Jan. 17, 2001



Game Notes in .PDF format%^$

%^$Opponent: Michigan
%^$Site: Value City Arena (19,200)
%^$Game Time: 7 p.m. (EST)
%^$Local TV: None
%^$TV Talent: Mike Gleason (P-by-P)
%^$ Bill Raftery (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 (11-5, 1-2)

%^$G 4-Brent Darby, 6-1, So.
%^$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.

%^$Michigan Wolverines
%^$Probable Starters (7-7, 1-2)

%^$G 1-Avery Queen, 5-7, Fr.
%^$G 21-Bernard Robinson, 6-6, Fr.
%^$C 25-Josh Asselin, 6-11, Sr.
%^$F 45-Chris Young, 6-9, Jr.
%^$F 30-LaVell Edwards, 6-7, So.

%^$Buckeyes hang on to down Gophers
%^$Brian Brown hit two late free throws and Minnesota missed a pair of 3-point shots in the final seconds as Ohio State held on to beat the Golden Gophers 75-72. Ohio State led 48-25 with just over 15 minutes left and was still on top by 12 with under 3 minutes remaining. Kevin Burleson and Michael Bauer each hit 3-pointers to draw Minnesota to 73-72 with 33.9 seconds left. Brown, who scored 11 points, made two foul shots with 24.1 seconds left. The Gophers brought the ball down court and John-Blair Bickerstaff’s shot inside was blocked by Ohio State’s Ken Johnson with 14 seconds remaining. After an Ohio State turnover, Dusty Rychart’s 3-point attempt from the top of key bounced off the left side of the rim but Bickerstaff rebounded and passed back to Rychart, who had moved over to the left wing. He again missed, with Johnson grabbing the rebound as time expired. Rychart, listed as Minnesota’s center, came into the game 3-of-14 behind the arc this season. Sean Connolly scored 15 points — all on 3-pointers — to lead Ohio State. Boban Savovic had 14 points, Johnson 13 and Zach Williams 10. Terrance Simmons had 21 of his 27 points in the second half for the Gophers, who had won nine of their last 10 games. Bauer had 15 points and Burleson 12.%^$

%^$Johnson has quality week, Buckeyes prepare for tough road ahead
%^$Ken Johnson scored a career high and recorded his second-consecutive double double with a 24-point, 10-rebound effort in a home loss to Penn State in which the Buckeyes connected on 57 percent of their shots from the field. Johnson came back to score 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor, in a 75-72 home win over Minnesota. For the week, Johnson connected on 72 percent of his shots from the field (13-18) and 69 percent of his foul shots (11-16) while averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. As a team, OSU connected on 53 percent of its shots from the floor (53-101) and 46 percent of its 3-point tries. Ohio State will host Michigan Jan. 18 before embarking on a brutal week in which Ohio State will face Michigan State twice (Jan. 21 at MSU/Jan. 27 at OSU) and Wisconsin (Jan. 24) on the road for a string of three games against teams from the 2000 Final Four. The Buckeyes play 7-of-11 Big Ten games on the road following the home game vs. Michigan Jan. 18.%^$

%^$Three OSU basketball numbers set to be retired, Jackson and Smith to return for ceremonies
%^$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 will be officially removed from future rosters Sunday 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.%^$

