Dec. 22, 2002

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Opponent Radford
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
Local TV WBNS Ch. 10
TV Talent Mike Gleason (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 (4-3)

G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3 – Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 2 – Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, 6-1, So.
C 14 – Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, Jr.
F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

Radford Highlanders
Probable Starters (2-6)

G 2 – Raymond Arrington, 6-4, Sr.
G 32 – Whit Holcomb-Faye, 6-1, Fr.
C 33 – Jason Bees, 7-0, Fr.
F 12 – Aaron Gill, 6-6, Fr.
F 22 – Ray Noiles, 6-4, Jr.

Ohio State, Radford Meet for Second Time
The Radford Highlanders and Ohio State Buckeyes have met just once previously. Ohio State won that game 108-61 Jan. 9, 1989 in Columbus.

Highlanders 2-6 Before Trip To Ohio
Radford lost at Akron Saturday before making the trip to Columbus. In the first eight games of the season, the Highlanders posted a 2-6 record, which included five road contests. Wins have been over William and Mary (64-63) and North Carolina A&T in overtime (67-58). Richmond (92-46), Howard (62-58), East Carolina (87-42), American (73-49), Marshall (90-65) and Akron (97-64) all have posted victories over Radford this season.

Guards Lead Highlanders
Senior guard Raymond Arrington leads Radford in scoring with 14.6 points per game. He is followed by freshman guard Whit Holcomb-Faye’s 13.5 ppg. Sophomore forward Kyle Zaharias is the leading rebounder for the Highlanders with 5.6 per game.

Zips Handle Highlanders
Radford went cold from the field and Akron took advantage cruising to a 97-64 Saturday at James A. Rhodes Arena. The Zips held the Highlanders without a field goal for 20 minutes and forced 22 turnovers in the game, with 11 coming off steals. UA led 8-5 at the 15:08 mark of the first half after Whit Holcomb-Faye’s layup, but Radford then proceeded to miss its next 19 shots from the field. In between, the Zips outscored Radford 39-18 and led by as many as 34 points in the second half and were never threatened. During the Highlanders’ field-goal drought, which lasted until Holcomb-Faye’s 3-point bucket with 15:08 left in the game, Akron hit 12 of its 26 field goals and shot 55.6 percent for the game. Johnny Hollingsworth had a solid all-around game for UA with 23 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the floor and season-highs in rebounds (7) and steals (6). Radford came into the game shooting just 33.3 percent from the field on the season, but had its worst shooting night of the season, connecting on just 23.6 percent. Raymond Arrington scored a season-high 23 points, but was just 5-for-21 from the floor.

Buckeyes Own 4-0 Rcd. vs. Big South
Ohio State has played four members of the Big South Conference. Ohio State has played Coastal Carolina, North Carolina-Asheville, Radford and Winthrop.

OSU vs. the Big South Conference Birmingham Southern 0-0 Charleston Southern 0-0 Coastal Carolina 1-0 Elon 0-0 High Point 0-0 Liberty 0-0 North Carolina Asheville 1-0 Radford 1-0 Winthrop 1-0 Totals 4-0

Samuels in First Season at Radford
Highlander head coach Byron Samuels is in his first season at Radford as the head coach. He most recently was an assistant at Tennessee, where he served the four years prior to accepting the Radford head coaching job. He also served assistant coaching positions at Washington State and UNC-Wilmington.

This Date In History
Ohio State is 11-8 in games played on Dec 23. Ohio State won its last game on this date against Mississippi in the championship game at the San Juan Shootout in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Buckeyes

OSU on Dec. 23 12/23/99 W Central High 34-4 12/23/16 L @Miami (O) 23-24 12/23/38 L @Washington 37-51 12/23/44 L @Kentucky (ot) 48-53 12/23/46 L @Washington 46-52 12/23/49 W California 78-67 12/23/50 W St. Louis 65-55 12/23/57 L @Oklahoma 55-64 12/23/61 W Penn State 92(1)-49 12/23/63 W Houston 79-62 12/23/65 L Kansas 68-81 12/23/66 W Army 61-59 12/23/71 W Wisconsin-Milwaukee 78(6)-63 12/23/74 W Georgia Tech 75-66 12/23/80 W Princeton 72-46 12/23/93 W vs Boston College 69-67(18) 12/23/96 L @ San Diego St. 75-81 12/23/98 W Mississippi 67-62 12/23/00 L Kansas 68-69(9)

Buckeyes Enjoy Success With Just One Day of Rest
The Buckeyes have played with just a day of rest following a game 16 times in Jim O’Brien’s tenure at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 10-6 in that situation and 10-1 since the 1998-99 season in regular season action.

Buckeyes Stay Perfect at Home With 71-54 Win Over Seton Hall
Sean Connolly scored eight points in a 21-6 first-half run and then made several key plays as Ohio State pulled away in the second half to beat Seton Hall 71-54 Saturday. Connolly finished with 22 points as the Buckeyes improved to 4-3. Connolly’s output was his most since transferring to Ohio State. His career best was 24 points as a freshman at Providence vs. N.C. State. Andre Barrett had 18 points for Seton Hall, which has lost three of four meetings with the Buckeyes. Ohio State scored 21 of 27 points over the final 12:30 of the first half to turn a 13-11 advantage into a 34-16 lead with just under 2 minutes left in the half. Connolly scored eight points – hitting both of his 3-point attempts – and Matt Sylvester came off the bench to add six points in the flurry.

