Dec. 2, 2002

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Opponent No. 6 Duke
Site Greensboro Coliseum (23,500)
Game Time 7 p.m. (EST)
Local TV None
TV Talent Dave O’Brien (Play-by-Play), Brad Daugherty (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 (1-1)

G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3 – Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 40 – Matt Sylvester, 6-7, Fr.
C 14 – Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, Jr.
F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

No. 6 Duke
Probable Starters (3-0)

G 21 – Chris Duhon, 6-1, Jr.
G 5 – Daniel Ewing, 6-3, So.
C 23 – Shelden Williams, 6-9, Fr.
F 42 – Shavlik Randolph, 6-10, Fr.
F 30 – Dahntay Jones, 6-6, Sr.

Buckeyes, Duke Meet After 24-Yr. Hiatus
Ohio State and Duke have not met since Dec. 29, 1978 at the ECAC Holiday Tournament in New York. In that game the unranked Buckeyes took the No. 1 ranked Blue Devils to overtime before claiming a 90-84 victory. That win evened the all-time series at two games apiece. Ohio State won its only other game in Greensboro, N.C., Dec. 29, 1966, an 83-82 triumph. The two teams first met Dec. 6, 1963 at the Centennial B-ball Classic in Morgantown, W.Va. Duke, rated No. 4 at the time, downed the No. 7 Buckeyes, 76-75. The other Duke win was a double-overtime victory Dec. 30, 1964 in Columbus, 94-89. Ohio State 1-0 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
This is the second season in which the Buckeyes have participated in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Ohio State defeated N.C. State, 64-50, Nov. 27, 2001 in Columbus.

No. 4 Alabama Outlasts Buckeyes
Antoine Pettway scored 11 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the Crimson Tide’s 54-48 victory over Ohio State at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. The Crimson Tide shot 17 percent in the second half and struggled with its inside game, but Pettway came through each time the Buckeyes (1-1) threatened. Alabama power forward Erwin Dudley, last season’s SEC player of the year, was held to eight points. Dudley was coming off the 35th double-double of his career. The Tide opened with a 10-3 run in the first five minutes, while the Buckeyes struggled from the floor, going nearly six minutes without a field goal. Sean Connolly ended the drought with a jumper to begin a 10-3 run and give the Buckeyes their only lead of the game at 15-13 with 8:58 left in the half. Alabama countered with a 15-5 run, fueled by a pair of 3-pointers from Pettway. The Tide regained the lead for good on Pettway’s 3-pointer with 8:13 left. The Buckeyes chipped away in the first five minutes of the second half. Emonte Jernigan and Connolly hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get within seven, but Pettway came through again, countering with a 3-pointer with 13:37 left. His basket was one of only four field goals in 23 attempts for the Tide in the second half. Zach Williams scored six of the next eight points for Ohio State, closing the gap to three with 2:12 left. But the Buckeyes, who shot 28 percent from the floor, got no closer. Williams led Ohio State with 14 points and 10 boards. Connolly finished with 13 points.

Noting the Alabama Game

Zach Williams recorded his first double-double of the seasonand the fourth of his career. The Buckeyes and Crimson Tide haveeach won three games in the all-time series. Ohio State is 27-24all-time vs. the SEC. The Buckeyes are 49-54 all-time in the firstroad/neutral game of the season. Senior guard Sean Connolly,playing in front of more than 35 family and friends, scored 13points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists with noturnovers in 39 minutes. Senior Brent Darby and junior forward ZachWilliams played 40 minutes for the second-consecutive game. OhioState has held back-to-back opponents under 55 points. The Buckeyeslast did that at the start of the 2001-02 season with a 64-50 winover N.C. State (11/27/01), and a 80-54 win over UNC-Wilmington(12/2/01). The loss to the Crimson Tide ended a four-game winningstreak over opponents ranked among the Associated Press Top 10.

Roster Down Two Following Injuries
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a sophomore point guard, and Shun Jenkins, a junior forward, will miss several weeks recovering from injuries suffered Nov. 22 against the Harlem Globetrotters in the final exhibition game of the season. 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. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand. He had surgery Wednesday and will miss 3-5 weeks of game action.

Buckeyes Set Playing Time Records
With a roster depleted by injuries, Jim O’Brien, Ohio State head coach, has substituted little in the first two games of the season. Seniors Brent Darby and Sean Connolly have played all but one minute this season, combined. Darby has not left a game. Junior Zach Williams also has not come to the bench in 80 minutes of action. Connolly and Williams have set career highs in minutes played, each with 40-minutes games this season. Darby played 41 minutes in an overtime loss to Wisconsin (2/6/02) last year.

