Jan. 26, 2001

Game Notes in .PDF format

Opponent: No. 3 Michigan State
Site: Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time: 3:15 p.m. (EST)
TV: ESPN Regional
Local TV: WBNS 10 TV
TV Talent: Wayne Larrivee (P-by-P)
Bill Hosket (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 (12-7, 3-4)

G 3-Sean Connolly, 6-5, So.
G 21-Boban Savovic, 6-5, Jr.
G 13-Brian Brown, 6-4, Jr.
C 32-Ken Johnson, 6-11, Sr.
F 33-Zach Williams, 6-7, Fr.

No. 3 Michigan St. Spartans
Probable Starters (16-1, 5-1)

G 14-Charlie Bell, 6-3, Sr.
G 1-Marcus Taylor, 6-3, Fr.
C 50-Zach Randolph, 6-9, Fr.
F 34-Andre Hutson, 6-8, Sr.
F 23-Jason Richardson, 6-6, So.

Ohio State retires No. 35 in honor of Buckeye great Gary Bradds
Ohio State will officially retire the No. 35 in honor of the late Gary Bradds during halftime ceremonies Saturday. Bradds, a two-time All-American, was the National Player of the Year in 1964 when he averaged 30.6 points and 13.4 rebounds. He was a key reserve in 1962 and played in the national championship game when regular center Jerry Lucas suffered through a knee injury. Bradds was part of two Big Ten championship teams as a junior and senior. Ohio State shared titles both years but did not advance to the NCAA Tournament because of the format of that time. As a senior, Bradds had a string of six-consecutive games with 40 or more points, including a school record 49 points against Illinois (2/10/64). His 735 points that year is the second highest single season total in OSU history, trailing only Dennis Hopson’s 958 in 1987. Bradds ranks 12th in career scoring (1,530 pts.) and 10th in career rebounding (706) at Ohio State. Bradds one of three former Buckeyes honored in 2000-01
Gary Bradds (1962-64), Jim Jackson (1990-92) and Katie Smith (1993-96) will be honored by having their OSU jersey numbers retired during the 2001 Big Ten Conference men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Bradds’ No. 35 will be retired during ceremonies at halftime of the Ohio State men’s game against No. 3 Michigan State Saturday Jan. 27. Jackson’s No. 22 will be honored at the half of the OSU men’s game against No. 17 Wisconsin Saturday Feb. 10 and Smith’s No. 30 was officially removed from future rosters Jan. 21 at the women’s game against Michigan. Ohio State great Jerry Lucas’ No. 11 is the only other basketball player to have a number retired. Smith is the first women’s basketball player to have a number retired. Three Buckeye football players have been honored beginning with Archie Griffin’s No. 45 in 1999. Vic Janowicz (No. 31) and Howard Cassady (No. 40) had their numbers retired during the 2000 football season.

Badgers win defensive battle 57-42
Roy Boone led the low-scoring Badgers with 13 points despite 4-of-13 shooting and Brian Brown was the Buckeyes’ leading scorer with 14 points. The Badgers won for the 10th straight time at home and handed the Buckeyes their first loss in four trips to the Kohl Center. The Buckeyes were the last Big Ten school to win at Kohl, where Wisconsin is 32-10 since it opened three years ago this month. Ohio State also had won five straight over Wisconsin, which got 10 points from Kirk Penney, the only other player for either team to reach double figures. OSU went the first 7:37 without a basket, but the Badgers would go more than eight minutes between points themselves before emerging with a 22-18 halftime lead. Wisconsin missed its first nine attempts from beyond the arc until Ricky Bower’s 3-pointer with 3:53 left in the half gave Wisconsin a 10-9 lead.

