Feb. 20, 2003

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Opponent No. 24 Purdue
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 12:07 p.m. (EST)
TV ESPN Regional
Local TV WBNS 10 TV
TV Talent Tom Hamilton (P-by-P), Greg Kelser (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 (12-11, 5-7)

G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Sr.
G 3 – Sean Connolly, 6-5, Sr.
G 40 – Matt Sylvester, 6-7, So.
C 14 – Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, Jr.
F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, Jr.

No. 24 Purdue Boilermakers
Probable Starters (16-7, 8-4)

G 00 – Willie Deane, 6-1, Sr.
G 10 – Brandon McKnight , 6-2, So.
C 5 – Ivan Kartelo, 6-11, Jr.
F 20 – Kenneth Lowe, 6-3, Jr.
F 31 – Chris Booker, 6-10, Jr.

Boilers Travel to Columbus with 16-7 Overall Mark, 8-4 League Record
Purdue has built a 16-7 record this season after a loss to Michigan last Wednesday in West Lafayette. Purdue is 8-4 in Big Ten play. Illinois, Minnesota and Northwestern have all downed Purdue on their home courts. The Wolverines are the first team to win in West Lafayette this season. Purdue is 13-1 on its home court this season and 2-4 overall on the road. The Boilermakers have lost three of five road games in Big Ten play. In non-conference action, Purdue was 8-3 with a win over No. 4 Louisville. O’Brien Nearing Win No. 350
Ohio State head coach Jim O’Brien has won 114 games in Columbus with the Buckeyes in six seasons. His career total of 349 wins includes 67 victories at St. Bonaventure and 168 victories at Boston College. With at least five games remaining this season, O’Brien has averaged 19.0 wins a season at Ohio State, which includes an 8-22 record his first season in Columbus and a school-record four-consecutive 20-win seasons heading into the 2002-03 campaign.

Early Leads Help Buckeyes
Ohio State has used early and late leads to its advantage this season. The Buckeyes are 10-3 in games when leading at the half. Ohio State and its opponents have each totaled 816 second-half points this season. Ohio State also has been successful holding leads late in games. When leading with five minutes left in the second half, Ohio State is 12-0 on the year.

Buckeyes Fare Well vs. the Ranked at Value City Arena
No. 15 Indiana (W, 81-69) was the 15th opponent to visit Value City Arena with an AP national ranking since the facility opened in 1998. Ohio State has won 12 of 15 previous games against ranked foes at home under head coach Jim O’Brien at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes were 4-1 in 1998-99, 1-0 in 1999-00, 3-1 in 2000-01 and 3-0 in 2001-02 against ranked teams at home. No. 9 Kansas (2000), No. 12 Iowa (1999) and No. 24 Louisville (2003) are the only ranked teams to claim victory at VCA.

Fans Boost Buckeye Record in Sellouts
Value City Arena has been sold out for 25 games in the last five years since the building opened in 1998. The Buckeyes have won 21 of those games for a winning percentage of .840 when the VCA is sold out. Iowa, Kansas, Indiana and Michigan State are the only teams to overcome the home crowd and the Buckeyes in sold out games at VCA. Jim O’Brien led Ohio State to a 1-0 record in 1998-99, a 11-1 mark in 1999-00, a 3-2 effort in 2000-01 and a 5-1 record in 2001-02 in sold out games at VCA. Ohio State is 1-0 this season.

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 50-41 (.549) in conference openers, 62-29 (.681) in league home openers and 34-57 (.374) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play.

Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
The Buckeyes are in the fifth season at Value City Arena. Ohio State is 68-11 (.861) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign.

Ohio State Wins 10 Home Games for 5th Season in a Row
With the 73-68 win over Minnesota Feb. 5, Ohio State extended its steak to five years in which the Buckeyes have won at least 10 home games in a season. Ohio State is 10-3 this season with three remaining home contests against Iowa, Purdue and Michigan State. Ohio State started the streak with a 14-1 home record in 1998-99. The Buckeyes were 15-2 in 1999-00, 14-3 in 2000-01 and 15-2 in 2001-02. The last time Ohio State put together five-consecutive seasons with 10 or more home wins was from 1985-1994, a stretch of 10 seasons with 10 or more victories in St. John Arena.

Ohio State vs. Ranked Opponents
The Buckeyes are 126-200 all-time against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. In the last five years, Ohio State has won 22 of 42 (.524) games against ranked foes.

