Dec. 10, 2015

Rookie Austin Grandstaff has made a 3 in seven of eight games this season.

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The Ohio State Buckeyes (4-4) vs. UConn (6-3)

Date: Dec. 12, 2015
Site: Gample Pavilion (10,167)
Game Time: 12:00 p.m.
Television: CBS
Talent: Carter Blackburn(Play-By-Play)
Bill Raftery (Expert Analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 84/XM 84
Local Radio: WBNS-FM 97.1, AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (Expert Anelysis)

Starting Five
•    Ohio State has shot better from the field than its opponent in all eight games this season and are 4-4 to date. Ohio State outshot 23 opponents a year ago and were 23-0 in those games. In the Matta era, the Buckeyes have outshot foes 294 times and are 266-28 in those games (.905).
•    Opponents are shooting 77.9percent (113-145) from the foul line against the Buckeyes, the sixth best nationally. Miami (Ohio) foes are shooting 81.3 percent to lead the country. Only three power five conference teams are among the Top 20 in free throw percentage defense–Ohio State at No. 6, Kansas at No. 20 (.754) and Auburn at No. 25 (.750).
•    Thad Matta has coached 401 games at Ohio State, the third most in school history. Harold G. Olsen (1923-46) and Fred Taylor (1959-76), have reached 400 or more games at Ohio State. Olsen coached 456 (259-197) and Taylor 455 (297-158).
•    Streaks: Marc Loving has made at least one 3-pointer in all eight games this season and in the last nine games dating to last season … Loving has scored 10 or more points in all eight games this season and has recorded a double-double in each of the last two contests … JaQuan Lyle leads Ohio State with 44 assists with at least four helpers in six of the last seven games … Bates-Diop has been to the foul line at least twice in seven of eight games … he leads the team making 92 percent on the year at the stripe (22-24)  … as a team Ohio State has rejected at least five opposing shots in each of the last seven games.
•    Marc Loving needs eight points to reach 600 for his career…he’s averaged 7.9 points a game over the last three seasons but is leading the team with 17.1 points per game this season … Jae’Sean Tate reached 400 career points (401) with 11 tallied vs. Air Force the last time out.       

Matta Reaches Career, Ohio State History
Thad Matta has made a habit of achieving records and milestones over his coaching career, which spans 16 years. After a season at Butler, three at Xavier and the last 12 in Columbus, Matta coached his 500th career game as a head coach Dec. 13 vs. Morehead State. As an Ohio State head coach, the 13th in the history of the program, Matta set the all-time wins record, surpassing Fred Taylor’s 297 career victories over 18 seasons from 1959-1976, with a 79-73 win vs. Minnesota March 12, 2015 in Chicago. The Minnesota victory also gave him his 400th career win (405-128). Matta teams have never failed to win at least 20 games. His Ohio State teams have averaged 27.2 victories over his 11 full years in Columbus. He coached in his 400th career game (303-98) at Ohio State when the Buckeyes defeated VMI Dec. 5 (89-62). 

Scouting Connecticut
Connecticut enters the game with the Buckeyes with a 5-3 overall record. The Huskies opened the season 4-0 but have dropped three of the last four outings. Losses have come to Syracuse, Gonzaga and most recently to Maryland. Wins this season have been against Maine, New Hampshire, Furman, Michigan and Seton Hall. Four Huskies average 10 or more points offensivley led by sophomore guard Daniel Hamilton (13.9 ppg.) and junior guard Rodney Purvis (13.8 ppg.). Graduate forward Shonn Miller (12.1 ppg.) and graduate guard Sterling Gibbs (11.9 ppg.) are the others. Hamilton is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.8 boards a game.

Last Time vs. Connecticut
Ohio State and the Huskies have officially battled four times all-time. The Buckeyes won the first two meetings 74-67 (12/3/83) in Columbus and 72-65 (12/8/84) in Hartford, Conn., as part of a home-and-home series. The teams have met twice in postseason play with the Huskies winning 72-67 March 30, 1988 in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York and Ohio State earning a 78-55 win March 21, 1992 in the NCAA Second Round in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jim Jackson led the Buckeyes with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the most recent meeting. He was named the 1992 National Player of the Year that season. Current UConn head coach Kevin Ollie played in that games as well. He scored six points in 17 minutes. Ohio State’s 1999 meeting with Connecticut in the Final Four was vacated.

Ohio State vs. The American Athletic Conference
Ohio State is 22-11 all-time vs. the current alignment of American Athletic Conference members, which includes Ohio State’s overtime loss to Memphis earlier this season in Miami, Florida. Ohio State is 3-1 vs. Connecticut. The Buckeyes have played all American Athletic Conference affiliates except East Carolina, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.       

Ohio State vs. the American Athletic
Central Florida    1-0
Cincinnati    6-4
Connecticut    3-1
East Carolina
Houston    4-0
Memphis    2-1
South Florida    0-2
Southern Methodist
Temple    2-1
Tulane    4-2
Totals    22-11

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