Noting the game vs. Wisconsin

Sophomore Sean Connolly started for the fourth time this seasonat guard. He started all 30 contests as a freshman two seasons agoat Providence before transferring to Ohio State. The Buckeyes haveused just two different starting lineups this season. The loss tothe Badgers snapped a five-game winning streak for the Buckeyesover Wisconsin. It also marked the first win for Wisconsin overOhio State in UW’s Kohl Center, where the Buckeyes were 3-0entering the game. Ohio State extended its streak of consecutivegames with at least one 3-point goal made when Brent Darby hit a3-pointer late in the first half. Ohio State has connected on atleast one 3-point goal in 269-consecutive games. Ken Johnsonstarted his 111th career game. He is tied for fifth-place withKelvin Ransey (111, 1977-80) and is one of eight players in OSUhistory to eclipse 100 career starts. Johnson blocked three shotsin the game, giving him 398 in his career. That leaves him 30behind former Penn State star Calvin Booth, who rejected 428 from1995-99. With 79 blocked shots this season, Johnson stands tied forNo. 7 on the OSU single-season chart with Herb Williams (1978).Johnson holds the top two spots on the chart with 161 last seasonand 100 in 1998-99. Johnson will next shoot for the No. 6 spot,also held by Williams with 81 in 1979. The 42 points scored by theBuckeyes were the fewest by a Buckeye team since a 55-41 loss atMichigan State (2/7/96).

Several Buckeyes increase production in Big Ten Conference play
Point production has increased during the Big Ten Conference portion of the schedule for three regulars. Senior Ken Johnson averages 13.9 points in league games and 12.1 ppg. overall. Junior Boban Savovic averages double digits in the conference (10.0) and 9.1 ppg. on the season. Sophomore Brent Darby is up slightly over his season average of 8.1 ppg. in Big Ten play to 8.7 ppg. Junior Brian Brown is consistent with his offensive output with 14.1 ppg. overall and 14.0 ppg. in conference games. Johnson averages 7.7 rebounds a game in the league and 6.9 rpg. overall.

Connolly impressive in league contests
In seven Big Ten games this season, sophomore Sean Connolly has not missed a free throw (11-11) and has connected on 52 percent of his 3-point attempts (11-21). He has not missed from the foul line in his last 16 attempts overall after starting the year 6-of-13. On the season, Connolly is the Big Ten’s leading 3-point shooter (31-62, .470) and has been trustworthy with the basketball. In 19 games with an average of nearly 23 minutes a game, Connolly has just 16 turnovers in 436 minutes of playing time or one turnover for every 27.3 minutes played. He also has 36 assists on the season for a +2.25 assist to turnover ratio.

Brown, Johnson account for majority of Ohio State’s double figure scoring games
Buckeye players have 60 individual double-figure scoring efforts in 19 games this season. Brian Brown leads with 17 with Ken Johnson close behind with 15. Brown has a streak of nine consecutive games with 10 or more points.

Buckeyes seek 7th win over a defending national champion, Final Four squads
Ohio State has met the defending national champion 28 times in history with a 6-22 record in those games. The Buckeyes have a record 22-52 record against teams who participated in the Final Four the previous year. The Buckeyes are in a stretch of three games against 2000 Final Four teams, including defending national champion Michigan State, twice. Ohio State has never played three-consecutive games against teams who participated in the Final Four the previous season. The last time Ohio State downed a defending national champion was during the 1989-90 season when the Buckeyes won 64-61 over No. 5 Michigan (2/18/90). Michigan won the 1989 national title.

Buckeyes pay back road games after run of home contests
Before traveling to Michigan State last Sunday, Ohio State enjoyed a stretch of 12 home games in a stretch of 13 contests. Ohio State will now travel for eight of the final 12 games of the season. The Buckeyes are playing the third of three-consecutive ranked opponents against No. 3 Michigan State. Ohio State last played against a trio of ranked foes at the end of the 1998-99 season vs. No. 4 Auburn, No. 8 St. John’s and No. 3 Connecticut. As of Jan. 21, seven of the final 12 Ohio State games will be against ranked opponents.

Buckeyes start same four all season
Four of the five OSU starters have remained constant all season with senior Ken Johnson, juniors Brian Brown and Boban Savovic and freshman Zach Williams starting all 19 contests this season. Sophomores Brent Darby (15 starts) and Sean Connolly (4 starts) have been the only changes to the lineup this season.