Duke Opens Season 3-0
Ohio State will meet its second-consecutive Top 10 opponent with a 3-0 record when the Buckeyes take on No. 6 Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Greensboro, N.C. The Blue Devils own wins over Army (101-53), Davidson (95-80) and No. 14 UCLA, 84-73 Saturday at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, Ind.

Six Blue Devils in Double Figures
Duke is led by freshman reserve J.J. Redick, one of six Blue Devils averaging 10 or more points a game, with 16.3 points a game. Redick is connecting on 47 percent of his field goal attempts (15.32) and 42 percent of his 3-point attempts (11-26). Four starters, led by freshman forward Shavlik Randolph and senior guard Chris Duhon’s 13.3 points a game. Randolph also is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.0 a contest.

Ohio State 4-1 in Last 5 vs. Top 10 Foes
Ohio State is 54-103 (.344) all-time in games against Top 10 opponents. The Buckeyes are 4-1 in the last five games against Top 10 teams. No. 3 Michigan State (64-55) and No. 3 Illinois (63-61) fell in 2001. No. 9 Iowa (72-72) and No. 10 Illinois (94-88) lost to the Buckeyes in 2002. No. 4 Alabama broke a four-game winning streak vs. Top 10 foes with a 54-48 win over Ohio State last Friday. The Buckeyes were not ranked in any of these games. The last time the Buckeyes downed a non-Big Ten foe ranked in the Top 10 was March 20, 1999. Ohio State beat No. 9 St. John’s 77-74 to advance to the Final Four. That game followed a 71-64 win over No. 4 Auburn in the 1999 South Regional semifinals played in Knoxville, Tenn., March 18.

Ohio State on Top in Games vs. the ACC
Ohio State owns a 32-14 record against teams representing the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Buckeyes have played each conference member, except Clemson. Georgia Tech has provided the competition 11 times with the Buckeyes claiming victory in 10 of those games.

Clemson 0-0 Duke 2-2 Florida State 4-0 Georgia Tech 10-1 Maryland 3-2 North Carolina 2-7 North Carolina State 2-1 Virginia 3-1 Wake Forest 6-0 Totals 32-14

Krzyzewski in 23rd Year at Duke
Mike Krzyzewski, a 1969 graduate of Army, is in his 23rd year as the head coach at Duke and his 28th year as a collegiate head coach. His record with the Blue Devils is 567-168 and his overall record is 640-227.

This Date In History
Ohio State is 11-8 in games played on Dec 3. The last time the Buckeyes were on the road on this date was in 1994, a 91-71 loss at Pennsylvania. That loss is the lone setback on this date in seven games since 1982.

OSU on Dec. 3 12/3/51 L @Kansas State 54-78 12/3/55 W @Butler 73-51 12/3/56 W Pittsburgh 100-69 12/3/58 L @Pittsburgh 70-73 12/3/59 W Memphis State 94-55 12/3/62 W St. Louis 84-59 12/3/64 L St. Louis 70-79 12/3/65 L @UCLA 66-92(1) 12/3/66 W @Iowa State 79-77 12/3/73 L Notre Dame (ot) 72-76(8) 12/3/77 L @Vermont 76-77 12/3/80 L @Kentucky 64(9)-70(2) 12/3/82 W @Florida 80-74 12/3/83 W Connecticut 74-67 12/3/85 W Florida 80-73 12/3/88 W @Western Michigan 77(15)-66 12/3/94 L @Pennsylvania 71-91 12/3/96 W Kent 71-55 12/3/97 W Toledo 84-74

Next 7 of 8 Games at Home
Following two of the first three games away from home, the Buckeyes will play seven of the next eight contests at Value City Arena. The only away game, the only true road contest of the non-conference season after a pair of neutral-site matchups, will be at No. 5 Pittsburgh Dec. 18. Tennessee Tech (Dec. 7) and Morehead State (Dec. 14) visit Columbus before the game against the Panthers. Ohio State then plays host to Seton Hall (Dec. 21), Radford (Dec. 23), Tennessee State (Dec. 28), Hampton (Dec. 30) and Louisville (Jan. 4). The Buckeyes open the Big Ten season at Michigan State Jan. 9.

O’Brien Names Captains
Seniors Brent Darby and Sean Connolly along with junior Zach Williams will serve as tri-captains for Ohio State in 2002-03. All three are serving their first full seasons as captains.

