COLUMBUS, Ohio – Thad Matta, now in his seventh season as head coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, announced the 2010-11 schedule Thursday.
Every Ohio State game will appear on national television in 2010-11, as CBS, the ESPN family of networks and the Big Ten Network will showcase the Buckeyes throughout the season.
Matta said the schedule shapes up to prepare Ohio State’s mix of veterans and newcomers for the 2011 Big Ten Conference race.
“We have a great mix of opponents and it will be a challenging schedule,” Matta said. “Our veterans are excited and our freshmen will have to adapt quickly to understand what it takes to compete at this level game after game. Our November and December games should go a long way in preparing us for what will be a very strong Big Ten Conference.”
ESPN networks will broadcast at least 12 games and possibly 14 throughout the season while CBS has scheduled the Buckeyes twice with opportunities for three others. The Big Ten Network, now in its fourth year, will showcase no fewer than 13 games.
The Buckeyes, who tied for the Big Ten regular-season title a season ago, aim for their fourth league crown under Matta’s direction. The league returned to the lengthier conference schedule in 2008 after playing a 16-game schedule from 1998-2007. The Buckeyes will take on eight league foes twice while playing Michigan State (home) and Northwestern (away) once in 2011.
Ohio State will play at least nine games this season vs. six teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament with five of those taking place away from Columbus. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge will again be part of the Ohio State schedule this year. The Buckeyes travel to Florida State Nov. 30 for a 7:30 p.m. ET tip on ESPN.
Ohio State opens the regular season Nov. 12 against North Carolina A&T at Value City Arena. That game kicks off the Global Sports Invitational event, which includes home games vs. UNC Wilmington (Nov. 20), Morehead State (Nov. 23) and a road game at Florida Nov. 16. The Florida game will be part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon and will tip off at 6 p.m. ET from Gainesville.
The Buckeyes then open Big Ten regular-season competition on the road Dec. 31 against Indiana to start off their 98th year as a member of the Big Ten Conference in men’s basketball. Three of Ohio State’s first four league games are away from Columbus with games at Indiana (Dec. 31), Iowa (Jan. 4) and Michigan (Jan. 12). Ohio State’s first home game in league play is against Minnesota Jan. 9.
Senior David Lighty is the most veteran member of the Buckeyes’ roster. He spent the summer recuperating from an injured right foot, the same injury that caused him to miss the majority of the 2008-09 season. As a junior a season ago, Lighty averaged 12.6 points a game to earn Third Team All-Big Ten honors by the league media and honorable mention accolades by the Big Ten Coaches. He also was a member of the 2010 All-Big Ten Tournament squad defeated Minnesota for the postseason tournament title.
Lighty, 2009 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and 2010 Third-Team All-Big Ten (coaches and media) honoree William Buford and senior Jon Diebler give the Buckeyes one of the more formidable guard rotations nationally.
Diebler earned 2010 Third Team All-Big Ten accolades by both the coaches and media. He set single season (116) and career (260) records for made 3-pointers last season.
Dallas Lauderdale is the fourth returning starter for the Buckeyes in 2010-11. He enters the season No. 5 all-time in career blocked shots with 159. He rejected eight attempts in Ohio State’s win vs. UCSB in the opening round of the NCAA tournament last year, the sixth-most blocks in a single game in OSU history.
Ohio State put together a 29-8 campaign in 2009-10 on its way to a “Sweet Sixteen” appearance in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, a tie for the regular season Big Ten title (14-4) and a 90-61 victory vs. Minnesota in the title game of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament.