Jan. 2, 2001

Game Notes in .PDF format

Opponent: Northwestern
Site: Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time: 7 p.m. (EST)
Local TV: WBNS 10 TV
TV Talent: Tom Hamilton (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 (9-3)

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.

Northwestern Wildcats
Probable Starters (7-5)

G 5-Ben Johnson, 6-2, So.
G 25-Jitim Young, 6-2, Fr.
G 32-Collier Drayton, 6-2, Jr.
F 33-Tavaras Hardy, 6-8, Jr.
F 3-Winston Blake, 6-5, So.

OSU 48-40 in Big Ten openers, 56-32 in home conference openers
Ohio State is in its 89th season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes are 48-40 all-time in league openers. OSU has begun the conference season at home 52 times (33-19) and on the road 36 times (15-21). Overall, Ohio State has a record of 56-32 in home league openers.

Ohio State enters Big Ten season following win over Coppin State
Ken Johnson blocked Coppin State’s first two shots and then opened the second half by scoring the first eight points as Ohio State beat Coppin State 80-42 last Saturday. Johnson, who led the nation in blocked shots a year ago, had as many blocks (7) as the Eagles had field goals until 8:42 remained. That was almost six minutes after Johnson left the game for good with the Buckeyes on top 48-15. The 6-foot-11 senior finished with 12 points and seven rebounds to go with his seven blocks – in just 16 minutes. Ohio State, which has won seven of its last eight, righted itself after losing to then-No. 9 Kansas 69-68 a week ago. Brian Brown had a 10 points and a career-high eight assists and Sean Connolly also had 10 points for the Buckeyes, who hit half of their 58 shots from the field. The loss was the fourth in a row for Coppin State, which is in the midst of eight straight road games. Enrique Nieves and Joe Brown – who made 3-of-16 shots from the field – each scored nine points for the Eagles, who shot 31 percent from the field. Ohio State used a 26-0 run in the heart of the game to pull away. Coppin State went scoreless for 11:38, missing all 10 of its shots from the field – two of them blocked by Johnson – with seven turnovers.

Noting the win over Coppin State

Ohio State improves to 37-4 during its two-plus seasons atValue City Arena. The win gives the Buckeyes an overall record of9-3 and a home mark of 8-1 this season. The Buckeyes have connectedon 50% of their shots in six games this season, including four ofthe last five games. The Buckeyes connected on 29 of 58 from thefield for .500 vs. the Eagles. Junior Brian Brown set a career highwith 8 assists vs. the Eagles. He twice before, the last vs.Morehead State (12/16/00), handed out 7 helpers. Brown also added10 points in the contest giving him 10 double-digit games thisseason. Ohio State is 19-6 when Brown reaches double figures. TheOhio State defense held Coppin State scoreless for 11 minutes, 38seconds from the 7:47 mark of the first half to the 16:09 mark ofthe second half. The Buckeyes turned a 19-13 lead at 7:47 of thefirst frame to a 45-15 advantage with 16:09 left in the secondhalf. Ken Johnson blocked 7 shots in the contest, 6 in the firsthalf, giving him 372 for his career, which moves him to secondplace all-time by himself in the Big Ten. Johnson tied Iowa’s AcieEarl (1989-93, 365) with six blocks vs. Kansas. Next up on theledger is the Big Ten’s all-time leading shot blocker, Calvin Boothof Penn State, with 428. Ohio State extended its streak ofconsecutive games with at least one 3-point goal made when BrianBrown hit a shot from behind the arc at the 13:55 mark of the firsthalf. Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point goal in262-consecutive games. The win over Coppin State is the seventhvictory for Ohio State against a member of the Mid-Eastern AthleticConference. Ohio State is 1-0 vs. the Eagles. Coppin State is 0-5vs. Big Ten competition all-time. Ohio State has held 6-of-9 foesunder 20 points in the first half of games played at Value CityArena this season. The Buckeyes led the Eagles 34-13 after thefirst 20 minutes. Both Ohio State sophomore Sean Connolly andjunior Brian Brown have connected on at least one 3-point fieldgoal attempt in 11 of 12 games this season. Ken Johnson started his104th career game tonight. He stands in seventh place on theall-time OSU starts chart, one behind sixth-place Jim Smith (105,1978-81). Johnson is one of eight players in Ohio State history toeclipse 100 starts in his Buckeye career. Ohio State opens the BigTen Conference season at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2001 againstNorthwestern at Value City Arena. It will be the conference openerfor both schools.