Darby on Preseason All-League Squad
Both the Big Ten Conference men’s basketball coaches and the league’s media selected Brent Darby to the Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team. Darby joins Brian Cook (Illinois), Tom Coverdale (Indiana), Kirk Penney (Wisconsin) and Rick Rickert (Minnesota) on the preseason squad. The Buckeyes have had a preseason first team member in each of the last four seasons. Michael Redd made the team in 1998, Scoonie Penn and Redd in 1999, Ken Johnson in 2000 and Brian Brown in 2001.

Darby Closing on 1,000 Pts., Reaches 100 Made 3-pointers
Senior guard Brent Darby is 10th all-time in career 3-pointers made with 101 after knocking down three long-range attempts against Coppin State. He has averaged 41 made 3-pointers the last two seasons, which if he were to connect on 41 again as a senior, would put him fourth all time with 139 behind Scoonie Penn (153/1998-00), Neshaun Coleman (147/1996-99) and Jamie Skelton (144/1991-94). Darby also has 807 career points with seven against Alabama. He has averaged 353 the last two years with a career high of 409 as a junior. 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 provide 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 tournament 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.

Four Top 10 Opponents on Schedule
Ohio State is scheduled to play four teams currently in the Associated Press Top 10, a total of seven in the Top 25 and another two (Illinois and Louisville) receiving votes for Top 25 consideration. No. 4 Alabama, No. 5 Pittsburgh, No. 6 Duke and No. 9 Michigan State all face the Buckeyes early in the season. With the game vs. No. 4 Alabama in the books, the Buckeyes face Duke in Greensboro, N.C., in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes then travel to take on Pittsburgh Dec. 18 and Michigan State plays host to the Buckeyes Jan. 9 to open the Big Ten season. No. 19 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. No. 24 Minnesota makes a visit to Columbus Feb. 5 for the only meeting of the year. No. 25 Wisconsin visits Ohio State Jan. 18.

Sylvester Back Sooner Than Expected
When redshirt freshman Matt Sylvester underwent successful back surgery Aug. 7, he was expected to miss significant practice time while recuperating. He has progressed ahead of schedule and is participating in full practices with the Buckeyes. 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.

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.

Sylvester Begins Buckeye Career-Again
Matt Sylvester opens the 2002-03 season with the hopes of playing a more significant role for the Buckeyes after sitting out the majority of his true-freshman season. Sylvester played in three early games in 2001-02 before back and calf injuries forced him to the sidelines for the remainder of his freshman year. He received a medical redshirt to retain four years of eligibility.

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.

Stockman, Sullinger Wait for 2003-04
A pair of Ohio natives will be on the bench during home games this season but will not dress, travel or play this season. Sophomore J.J. Sullinger and junior Tony Stockman transferred to Ohio State from Arkansas and Clemson, respectively, following the 2001-02 season. Both will practice with the Buckeyes this year and will begin their eligibility in 2003-04. Sullinger will have three years of eligibility with the Buckeyes. Stockman will have two.

Jernigan Familiar with Adjusting
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 without having to sit out following his transfer.

Nwankwo, Sherman Added to Roster
Jim O’Brien added a pair of walkons to the Ohio State men’s basketball roster in early November. Sophomore Ugo Nwankwo (OO-go WAN-kwo) and junior Nick Sherman, both guards, are eligible to practice and play for the Buckeyes this season. Nwankwo (6-2, 185) is a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Sherman (6-3, 190) is a Dayton, Ohio, native.

O’Brien Welcomes Changes in Staff
Paul Biancardi, a longtime assistant to Jim O’Brien both at Boston College and Ohio State, was promoted to associate head coach in the offseason. Bruce Parkhill, who held the spot for two seasons, returned to his native State College, Pa., to spend more time with his family. In addition to Biancardi’s new role, a couple other positions were filled over the summer. LaMonta Stone, who last coached at Eastern Michigan, accepted one of the assistant positions on O’Brien’s staff. Monte Mathis, who was a full-time assistant on an interim basis in 2001-02 was made a full-time assistant as well. Andy Murphy, who had been a volunteer helping with the video needs of the OSU program, took over that spot on a full-time basis this year.

Winning Percentage Soars for O’Brien in Last Four Seasons
Jim O’Brien has won nearly 73 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 95-36 (.725) in the 131 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 the Big Ten tournament crown (2002) once.

Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
The Buckeyes began their fifth season in Value City Arena in the home opener against Coppin State. Ohio State is 59-8 (.881) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign. Ohio State is 4-1 in VCA home openers. Notre Dame beat the Buckeyes 57-54 on a buzzer beater to open the 1999-00 season in the first round of the 1999 Preseason NIT.

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.