%^$Noting the win over Minnesota

Ohio State is now 39-5 all-time and 9-2 this season at ValueCity Arena. Minnesota is now 0-3 in VCA.%^$ Ohio State leads theall-time series 70-50 over Minnesota. OSU has won four-consecutivemeetings with the Golden Gophers.%^$ Ohio State extended its streakof consecutive-games with at least one 3-point goal made when BrentDarby drilled a shot from behind the arc at the 17:02 mark of thefirst half. Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point goalin 266-consecutive games.%^$ With the win, Ohio State avoids itsfirst three-game losing streak since the end of the 1998 season.The last three-game skid came at the end of a 17-game losing streakduring the 1998 season with losses to Penn State (2/16), Indiana(2/19) and Northwestern (2/21).%^$ Ken Johnson started his 108thcareer game. He stands three starts behind fifth-place KelvinRansey (111, 1977-80) and is one of eight players in Ohio Statehistory to eclipse 100 starts in his Buckeye career.%^$ Johnsonblocked two shots in the game, giving him 383 in his career. Thatleaves him 45 behind former Penn State star Calvin Booth, whorejected 428 from 1995-99.%^$ After not attempting a shot in theBuckeyes’ game Wednesday vs. Penn State, Sean Connolly caught firevs. Minnesota, drilling five 3-pointers on seven attempts. His fivemade 3-pointers tie a season high and are one off his career highof six (on 13 attempts), set vs. Notre Dame during his freshmanyear at Providence (12/8/98).%^$ Terrance Simmons’ 27 points are aseason high and the most by an Ohio State opponent this season. Theprevious high was 24, set by DeShaun Williams of Syracuse at theGreat Alaska Shootout. Simmons’ point total is one off the arenarecord for an opponent, set by Florida Atlantic’s Damon Arnette(12/17/98).%^$

%^$Visitors struggle to win at VCA
%^$Ohio State has lost just five home games in the 3-year history of Value City Arena. The Buckeyes have a combined record of 39-5 all time at the VCA following the win over Minnesota. 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 304-260 in 19 seasons as a head coach. He has a record of 69-43, including a record of 61-21 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.%^$

%^$Homestand longest since 1910
%^$Ohio State ended a nine-game homestand vs. Northwestern and will complete a span of 12 home games in 13 outings against Michigan. The homestand began vs. E. Ky. (W 90-44, 12/2/00). The Buckeyes then hosted Denver (W 83-46, 12/7/00), Massachusetts (W 54-51, 12/10/00), St. John’s (W 71-58, 12/13/00), Morehead State (W 93-62, 12/16/00), Robert Morris (W 99-46, 12/20/00), No. 9 Kansas (L 69-68, 12/23/00), Coppin State (W 80-42, 12/30/00) and Northwestern (1/3/01). OSU then traveled to Illinois (L 83-68, 1/6/01) before returning home to host Penn State (L 78-75, 1/10/01), Minnesota (W 75-72, 1/13/01) and Michigan (Jan. 18). The last time Ohio State hosted nine-consecutive games was at the start of the 1910 season when OSU played at home for the first 10 games of the season in an 11-1 campaign. The Buckeyes were 9-1 in that homestand. The Buckeyes finished 8-1 in the most recent home streak.%^$

%^$Ohio State to host NCAA Tournament 1st, 2nd rounds in 2004
%^$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 4.00 blocks a game (64).%^$

%^$Robinson out indefinitely
%^$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.%^$

%^$Johnson paces Buckeyes in the Big Ten
%^$Ken Johnson leads OSU in scoring against Big Ten competition with 16.5 points a game. He is tied for the top spot in blocks (2.75), ranks No. 2 in field goal pct. at .697, is No. 3 with 8.3 rpg. and No. 5 in field goal shooting pct. (.679). His scoring average ranks No. 6 among league players vs. conference competition.%^$

%^$Johnson No. 1 on OSU career swat chart
%^$Ken Johnson has 64 blocks on the season for a career total of 383, 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 4.00 blocks a game this season.%^$

%^$1,000 career points on horizon for Johnson
%^$In 112 career games, senior Ken Johnson is closing on career point No. 1,000 as a Buckeye. He has scored 867 for a career scoring average of 7.7 a contest in his four seasons at Ohio State. With a 137 more points this year, he will become the 39th player in OSU history to reach 1,000 career points. He is averaging 12.4 points this season, the highest single-season scoring average of his career.%^$

%^$Johnson moving up career starts list
%^$Ken Johnson has started 108 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 No. 6 all-time, Johnson will next overtake Kelvin Ransey (1977-80) at No. 5 with 111 starts.%^$

