COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State men’s basketball team started practice Friday in preparation for its trip to Canada Aug. 27-31. The team will have 10 days to prepare for the three games up north.


The trip allows the Buckeyes an opportunity to get a jump on the 2009-10 season, which begins officially Oct. 16 with the start of fall practice.


Thad Matta, now in his sixth season as head coach of the Buckeyes, returns 10 of 11 letterwinners from the 2008-09 squad that finished 22-11 overall and 10-8 in the Big Ten. All five starters, including All-Big Ten guard Evan Turner and 2009 Big Ten Freshman of the Year William Buford.


The Buckeyes made their 21st NCAA tournament appearance last season, Matta’s third in the last four years as Ohio State’s head coach.