Michigan Stops Purdue Home Streak
Daniel Horton scored a career-high 31 points and LaVell Blanchard added 20 as Michigan beat No. 24 Purdue 78-67 Wednesday to take over first place in the Big Ten. The Wolverines never trailed and handed Purdue its first loss at home this season in 14 games. Horton, a freshman, scored 21 points in the first half as Michigan took a 42-29 lead and became the first team to lead Purdue at halftime at home this season. He was 8-for-22 from the field and 12-for-13 from the free throw line. Michigan’s lead was cut to 54-50 with 11 minutes to play. Then Michigan sandwiched 3-pointers by Blanchard and Horton around a bucket by Purdue’s Willie Deane to make it 60-52. Deane, who led the Boilermakers with 22 points, scored to make it 71-63, though it was the final time Michigan’s lead would be under double digits.

Deane Top Scorer for Boilers
Senior guard Willie Deane is the top scorer for Purdue with 17.6 points per game. He is followed by junior Kenneth Lowe’s 11.9 ppg. and junior forward Chris Booker’s 10.5 ppg. Booker also is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.0 rebounds a contest. Lowe has been to the foul line 122 times this season and has made 110 attempts to average 90 percent accuracy at the free throw line.

Keady in 23rd Year at Purdue
Gene Keady has been on the sidelines at Purdue for the last 23 years. His career record is 523-250, which includes a couple seasons at Western Kentucky. At Purdue, he has a record of 485-231.

Dials, Darby Top Scorers vs. Purdue
Senior Brent Darby has played in five career games against the Boilermakers and has averaged 11.2 points a game in those meetings. Sophomore Terence Dials, who is out with a back injury, played in two games last year and averaged 12.0 points, connecting on 9 of 10 field goal attempts. Junior Zach Williams and senior Sean Connolly both have four games of experience against Purdue as Buckeyes. Connolly played against the Boilermakers once while at Providence. Williams averages 8.8 points and a team-high 4.5 rebounds vs. Purdue while Connolly chips in 7.2 points a game. Freshman Matt Sylvester scored 13 points in his first game against Purdue earlier this year.

Buckeyes Closing on Purdue
Purdue is just eight games up in the all-time series between the Buckeyes and Boilermakers. Purdue leads 78-70 all time but have lost six of the last seven meetings against Ohio State, including the last three in Columbus. Ohio State has not won four-consecutive games at home in the series since 1978-81. The Buckeyes downed Purdue 77-66 last year in Columbus. Ohio State is 47-27 in games played in Columbus. The Boilermakers hold a 51-23 edge in West Lafayette.

Connolly Reaches 1,000 Career Points with 13 at Penn State
Ohio State senior Sean Connolly needed 10 points to reach 1,000 for his collegiate career entering the game at Penn State. His third 3-pointer of the game at the 10:13 mark of the second half put him over the 1,000-point plateau. He finished with 13 points against the Nittany Lions. Connolly scored 330 points as a freshman at Providence College before making the move to Ohio State. In three seasons as a Buckeye he has scored 681 points to give him a career total of 1,011 heading into the game against Purdue.

Dials Will Not Return in 2002-03, Fuss-Cheatham also Out
Ohio State sophomore center Terence Dials will not return to the Ohio State lineup in 2002-03, Jim O’Brien, Ohio State head coach announced Feb. 11. Dials, who has not played since Dec. 18 at Pittsburgh, was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lumbar spine (level 2) in late December. He played in six games before the injury and will be eligible for a medical redshirt, giving him three remaining years of eligibility beginning in 2003-04. Sophomore guard Brandon Fuss-Cheatham also will not play the rest of the season to rest his injured left knee. He could play again if an emergency situation arises.

C. Bass Sees More Time off Bench
Freshman forward Charles Bass played just three minutes in four games before a career-high 20 minute game at Illinois. He followed that effort with a seven-minute outing at Penn State. In the last three games, Bass has given the Buckeyes quality minutes in the paint. He has 11 rebounds, six points and a pair of blocks in his last three games.