%^$Illini handle Wolverines
%^$Sergio McClain’s effort on defense was just as important as his unprecedented stat line. The senior had 11 assists, 11 rebounds and 10 points for the first triple-double in school history as Illinois beat Michigan 80-51 last Saturday despite missing its top two scorers. More significantly, McClain played tough defense on Michigan’s top threat, LaVell Blanchard, who made two field goals in the first half — just one while McClain was on the floor. Brian Cook scored 17 points, and Cory Bradford added 15 for the Illini. Reserve Damir Krupalija scored 10 to help the Illini recover after their 78-62 loss at Iowa. Blanchard, who came in averaging 17.5 points, finished with 15, but five of those came in the meaningless final four minutes. Josh Asselin added 10 rebounds and nine points for Michigan, which shot just 27.7 percent for the game. The Illini played without leading scorer Frank Williams, who bruised his tailbone and sprained his right ankle against Iowa. Their No. 2 scoring threat, center Marcus Griffin, left the game in the first half with a bruised hip or tailbone.%^$

%^$Michigan led by young players
%^$Sophomore LaVell Blanchard leads the Wolverines with 17.3 points a contest. He is followed by freshman Bernard Robinson’s 14.6 ppg. Senior Josh Asselin is third in scoring with 10.7 ppg. Blanchard is the team leader in rebounds with 8.4 a contest. Robinson has connected on 81 percent of his free throws (64-79) to pace Michigan from the foul line.%^$

%^$Ellerbe in fourth season with Wolverines
%^$Michigan is 7-7 in this the fourth campaign with Brian Ellerbe at the helm of the Michigan men’s basketball program. Overall, Ellerbe has guided Michigan to a 59-49 record in the last four seasons. Overall, he has a record of 93-96, which includes a three-year stint at Loyola, Md., where he compiled a 34-47 record from 1995-1997.%^$

%^$The Michigan series
%^$Ohio State leads the all-time series against the Wolverines 78-67, which includes wins in the last three meetings. In games played in Columbus, the Buckeyes have won 45 of 70 contests. Ohio State will play Michigan just once in regular season competition. The Buckeyes won in Ann Arbor last season 88-67. The game in the series played in Columbus took place in 1999 when the Buckeyes prevailed 74-69.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes vs. Michigan
%^$Senior Ken Johnson has the most experience against Michigan teams with a total of six previous meetings. Johnson, a native of Detroit, Mich., has averaged 7.6 points while connecting on 20 of 34 shots from the field or about 60 percent of his shots. He also has blocked 20 shots in the series history.%^$

%^$Leading the Buckeyes
%^$Junior Brian Brown leads the Buckeyes offensively with a scoring average of 13.9 points per game. He leads the team in minutes played (32.2 mpg.). Sophomore Sean Connolly leads in 3-point shooting (28-59, .475) just ahead of junior Boban Savovic (23-53, .434). Brown is the team’s leading free throw shooter (43-55, .782). 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 (72-123). Brown leads in assists with 64 and steals, 27.%^$

%^$OSU opponents fare well in polls
%^$Seven 2000-01 Buckeye opponents are rated among the Top 25 in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. Another four are receiving votes. Michigan State (3/3), Kansas (5/5), Syracuse (8/9), Illinois (11/10), Iowa (14/16), Alabama (16/12) and Wisconsin (19/18) are rated in the Top 25. Purdue, Penn State, St. John’s and Minnesota all are receiving votes in at least one of the polls.%^$

%^$Johnson closing on 400 career blocks, 2nd on Big Ten list
%^$Buckeye senior Ken Johnson has 383 blocks in his career after swatting two against Minnesota. 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- 383%^$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%^$5. #Ken Johnson, OSU 2000 5.37%^$

%^$Big Ten coaches, media select Johnson preseason First Team All-Big Ten
%^$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 39-5 (.886) 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%^$1985-86 26-5 .781%^$

%^$OSU 3-pt FG streak extended to 266
%^$Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point field goal attempt over the last 266 games. Brent Darby extended the streak in the first half against Minnesota (1/13/01). 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 258-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
%^$Michigan 78-67
%^$Michigan State 44-51
%^$Minnesota 70-50
%^$Northwestern 98-44
%^$Penn State 11-12
%^$Purdue 67-77
%^$Wisconsin 78-53
%^$Totals 626-608

%^$Johnson on watch list for Naismith Award
%^$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.