Monarchs to a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship and a first round victory over Villanova University in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Prior to his stint at ODU, Collins served as an admissions counselor at EKU from 1992-94.

This Date In History
Ohio State is 10-23 in games played on Dec 30. The Buckeyes last won a game on this date in 2000 against another Mid Eastern Athletic Conference member, Coppin State, 80-42. That win broke a three-game losing streak. From 1964-1980, the Buckeyes were 0-9 when playing games on Dec. 30. OSU on Dec. 30

12/30/15 L @Ottawa 18-48 12/30/19 L vs Goodyear 24-26 12/30/21 W Dartmouth 24-23 12/30/22 W Vanderbilt 28-20 12/30/25 L Cornell 15-23 12/30/33 L @Pittsburgh 18-27 12/30/36 W @USC 40-38 12/30/38 L @California 42-45 12/30/39 L Pittsburgh 30-34 12/30/40 L Pittsburgh 34-48 12/30/42 L @Rochester 52-53 12/30/44 W @Michigan (ot) 44-41 12/30/50 L vs Penn State 58-67 12/30/54 W Oklahoma City 72(20)-61 12/30/61 W vs USC 76(1)-66 12/30/64 L Duke (2ot) 89-94(8) 12/30/66 L vs North Carolina 82-105(3) 12/30/67 L @Hawaii 76-80 12/30/68 L Washington 59(16)-64 12/30/70 L vs Indiana 77-85(14) 12/30/71 L @UCLA 53(6)-79(1) 12/30/72 L @Creighton 71-79 12/30/74 L vs Villanova 86-87 12/30/78 L vs Rutgers (3ot) 96-97 12/30/80 W West Virginia (2ot) 70-67 12/30/82 W South Alabama 79-74 12/30/83 L @SantaClara 69-71 12/30/85 L vs Nebraska 66-69 12/30/86 W vs Florida 88-84 12/30/93 L West Virginia 82-87 12/30/94 L @West Virginia 69-79 12/30/97 L vs Brigham Young 65-72 12/30/00 W Coppin State 80-42

Buckeyes Enjoy Success With Just One Day of Rest
The Buckeyes have played with just a day of rest following a game 17 times in Jim O’Brien’s tenure at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 11-6 in that situation and 11-1 since the 1998-99 season in regular season action.

Connolly Remains Consistent in Win over Tennessee State
Sean Connolly tied a career-high with 24 points and Brent Darby added 22 as Ohio State beat Tennessee State 94-73. Connolly got hot in the second half, making three layups and a 3-pointer in a 21-7 period-opening run that gave the Buckeyes a 63-30 lead. The senior guard shot 8-of-12 from the field to help Ohio State win its third-consecutive contest. Darby had two 3-pointers, a steal and a layup during the key run. He shot 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-7 on 3-pointers. Zach Williams shot 7-of-8 from the field for 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Buckeyes. Emonte Jernigan hit two of his three 3-pointers in a 16-2 run that gave Ohio State a 22-11 lead with 7:48 remaining in the first half. The Buckeyes then closed the half on a 10-3 spurt – with two jumpers each from Williams and Darby – to go ahead 42-23. Darby scored 11 points in the first half. Ohio State outrebounded Tennessee State 21-8 in the first half and 48-22 for the game.

Noting the Win over Tennessee State

Ohio State is 2-0 all-time against Tennessee State and 13-0all-time versus teams in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Buckeyesare 6-0 in Value City Arena this season and have posted a 63-8record since its opening. Last season, Ohio State began the yearwith six consecutive home games, all victories. When scoring 70 ormore points in a game, the Buckeyes have posted a 5-1 record thisseason and are 77-18 in O’Brien’s six seasons as head coach. OhioState scored its first six points of the game from the free-throwline and ended the half 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. TennesseeState was 1-of-2 from the free-throw line in the first half. JuniorShun Jenkins made his Ohio State debut at 13:17 in the first half.Jenkins missed the first eight games because of a broken finger. Hefinished with six points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes of action.Senior Sean Connolly tied a career-high 24 points against theTigers and is the only Buckeye to score in double figures in allnine games this season. His scored 24 against North Carolina Stateas a freshman at Providence. Connolly has scored at least 20 pointsin Ohio State’s last three games. He tallied 24 points againstTennessee State, 20 against Radford and 22 against Seton Hall.Brent Darby was the last player to score 20 or more points in threeconsecutive games for the Buckeyes during the 2001-02 season. Darbyrecorded 22 points against Illinois, 26 versus Northwestern and 22at Wisconsin. Redshirt freshman Matt Sylvester made his thirdcareer start as a Buckeye and netted a career-high eight pointsagainst the Tigers. He scored seven points against Seton Hall. Withtwo 3-point field goals against Tennessee State, Brent Darby issixth on the Ohio State career 3-point list (117). He needs eightmore to move into fifth place. Boban Sovovic is currently fifth(125) and Michael Redd is sixth (126). Darby’s 22 points gave him943 for his career. He needs 57 more points to become 41st playerat Ohio State to reach 1,000 career points. The Buckeyes return toaction at 8 p.m. Monday (Dec. 30) against Hampton in Value CityArena.

