Feb. 22, 2011
Vote for Lighty:
No. 2 Ohio State (25-2, 12-2) vs. Illinois (17-10, 7-7)
Value City Arena (18,809)
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN
Talent: Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Dan Dakich (expert analysis), Jill Montgomery (sideline)
Radio: OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius-122, XM-143
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play), Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Craft Owns Pair of Top Theft Efforts
Freshman Aaron Craft leads all league freshmen in steals (51) and assists (122) while leading the Buckeyes in both categories as well. Craft also set the Ohio State freshman record for steals in a game with seven vs. Iowa Jan. 19. That effort also was the second most steals in a game in Ohio State history, tied with the seven thefts Kelvin Ransey recorded vs. Minnesota Feb. 23, 1978. At Purdue Sunday, Craft was credited with six steals, which is tied for the fourth-most steals in a game at Ohio State. With 51 steals on the season, Craft has the third most in a season by an Ohio State freshman. Mike Conley owns the record with 87 in 2007. Michael Redd had 61 in 1998.

Diebler Sets Big Ten Record
Senior Jon Diebler became the Big Ten’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers with a pair of triples at Purdue Feb. 20. The sharpshooter from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, has made 333 career 3s. He has averaged 2.5 made 3s a game for his 134-game career. Ohio State has a minimum of five games remaining, four in the regular-season and at least one in the Big Ten tournament. He is on pace to make 13 more 3s this season, or 346 for his career. Pete Lisicky of Penn State (1994-98) owned the top spot in conference history with 332 made 3-pointers. 
Big Ten Career 3-point leaders
1. 333  Jon Diebler, OSU  2008-
2.  332  Pete Lisicky, PSU  1994-98
3.  331  Shawn Respert, MSU  1991-95
4.  327  Cory Bradford, ILL  1998-2002
5.  320  Craig Moore, NU  2006-09
6.  308  Joe Crispin, PSU  1998-2001
7.  299  Dee Brown, ILL  2002-06
8.  283  A.J. Guyton, IND  1997-2000
9.  271  Drew Neitzel, MSU  2004-08
10.  268  Dion Harris, MICH  2003-07

Sullinger Close to 500
There have been 28 Buckeyes all-time to score more than 500 points in a season with Jerry Lucas and Michael Redd leading the pack each with three 500-plus point seasons. Paul Ebert was the first to do so when he tallied 516 points during the 1953-54 season. Freshman Jared Sullinger is 13 points away from adding his name to the list (487/2010-11). Kosta Koufos is the last Ohio State freshman to reach 500 points in a rookie season. He tallied 534 as a freshman in 2008-09. Evan Turner (632/2009-10) and William Buford (532/2009-10) each scored more than 500 points in last season. Only Michael Redd (658/1998-99), Sullinger, Koufos and Greg Oden (501/2006-07) reached the 500-point mark as Ohio State freshmen.

Homecourt Advantage
Since Thad Matta took over Buckeye program in 2004-05, Ohio State is 116-10 in Columbus, the most home wins among Big Ten schools. Over the last two seasons Ohio State is 34-1 in Columbus.

Sullinger Among Naismith Midseason 30
Jared Sullinger was named to the 2010-11 Naismith midseason list of the top 30 men’s basketball talent in the nation, announced Feb. 11 by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The Naismith Trophy will be awarded at the 2011 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston. Fan voting via text message will account for 25 percent of all of the final results – more than any other national college basketball award. Ohio State’s Evan Turner received the Naismith Award a year ago, sweeping the national player of the year awards.

Scott, Williams Add To Ohio State’s 17-Player McDonald’s List
Ohio State recruits Shannon Scott (2011) and Amir Williams (2011) were selected Feb. 10 to represent the East (Scott) and West (Williams) teams in the 2011 McDonald’s All-America game. The game will be played March 30 at the United Center in Chicago. The Buckeyes currently have three All-America game participants on their roster in Jared Sullinger (2010), Deshaun Thomas (2010) and William Buford (2008).
 Four McDonald’s All-Americans were a part of Ohio State’s 2006-07 squad that finished 35-4 overall, 15-1 in Big Ten Conference play, won the league regular-season title outright and played for the NCAA national title vs. Florida in April of 2007. Ivan Harris (2003), Greg Oden (2006), Mike Conley Jr. (2006) and Daequan Cook (2006), all former McDonald’s All-Americans, played for the Buckeyes in 2006-07. Previously,  B.J. Mullens (2008), Kosta Koufos (2007), Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992) and Greg Simpson (1992) all played for Ohio State after playing in the McDonald’s All-America game before joining the Ohio State program for a total of 17 all-time.

Matta Earns Another 20-Win Season, sets record for 10-Win league seasons
For each of the last 11 seasons, all as a head coach, Thad Matta has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Only Mark Few, among active coaches, has more consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career (11). Gonzaga is 19-9 this season. Matta set the Ohio State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2008-09 with a 22-11 record and extended it this season with win No. 20 vs. Illinois Jan. 22 in Champaign, the seventh-consecutive Ohio State season with 20+ victories. The previous record was four held by the 1960-63 teams under legendary head coach Fred Taylor. Matta also has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last six seasons. That effort surpassed Taylor’s mark of 10+ league wins in each of the five seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta’s first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last four (10, 10, 14, 12).

Lighty one of 10 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalists
David Lighty was named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in men’s basketball Jan. 26. Fan voting is underway. One-third of the award will be determined by fan voting. Coaches and media make up the other two-thirds. Fans can vote online at The award is presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports. The acronym “CLASS” stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®. The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award celebrates the loyalty of seniors that honor a four-year commitment to their university. The Senior CLASS Award® recognizes these student-athletes for great achievement during competition and in their community while staying in school.

The Ohio State, Illinois Series
Illinois leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 99-63 and is 40-38 vs. the Buckeyes in Columbus. Ohio State has won the last four meetings with Illinois and nine of the last 11. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 20-9 in games vs. Illinois, including wins in the last 10 meetings as a ranked team.
 Senior Jon Diebler leads the Ohio State veterans with an average of 13.9 points a game vs. Illinois. Junior William Buford scores 13 ppg., while senior David Lighty contributes 11 ppg., in the series vs. the Illini. Freshman Jared Sullinger scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the earlier meeting this season in Champaign. Diebler has made 28 of his Big Ten record 333 career 3-pointers vs. Illinois.

Ohio State vs. the Big Ten
Illinois 63-99
Indiana 73-99
Iowa 69-73
Michigan 89-71
Michigan State 51-58
Minnesota 78-55
Northwestern 108-45
Penn State 25-12
Purdue 76-83
Wisconsin 81-65
Total 713-660

For more news, notes and numbers previewing the Illinois game Click on Ohio State Notes above.