Ohio State vs. ranked opponents
The Buckeyes will be playing the fifth ranked opponent of the season and the third in a week vs. No. 3 Michigan State. The Buckeyes are 119-191 vs. teams in the AP Top 25. Four of the five ranked teams OSU has faced this year have been in the AP Top 10. Ohio State has played No. 9 Kansas, No. 9 Illinois and No. 3 Michigan State, twice, this season. No. 8 Syracuse was not in the Top 25 when OSU played the Orangemen at the great Alaska Shootout earlier this year. The last Ohio State win over a ranked opponent came on the road at Indiana last year (No. 7 OSU 82, No. 10 Indiana 71, 2/19/00). The last time an unranked Buckeye squad defeated a ranked opponent was a 72-43 win over No. 16 Purdue in Columbus Jan. 19, 1999.

Brown has quality week, Buckeyes in tough stretch
Junior Brian Brown lead a trio of Buckeyes in double figures last week while splitting a pair of Big Ten Conference games. The Buckeyes downed Michigan 78-61 at home before falling to No. 3 Michigan State on the road, 71-56. Brown averaged 16.0 points while connecting on 10-of -21 (.476) of his shots from the field and 60 percent of his 3-point attempts (3-5). He also added 4.5 assists a contest and four steals in nearly 36 minutes a game. Senior Ken Johnson moved closed to the 400 mark in career blocks with six at Michigan State. He has 395 in his OSU career to hold down the top spot in Ohio State history. He is closing the gap on Big Ten career leader Calvin Booth, who ended his Penn State career with 428 career rejections. Johnson will tie Kelvin Ransey (110, 1977-80) for the No. 5 spot in career starts at Wisconsin Wednesday. Johnson has 110 career starts during his Buckeye career, which has spanned 114 career games over the last four years.

Visitors struggle to win at VCA
Ohio State has lost just five home games in the 3-year history of Value City Arena. The Buckeyes have a combined record of 40-5 all time at the VCA following the win over Michigan. In the five home losses, no team has won by more than three points. The Buckeyes have lost by an average of 2.4 points in the five games.

O’Brien reaches career win No. 300
Jim O’Brien earned career win No. 300 as a collegiate head coach with the 93-62 win over Morehead St. (12/16/00). O’Brien is 305-262 in 19 seasons as a head coach. He has a record of 70-45, including a record of 62-23 over the last three seasons with the Buckeyes. O’Brien spent 11 seasons at his alma mater, Boston College. His teams compiled a record of 168-166 record with six postseason appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament in his last four years. O’Brien started his career at St. Bonaventure, where in four seasons, his teams posted a record of 67-51 (.568). His 100th career win came against Maine Dec. 6, 1988 (87-59) with No. 200 coming against Hartford Dec. 23, 1995 (106-67). O’Brien won both those games at Boston College.

Ohio State to host NCAA Tournament 1st, 2nd rounds in 2004
The Ohio State Department of Athletics, along with Nationwide Arena and the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been selected to host the 2004 National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds, the NCAA announced Dec. 7. Ohio State will serve as the host institution for the 2004 Midwest Region early round contests. The games will be played at Nationwide Arena March 19 and 21, 2004.

Johnson, No. 1 in Big Ten
Ohio State senior Ken Johnson holds the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten with an average of 4.16 blocks a game (79).

Robinson out indefinitely
Doylan Robinson (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel), a junior guard, will be out indefinitely recovering from injuries sustained as a passenger in a traffic accident Sunday, Dec. 3, 2000. Robinson suffered several lacerations to his face and right hand. He is expected to recover fully. Robinson has played in five games to date for the Buckeyes. He is averaging 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.4 minutes a game.

Johnson No. 1 on OSU career swat chart
Ken Johnson has 79 blocks on the season for a career total of 398, which places him first all-time at Ohio State in career rejections. Johnson passed Herb Williams (1978-81) at the Great Alaska Shootout in November. Johnson averaged 1.9 bpg. (58/30 gms.) as a freshman, 2.8 bpg. (100/36 gms.) as a sophomore and 5.37 bpg. (161/30 gms.) in 1999-00. He has an average of 4.16 blocks a game this season.