The Pirates scored the final six points of the half to trail 34-22 at the break. Connolly, who hit 4 of 7 3-point attempts, later added five points in a 7-0 run that swelled the lead to 59-41. Velimir Radinovic, filling in for the injured Terence Dials, scored 13 points. Williams also had 13 rebounds and Brent Darby added 12. Kelly Whitney had 12 points for Seton Hall.

Noting the Win over Seton Hall

Ohio State is 3-1 all-time against Seton Hall and 52-38all-time against teams in the Big East Conference. Tonight’s battlewith the Pirates was the first of a two-game series. Ohio Statewill travel to the Meadowlands (N.J.) next season. Sophomore centerTerence Dials did not play because of back spasms which flaredafter shoot around early Saturday. Junior Velimir Radinovic madehis third start of the season in place of Dials. When scoring 70 ormore points in a game, the Buckeyes have posted a 3-1 record thisseason and are 75-18 in O’Brien’s six seasons as head coach. Seniorguard Sean Connolly played in his 100th career college game againstSeton Hall. He played 30 games as a freshman at Providence and hasseen action on 70 games as a Buckeye. In the final 12:33 of thefirst half, the Buckeyes went on a 21-11 run and led 34-22 athalftime. Connolly scored 22 points against the Pirates and is theonly Buckeye to score in double figures in every game this season.The seven-game streak is a career high, breaking his pervious markof six while at Providence. His 22 points are the most ever as aBuckeye since scoring 18 in his first game dressed in Scarlet andGray against Yale, the first game of the 2000-01 season. Connollyhas seen at least 37 minutes of action in every game. With one3-point field goal against the Pirates, Brent Darby is sixth on theOhio State career 3-point list (114). He needs 11 more to move intofifth place. Boban Sovovic is currently fifth (125) and MichaelRedd is sixth (126). Darby’s 12 points gave him 902 for his career.He needs 98 more points to move into 41st place on the Ohio Statecareer scoring list. Chris Jent is currently 40th with 1,007points. Velimir Radinovic tied a career-high with 13 points andalso established a career-high with 38 minutes of time on thehardwood. He also hit seven free-throws to set a season-high.Freshman Matt Sylvester scored seven points, tying a career-high.His also had seven at Pittsburgh (12/18). Sophomore BrandonFuss-Cheatham pulled down a career-high down nine rebounds. Hisprevious high of three achieved last against Pittsburgh (12/18).His 28 minutes also set a career-high. Junior Zach Williams tallieda season-high six offensive rebounds, including five in the firsthalf to surpass his previous season high of three. Six offensiveboards also is the most this season by any Buckeye. The Buckeyesreturn to action at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 against Radford in Value CityArena.

Four Top 10 Opponents on Schedule
Ohio State is scheduled to play four teams and five games against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls Top 6, a total of seven in the Top 25 and another three (Wisconsin, Purdue and Louisville) receiving votes for Top 25 consideration. No. 2/4 Alabama, No. 3/2 Duke, No. 4/3 Pittsburgh and No. 6/6 Indiana all face the Buckeyes early in the season. With games vs. No. 4 Alabama, No. 4 Duke and No. 4 Pittsburgh in the books, the Buckeyes will welcome Indiana to Columbus. 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. 25 Minnesota makes a visit to Columbus Feb. 5 for the only meeting of the year. Ohio State travels to No. 12/12 Illinois Feb. 9. No. 15 Michigan State plays host to the Buckeyes Jan. 9 in the Big Ten opener.

Fuss-Cheatham Returns to Action, Jenkins Still Recovering
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, a sophomore point guard, and Shun Jenkins, a junior forward, have missed game action while recovering from injuries suffered Nov. 22 against the Harlem Globetrotters in the final exhibition game. 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. Fuss-Cheatham returned to action with six minutes of playing time against Morehead State Dec. 14. He made his first career start Dec. 18 vs. Pittsburgh and played 26 minutes. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand. He had surgery Nov. 27 and has missed the first seven games of the season to date. He had the pins removed Dec. 19. He has been cleared for limited contact in practice and should be cleared to play in late December.

Connolly on Scoring Streak
Senior Sean Connolly has reached double figures offensively in each of the seven games this season. The streak is the longest since he opened his freshman campaign at Providence with six-consecutive double-digit games.

Darby Second in Scoring in Big Ten
Senior Brent Darby is the Big Ten’s second leading scorer with 17.1 points a game. He has reached 30 or more points twice this season and leads Ohio State in scoring, 3-point shooting (16-32/.500), foul shooting (32-40/.800), assists (34) and steals (13).

Connolly Reaches 100 Games Played
Sean Connolly reached 100 games played against Seton Hall. Connolly played a total of 30 games at Providence and has appeared in 70 at Ohio State. Brent Darby as played in 97 games as a Buckeye with 55 career starts.

Buckeyes to Play 8 of 9 Games at VCA
After six games in which Ohio State opened the season with a pair of neutral games, one road contest and three home games, the Buckeyes will play eight of the next nine games in Columbus. The next five games, vs. Seton Hall (W 74-51), Radford, Tennessee State, Hampton and Louisville will be played at home before the Big Ten opener at Michigan State Jan. 9. The Buckeyes will then play host to conference foes Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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 sixth all-time in career 3-pointers made with 114 after knocking down one long-range attempt against Seton Hall. 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 902 career points. 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 provided NCAA 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.

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. He has played in a seven games to date for an average of 18 minutes a game.

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.

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.

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 72 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 97-38 (.719) in the 135 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 2002-03 home opener against Coppin State. Ohio State is 62-8 (.886) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign.

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.