Visitors struggle to win at VCA
Ohio State as lost just four home games in the 3-year history of Value City Arena. The Buckeyes have a combined record of 37-4 all time at the VCA following the loss to Kansas (69-68, 12/23/00). In the four home losses, no team has won by more than three points. The Buckeyes have lost by an average of 2.3 points in the four games. Iowa owns two of the wins over OSU at VCA. The Hawkeyes won 71-68 Jan. 12, 1999 and 67-64 Feb. 9, 2000. Notre Dame gave OSU a 59-57 defeat to start the season last year Nov. 16, 1999.

Brown earns Big Ten honor
Ohio State junior guard Brian Brown was selected the co-Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after he led a group of five OSU players who averaged double figures last week in wins over St. John’s and Morehead State at Value City Arena. It is Brown’s first Big Ten Player of the Week award as a member of the Buckeyes. Brown paced Ohio State with a 14.0 scoring average, which included game-high scoring honors (18 pts.) in the 71-58 home win over St. John’s. Brown connected on 65 percent of his shots from the field (11-17) last week while averaging 5.5 assists and 2.0 steals. Brown shared honors with senior Roy Boone of Wisconsin.

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 302-258 (.539) in 19 seasons as a head coach. He has a record of 67-41 (.620), including a record of 59-19 (.756) 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 ends a nine-game homestand and is in a span of 12 home games in 13 outings vs. Northwestern. The homestand began vs. Eastern Kentucky (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) and Coppin State (W 80-42, 12/30/00). 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 are currently 7-1 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, Brown No. 1 in Big Ten
Ohio State senior Ken Johnson holds the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten with an average of 4.42 blocks a game (53). Junior Brian Brown is No. 4 in steals (2.08). Junior Boban Savovic is No. 3 in assist/turnover ratio with a +2.33 rating.

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.

Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in defense
Ohio State rates No. 1 among Big Ten teams in blocked shots (5.42) and field goal percentage defense (.367) and is No. 2 in scoring defense (56.2 ppg.) and No. 3 in rebounding defense, allowing foes just 30.5 rebounds a game. The Ohio State offense is No. 2 in scoring margin (+20.0), turnover margin (+4.25) and 3-point field goal percentage (.394). Ohio State is No. 3 in field goal percentage (.481, 322-670).

Johnson No. 1 on OSU career swat chart
Ken Johnson has 53 blocks on the season for a career total of 372, 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 4.42 blocks a game this season.

Johnson moving up career starts list
Ken Johnson has started 104 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. 7 all-time, Johnson will next overtake Jim Smith (1978-81) at No. 6 with 105 starts.

Northwestern upsets Southern Cal
Ben Johnson hit a baseline jumper with 1:23 left, and then made two free throws with 8 seconds left as Northwestern stunned Southern California (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) 63-61 last week. It was Northwestern’s first victory over a ranked team in almost two years. The Wildcats (7-5) beat then-No. 14 Purdue on Jan. 27, 1999. The Trojans (9-2) had a chance to at least send it to overtime when Brandon Granville made the front end of a one-and-one with 3.7 seconds left. He missed the second, giving the Trojans a chance at the rebound and the putback. But Northwestern’s Jason Burke grabbed the ball, and the Trojans had no choice but to foul him with 2.4 seconds left. He missed the free throw, but Brian Scalabrine’s desperation heave at the buzzer wasn’t even close.

Tavaras Hardy led the Wildcats with a season-high 20 points and four rebounds. Northwestern shot 52 percent and never trailed.