1,000 career points on horizon for Johnson
In 115 career games, senior Ken Johnson is closing on career point No. 1,000 as a Buckeye. He has scored 898 for a career scoring average of 7.8 a contest in his four seasons at Ohio State. With a 102 more points this year, he will become the 39th player in OSU history to reach 1,000 career points. He is averaging 12.1 points this season, the highest single-season scoring average of his career.

Johnson paces Buckeyes in the Big Ten
Among Big Ten players, senior Ken Johnson rates among the Top 10 in four statistical categories. He is the league’s best shot blocker with 4.16 rejections a game. With a .577 field goal shooting percentage, he rates No. 6. Sophomore Sean Connolly is the No. 1 3-point shooter in the conference with a .470 shooting percentage. Junior Brian Brown is No. 4 in steals (1.69).

Johnson moving up career starts list
Ken Johnson has started 111 career games as a Buckeye since the 1997-98 season. He is one of only eight Buckeyes to reach 100 or more career starts. Currently tied for No. 5 all-time, Johnson will next overtake No. 4 Herb Williams (1978-81) with 114 career starts.

Northwestern falls to Spartans
The Spartans downed Northwestern 74-58 Wednesday. Jason Richardson scored 16 points and Zach Randolph added 15 and six rebounds for the Spartans, who won their first conference road game of the year. Bell had 12 points and six assists, making him only the third Spartan ever with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Andre Hutson played 17 minutes despite missing the last week-and-a-half with pneumonia and losing almost 10 pounds. Of the 13 Spartans who played, only four didn’t score — and one of those was only on the floor for a minute.

The Wildcats managed to make a game of it in the last three minutes –Tavaras Hardy’s dunk sparked a 10-0 run that cut the lead to 69-56 with 1:22 left– but it was way too late by then. Hardy had 17 points and Jitim Young added 10 for the Wildcats.

Michigan State led by experience
Seniors Charlie Bell (15.9 ppg.) and Andre Hutson (12.8) are among four Spartans players averaging double figures in scoring. Sophomore Jason Richardson (16.0 ppg.) and freshman center Zach Randolph (11.6) are the others. Hutson is the leading rebounder at 7.4 rpg.

Izzo in sixth season in East Lansing
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has a career record of 134-51 in six seasons at Michigan State. The defending national champions are 16-1 this season following a 32-7 campaign last year. The Buckeyes tied the Spartans for a share of the 2000 Big Ten Championship with 13-3 records.

The Michigan State series
Michigan State leads the all-time series 52-44, which includes a 35-13 edge in East Lansing. The Buckeyes are 31-17 in Columbus. The Buckeyes snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 78-67 win in Columbus last year. Michigan State won in East Lansing 71-56 earlier this week.

The Buckeyes vs. Michigan State
Junior Brian Brown is the leading scorer in games played against the Spartans with 9.3 points a game in four career meetings. Brown has connected on 16-of-26 shots from the field (.615) vs. Michigan State. Senior Ken Johnson averages 8.2 points and a team high 5.4 rebounds against the Spartans.

Leading the Buckeyes
Junior Brian Brown leads the Buckeyes offensively with a scoring average of 14.1 points per game. He leads the team in minutes played (32.9 mpg.). Sophomore Sean Connolly leads in 3-point shooting (31-66, .470) just ahead of junior Boban Savovic (26-62, .419). Sophomore Sean Connolly is the team’s leading free throw shooter (22-29, .759). Ken Johnson is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.9 a game. He is the most accurate Buckeye from the field as well hitting 58 percent of his shots (86-149). Brown leads in assists with 75 and steals, 32.