Non-Conference Foes go 1-2-3 in AP/ESPN/USA Today Polls
Ohio State is scheduled to play five teams and six games against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 10, a total of six in the Top 25 and another three (Minnesota, Wisconsin and Louisville) receiving votes for Top 25 consideration. No. 1/3 (ESPN/USA Today) Alabama, No. 2/2 Pittsburgh, No. 3/1 Duke, No. 7/7 Illinois and No. 10/11 Indiana are on the OSU schedule this year. With games vs. No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Duke and No. 2 Pittsburgh in the books, the Buckeyes will welcome 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. Ohio State travels to No. 7 Illinois Feb. 9. No. 15 Michigan State plays host to the Buckeyes Jan. 9 in the Big Ten opener.

Fuss-Cheatham, Jenkins Return to Action
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a sophomore point guard, and Shun Jenkins, a junior forward, have missed game action while recovering from injuries suffered Nov. 22 against the Harlem Globetrotters in the final exhibition game. 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. Fuss-Cheatham returned to action with six minutes of playing time against Morehead State Dec. 14. He made his first career start Dec. 18 vs. Pittsburgh and played 26 minutes. He also started against Seton Hall and Radford. He left the Radford game as a precaution after playing just five minutes with soreness in his injured knee and played just nine minutes against Tennessee State. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand. He had surgery Nov. 27 and missed the first eight games of the season. He had the pins removed Dec. 19 and played for the first time as a Buckeye against Tennessee State. He played 26 minutes, scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Connolly on Scoring Streak
Senior Sean Connolly has reached double figures offensively in each of the nine games this season. The streak is the longest since he opened his freshman campaign at Providence with six-consecutive double-digit games.

Connolly Close to Cracking Top 10 in Career 3-Pointers Made at Ohio State
Sean Connolly has made 105 of 263 (.399) career 3-pointers in three seasons as a Buckeye. With two more made long range attempts, he will crack the Top 10 in career makes at Ohio State. Brian Brown and Doug Etzler both finished their careers with 107 made 3-pointers. Connolly is 10th all-time with 263 attempts from 3-point range. His .399 shooting percentage ranks No. 8 all-time.

Darby Third in Scoring in Big Ten
Senior Brent Darby is the Big Ten’s third leading scorer with 17.9 points a game. He has reached 30 or more points twice this season and leads Ohio State in scoring, 3-point shooting (20-46/.435), foul shooting (47-58/.810), assists (47) and steals (17).

Connolly Reaches 100 Games Played, Darby Next
Sean Connolly reached 100 games played against Seton Hall. Connolly played a total of 30 games at Providence and has appeared in 72 at Ohio State. Brent Darby as played in 99 games as a Buckeye with 57 career starts.

Buckeyes to Play 8 of 9 Games at VCA
After six games in which Ohio State opened the season with a pair of neutral games, one road contest and three home games, the Buckeyes will play eight of the next nine games in Columbus. The next five games, vs. Seton Hall (W 74-51), Radford (W 96-80), Tennessee State (W 94-73), Hampton and Louisville will be played at home before the Big Ten opener at Michigan State Jan. 9. The Buckeyes will then play host to conference foes Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Darby Closing on 1,000 Pts., Reaches 100 Made 3-pointers
Senior guard Brent Darby is sixth all-time in career 3-pointers made with 118 after knocking down three long-range attempt against Tennessee State. Darby also has 943 career points. 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 NCAA 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 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.

Sylvester Back Sooner Than Expected
When redshirt freshman Matt Sylvester underwent successful back surgery Aug. 7. He progressed ahead of schedule and is contributing to the Ohio State rotation this season. 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. He has played in a nine games to date for an average of 18.2 minutes a game.

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.

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.

Jernigan Beginning to Make Adjustment to Ohio State
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. He has played in all nine games with three starts. He has connected on 5 of his last 8 3-point attempts and has 14 assists as a Buckeye at the third guard spot.

Winning Percentage Soars for O’Brien in Last Four Seasons
Jim O’Brien has won more than 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 99-38 (.722) in the 137 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 one Big Ten tournament crown (2002).

Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
The Buckeyes began their fifth season in Value City Arena in the 2002-03 home opener against Coppin State. Ohio State is 64-8 (.889) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign.

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.