Leading Northwestern
Sophomore forward Winston Blake leads the Wildcats in scoring with an average of 11.9 points a game. Classmate Ben Johnson is second with a 11.2 scoring average. Junior Tavaras Hardy is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.8 caroms a game. Junior Collier Drayton is the team’s assist leader with 3.8 a contest.

Carmody in first year at Northwestern
Bill Carmody took over in Evanston after spending 18 years at Princeton University, four as a head coach. While at the helm, Carmody guided the Tigers to an overall record of 92-25 (.786), an Ivy League mark of 50-6 (.893) and took PU to the postseason each year. During his first season as head coach (1996-97), he led the Tigers to a 24-4 record, the third-best first year mark for a Division I head coach in 30 years. Carmody followed that up with an even better sophomore campaign when he directed Princeton to a 27-2 record, a Top 10 national ranking and the second round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament. He has Northwestern off to a 7-5 start in his first campaign with the Wildcats.

Wildcats equal 1999-00 win total in first 10 games of 2000-01
Northwestern won just five games in 1999-00 but have already reached the seven-victory mark in 2000-01. The Wildcats (7-5) won its fifth game of the season in its 10th contest of the year. Northwestern has wins over Maryland Eastern Shore, Vermont, Mississippi Valley State, St. Peter’s, Iona, Evansville and No. 16 Southern California. Northwestern has lost to Arkansas-Little Rock, Clemson, LaSalle, Pepperdine and Kent State.

The Northwestern series
Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Wildcats 97-44, which includes a three-game winning streak. The Buckeyes are 58-14 in games played in Columbus, including a 21-game win streak in home games vs. the Wildcats. Northwestern has not won in Columbus since the Wildcats prevailed 83-72 in 1977.

Buckeyes vs. Northwestern
Ken Johnson failed to record a block in either of his first two meetings against Northwestern as a freshman and sophomore. Last year, in two games against the Wildcats, Johnson rejected a combined 11 shots. Brian Brown leads OSU returning players with an 8.6 points per game average in three career games against the Wildcats. He also is 8-of-8 from the foul line against Northwestern. Johnson has the highest rebounding average with 21 boards (5.3 rpg.) in four career games against the Wildcats.

Leading the Buckeyes
Junior Brian Brown leads the Buckeyes offensively with a scoring average of 14.2 points per game. He leads the team in minutes played (32.0 mpg.). Sophomore Sean Connolly leads the team in 3-point shooting (20-45, .444) while junior Boban Savovic leads in free throw shooting (24-29, .828). Ken Johnson is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.4 a game. He is the most accurate Buckeye from the field as well hitting 54 percent of his shots (49-90). Brown leads in assists with 54 and steals 25.

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 three are receiving votes. Michigan State (1/1), Kansas (7/8), Illinois (9/6), Wisconsin (13/14), Syracuse (15/13), Alabama (20/20) and Iowa (23/21) are rated in the Top 25 in both polls. Penn State, Purdue and Minnesota all are receiving votes in at least one of the polls. Ohio State received one vote for Top 25 consideration in the latest AP poll (12/25/00).

Johnson reaches 300 career blocks, 2nd on Big Ten list
Buckeye senior Ken Johnson has 372 blocks in his career after swatting seven vs. Coppin State. 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- 372 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 37-4 (.903) 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 262
Ohio State has connected on at least one 3-point field goal attempt over the last 262 games. Brian Brown extended the streak in the first half against Coppin State (12/30/00). 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 254-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 open the Big Ten season Jan. 3, 2001 at home against Northwestern. The Buckeyes have more victories over the Wildcats (97) than any other league school. Ohio State has 78 wins each over Michigan and Wisconsin. Illinois has the most wins over the Buckeyes with 94. This will be the 89th season of Big Ten play for Ohio State in men’s basketball.

Big Ten Series Records
Illinois 56-94
Indiana 66-92
Iowa 59-67
Michigan 78-67
Michigan State 44-51
Minnesota 69-50
Northwestern 97-44
Penn State 11-11
Purdue 67-77
Wisconsin 78-53
Totals 625-606

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.