OSU opponents fare well in polls
Seven 2000-01 Buckeye opponents are rated among the Top 25 in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. Another two are receiving votes. Michigan State (3/3), Kansas (5/4), Syracuse (8/8T), Illinois (11/7), Iowa (14/17), Alabama (15T/15) and Wisconsin (19/16) are rated in the Top 25. Purdue and Minnesota are receiving votes in both polls.

Johnson’s name appears 3 times in OSU single season blocks chart
With 79 blocks this year, senior Ken Johnson has his name listed three times on the Ohio State single season blocked shots chart. His 161 blocks as a junior is an OSU single season record. He swatted 100 as a sophomore, the second highest single season total. His senior total rates No. 7 (tied) behind the 81 Herb Williams rejected in 1979.

Johnson closing on 400 career blocks, 2nd on Big Ten list
Buckeye senior Ken Johnson has 398 blocks in his career after swatting three at Wisconsin. Johnson is second in Big Ten history in career blocks. Calvin Booth of Penn State (1995-99) is the next target at No. 1 with 428 career blocks.

Big Ten Career Blocked Shots leaders 1. Calvin Booth, PSU 1995-99 428 2. Ken Johnson, OSU 1998- 398 3. Acie Earl, IOWA 1989-93 365 4. Joe Barry Carroll, PUR 1977-80 349 5. Herb Williams, OSU 1977-81 328

Big Ten Season Blocked Shot leaders 1. Ken Johnson, OSU 1999-00 161 2. Calvin Booth, PSU 1997-98 140 3. Jim Pitts, NU 1965-66 123 4. Acie Earl, Iowa 1991-92 121 5. Acie Earl, Iowa 1990-91 106 6. Joe Barry Carroll, PUR 1977-78 105 7. Calvin Booth, PSU 1995-96 101 8. Ken Johnson, OSU 1998-99 100 9. Dean Garrett, IND 1987-88 99 10.Roy Tarpley, MICH 1985-86 97 Brad Sellers, OSU 1985-86 97

Johnson led nation in blocks, average fifth in NCAA
Ohio State center Ken Johnson led the Big Ten and the nation in blocks in 1999-00. Johnson sent back 5.37 shots per game with 161 blocks on the year. Johnson has the fifth highest block per game average in NCAA history. His total of 161 is the seventh most in a single season in NCAA history.

NCAA Single Season Blocks Avg. 1. #Adonal Foyle, Colgate 1997 6.43 2. #Keith Closs, C. Conn. St. 1996 6.36 3. #David Robinson, Navy 1986 5.91 4. Adonal Foyle, Colgate 1996 5.69 5. #Ken Johnson, OSU 2000 5.37 # Led nation in blocks.

Big Ten coaches, media select Johnson preseason First Team All-Big Ten
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches and league media chose Ken Johnson (Sr., Detroit, Mich./Henry Ford) as a preseason First Team All-Big Ten selection. The announcement was made Oct. 30 at the annual Big Ten Men’s Basketball media day. Johnson joins Cory Bradford (Illinois), Charlie Bell (Michigan State), Kirk Haston (Indiana) and LaVell Blanchard (Michigan) on the squad selected by the coaches. The media selected the same squad with the exception of Haston. Joe Crispin of Penn State filled that spot. Johnson, who averaged nearly eight points, over six rebounds and 5.4 blocks a game last year as a junior, is the only senior on Ohio State’s squad this season.

A change in lineup
Ohio State used its second starting lineup of the season with sophomore Sean Connolly starting in place of sophomore Brent Darby against Eastern Kentucky. Darby had a slight knee sprain but did play vs. the Colonels. According to STATS Inc., Ohio State was among just six schools to use just one or two different starting lineups in 1999-00. Hawaii used the same starters all season. Ohio State, Southern Illinois, St. John’s, Vermont and Wofford used just two lineups in 1999-00.

2-year home record rates high at OSU
Ohio State has compiled a 40-5 (.889) record over three seasons in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were 14-1 in the inaugural season in VCA (1998-99) and notched a 15-2 record at home in 1999-00. In back-to-back seasons in which the Buckeyes have won at least 25 combined home games, the OSU record from 1999-00 of 29-3 stands fourth all-time for home record in consecutive seasons. The 1962-63 teams posted a 25-0 record during a span of 50 home games in which the Buckeyes were undefeated from 1960-64.

