Feb. 19, 2013

No. 18 Ohio State (18-7, 8-5) vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-8, 6-7)

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013
Site: Value City Arena (18,809)
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Television: Big Ten Network
Talent: Kevin Kugler (play-by-play)
Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 91/XM 91
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Ohio State Notes | Minnesota Notes | Big Ten Notes
Ohio State Men’s Basketball
Men’s Basketball Jeff Boals Greg Paulus Dan Wallenberg Alissa Clendenen
@OhioStateHoops @JeffBoals @Greg_Paulus @OSUADAthComm @AlissaC_OSU
Press Conference w/ Coach Matta | Press Conference w/ Smith Jr. and Thompson

Thomas Close to Joining 1,000/500 Club
A total of 24 Ohio State players have scored 1,000 or more points to go with 500 career rebounds. Deshaun Thomas (1,400 career points) will be the next to join the club with six rebounds. Jared Sullinger was the last to reach the milestone with 1,282 career points and 717 career rebounds. Thad Matta has coached five of the players on the all-time list. William Buford (1,990/666), Terence Dials (1,566/876), Evan Turner (1,517/683), David Lighty (1,458/577) and Sullinger were added to the list during Matta’s tenure.

Thomas Reaches 500 Points a 2nd Time
Thirty Ohio State players have reached the 500-point mark in a single season at least once. Deshaun Thomas became the 14th player to do so multiple times with 18 points at Wisconsin. Thomas scored 619 points as a sophomore, the 17th best single-season scoring effort in Ohio State history. Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring with 20.1 points per game for a total of 503 points this season. William Buford (2009-12), one of three Buckeyes to score 500+ three times, and Jared Sullinger (2011-12), who did it twice, were the last to record multiple 500-point seasons at Ohio State.

Opponents Look for the 3 vs. Buckeyes
In 25 games this season, opponents have shot at least 20 3-pointers in 12 games, including at least 24 attempts in four of the last six Big Ten regular-season games. Three of the last six opponents have made 11 or more treys against the Buckeyes. In seven of 13 league games this season, opponents have attempted 20 or more 3-pointers with Wisconsin attempted 28, making 11, in a loss in Columbus (58-49) Jan. 29. Ohio State is 5-2 in league play when foes attempt 20 or more from distance.

The Minnesota Series
Ohio State has won the last five games in the Minnesota series and six of the last seven. The Buckeyes have won the last five games played in Columbus. Minnesota last won at Value City Arena in 2005, a 60-56 overtime victory. The Buckeyes own a 48-18 record in Columbus and own the overall series lead with a 79-55 record vs. the Golden Gophers. When ranked nationally, Ohio State is 25-3 vs. Minnesota. The current roster of Ohio State players have just 12 combined games played against Minnesota. Both Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft have the most experience with three games played vs. the Gophers. Craft averages 7.3 points while Thomas adds 7.0 points in the Minnesota series. Thomas leads the way with 4.3 rebounds per game in the series.
A Look at the Golden Gophers
Minnesota travels to Columbus with an overall record of 18-8 and a Big Ten regular-season mark of 6-7. The Gophers won their first three league games before dropping seven of the last 10, including a 71-52 decision to Iowa on the road Sunday. Minnesota started the season with a 15-1 record, including a non-conference record of 12-1. Three Gophers average 10 or more points a game this season. Andre Hollins (13.7 ppg.), Rodney Williams (11.4 ppg.) and Austin Hollins (11.3 ppg.) lead the Gophers. Trevor Mbakwe leads the team with 8.6 rebounds a contest while also contributing 9.6 ppg.   

Thomas, Craft Celebrate Century Mark
Both Deshaun Thomas (64 games started) and Aaron Craft (65 gs) played in their 100th career game last Feb. 14 when Ohio State defeated Northwestern 69-59 in Columbus. The junior starters experienced great success over the first 100 games of their careers. Ohio State was 83-17 (.830) overall and 36-11 (.766) in Big Ten regular-season games over the first 100 games of their careers. The pair has two Big Ten regular-season titles, two Big Ten tournament appearances with one BTT title (2011), two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and one trip to the Final Four (2012) to their credit. Classmate Lenzelle Smith Jr., shares the successes in 84 career game appearances.

Craft Moving Up Big Ten Steals Chart
Aaron Craft is 13 steals shy of moving to the Top 7 in all-time steals in Big Ten history. After recording one steal at Wisconsin Feb. 17, Craft has 219 for his career, already the Ohio State record and currently is No. 8 all-time in Big Ten history. Dee Brown (2003-06) of Illinois is No. 7 with 231.

Career Steals (Big Ten)

1. 324 Bruce Douglas, Illinois 1983-86
2. 300 Gary Grant, Michigan 1985-88
3. 275 Mike Kelley, Wisconsin 1998-2001
4. 274 Chris Kramer, Purdue 2007-10
5. 272 Pat Baldwin, Northwestern 1991-1994
6. 259 Brian Cardinal, Purdue 1997-2000
7. 231 Dee Brown, Illinois 2003-06
8. 219 Aaron Craft, Ohio State 2010-present
9. 218 Kendall Gill, Illinois 1987-1990
  218 Titus Ivory, Penn State 1998-2001

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