Ohio State home record in back-to-back seasons Seasons 2-yr. home Rec. Win Pct. 1962-63 25-0 1.000 1991-92 30-1 .968 1990-91 27-2 .931 1999-00 29-3 .906 1985-86 26-5 .839 1982-83 25-5 .833 1986-87 26-7 .788 1985-86 26-5 .781

OSU 3-pt FG streak extended to 269
Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point field goal attempt over the last 269 games. Brent Darby extended the streak in the first half against Wisconsin (1/24/01). The last time an OSU team missed all attempts from 3-point range was Feb. 2, 1992 when the Buckeyes went 0 for 5 in a 68-58 OSU win over Michigan. Buckeye opponents have a streak of 261-consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer made. Michigan went 0-10 from long range March 3, 1992 in an OSU 75-66 victory, marking the last time an opponent was held without a 3-pointer.

OSU vs. the Big Ten
The Buckeyes opened the Big Ten season Jan. 3 at home against Northwestern. The Buckeyes have more victories over the Wildcats (98) than any other league school. Ohio State has 78 wins each over Michigan and Wisconsin. Illinois has the most wins over the Buckeyes with 95. This is the 89th season of Big Ten play for Ohio State in men’s basketball.

Big Ten Series Records
Illinois 56-95
Indiana 66-92
Iowa 59-67
Michigan 79-67
Michigan State 44-52
Minnesota 70-50
Northwestern 98-44
Penn State 11-12
Purdue 67-77
Wisconsin 78-54
Totals 627-610

Johnson on watch list for Naismith Award
Ken Johnson, a senior on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, is among 30 preseason candidates for the 2000-01 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award. The Naismith Awards program, now in its 33rd year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. Charlie Bell (Michigan State), Cory Bradford (Illinois) and Mike Kelley (Wisconsin) also represent the Big Ten on the list.

Johnson helps Olympic team prepare for Gold in Sydney
Ken Johnson was selected as one of 12 collegiate players who gathered to practice against the 2000 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team last summer in Maui, Hawaii. Johnson was the only true center on the 2000 USA Basketball Men’s Select team and its tallest player at 6-feet 11-inches. The Select team scrimmaged the Olympic team each day during the week-long camp. The camp ended with a nationally-televised (NBC) contest Sept. 2 at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center.

Three student-athletes added for 2001-02 season
Jim O’Brien signed one of the best recruiting classes of his coaching tenure Nov. 8, the first day of the fall men’s basketball signing period.

Matt Sylvester (Loveland, Ohio/Moeller), Terence Dials (Youngstown, Ohio/Boardman) and Brandon Fuss-Cheatham (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) all signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to play for Ohio State.

Sylvester, a 6-foot-7-inch, 200-pound wing forward, is considered to be among the top two players in Ohio. He is ranked by Prep Spotlight Magazine as one of the Top 60 players in the country. Sylvester played for the powerful Cincinnati AAU program. As a junior, he averaged 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds. As a sophomore, Sylvester helped guide Carl Kremer’s Moeller squad to a Division I State Championship.

Dials, the second recruit from Ohio to sign with the Buckeyes, is a 6-foot-9-inch, 240-pound power forward/center. He gives the Buckeyes an athletic big man. As a junior, Dials averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and 4.0 blocks.

Fuss-Cheatham (6-1, 190) is the No. 1-ranked point guard in the Midwest by Vince Baldwin of and the No. 6 nationally-ranked point guard. He also is considered a Top 30 all-around player in the high school class of 2001. He averaged 21.3 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.1 rebounds as a junior. He shot 59 percent from the field (279-476) and 77 percent (123-160) from the free-throw line. He has been Blackhawk’s starting point guard since his freshman season. The Cougars are 85-11 during that time. Over the last two seasons, Blackhawk is 62-4 with two conference championships and a state title.