Radinovic Misses Gopher/Illinois Games
Junior center Velimir Radinovic missed games against Minnesota Feb. 5 and Illinois Feb. 9 with an injury to the little finger on his left hand. Radinovic watched the Ohio State win over the Golden Gophers from a hospital room, where he spent two nights as a precaution while receiving intravenous antibiotics. The injury occurred Feb. 4 during practice when an interior pass caused a compound dislocation near the tip of the left little finger. Because the small bone at the tip of the finger broke the skin and was exposed, Radinovic needed the extended hospital stay to avoid infection. Plagued by fouls, he played just seven minutes in a starting role at Penn State but scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds at Michigan last Saturday.

Radinovic’s 19 points Not Enough for Buckeyes at Michigan
Daniel Horton scored 21 points and LaVell Blanchard added 19 as Michigan beat Ohio State 70-54 last Saturday. Ohio State got 19 points from Velimir Radinovic. The Wolverines and their freshman-heavy lineup played under control all game, turning the ball over only 12 times. Michigan’s big three of Horton, Blanchard and Lester Abram accounted for all but six points in a 21-8 run to open the second half. Ohio State was unable to cut Michigan’s lead to single digits in the second half. The first half was a hard-fought defensive struggle for the first 15 minutes until Horton and the Wolverines found their scoring touch. The freshman scored 11 points – including three baskets from beyond the arc – as Michigan ended the half on an 18-5 run to lead 38-24.

Noting the Game at Michigan

Junior Velimir Radinovic scored 19 points, one shy of hiscareer high, and grabbed eight rebounds, two below his career best.Freshman Nate Salley played eight minutes after a career-high15-minute effort at Illinois. He scored on his only field goalattempt against the Wolverines and was 2 for 2 at the foul line.Ohio State ended a string of six road games in its last eightcontests. Ohio State will play three of the next four at home toend the regular season. With 12 points, Brent Darby has scored indouble figures in his last 17 games, the longest double-figurescoring streak of his career.

Darby Among Big Ten Leaders
Senior Brent Darby is second in scoring among Big Ten players with 18.1 points per game behind Illinois’ Brian Cook (19.8). Darby also is No. 7 in assists (4.26 apg.) and No. 4 (tie) in steals (1.65 spg.). In 3-point shooting statistics, Darby rates No. 9 in 3-pointers made per game (1.87).

Darby’s Scoring Average Highest Since 1999 Season
Brent Darby’s 18.1 points per game this season are the most by an Ohio State player since 1999 when Michael Redd averaged 19.1 points a game. Darby’s average this season is the third highest single season average since Jim Jackson averaged 22.4 points as a junior in 1991. Redd lead all Big Ten scorers as a freshman with 21.9 points a game in 1998.

Darby Entering Several Foul Shooting Top 10 Lists
Senior Brent Darby has made 146 free throws this season. With his next made foul shot, he will enter Ohio State’s Top 10 for single season foul shots made. Jay Burson (1988) and John Miller (1955) are tied for the No. 9 spot with 147. Dennis Hopson is the single season record holder with 215 made foul shots in 1987. Darby also could reach the Top 10 in career free throws made with another 24 made free throws this season. Jerry Francis (1986-89) is No. 10 on the career list with 360 made free throws in his career. Jerry Lucas is the career leader with 438 made over three seasons (1960-62). Hopson is second with 437 (1984-87). Darby’s 180 free throws attempted is tied for the No. 10 spot all time with Jim Jackson (180/1992). Darby’s .811 foul shooting percentage (146-180) this year is just outside the Top 10. Brad Sellers (1986) is No. 10 at .819 (185-226).

Radinovic, Jenkins Among Leaders in Big Ten Conference Games
Junior center Velimir Radinovic has connected on 52 percent of his shots from the field in all games (64-123/5th) and 55 percent in conference games (37-67/4th). Junior Shun Jenkins is the No. 3 (tie) rebounder in league games with an average of 7.5 a game. He also is the No. 5-rated (tie) offensive rebounder in conference games with an average of 2.67 in 12 league games.

Darby Moves Up Scoring Chart
Senior guard Brent Darby became the 41st player at Ohio State to score 1,000 career points during his 28-point effort against Indiana (1/11). Darby has 1,199 career points and is No. 26 all-time on the Ohio State scoring chart. Luke Witte (1,211/1971-73) is next on the all-time scoring list at No. 25. Sean Connolly has scored 1,011 career points, which includes 330 while a freshman at Providence. At least one player has reached 1,000 points in each of the last five years at Ohio State. Michael Redd (5th/1,879) and Jason Singleton (40th/1,022) reached 1,000 in 1999 followed by Scoonie Penn (35th/1,076) in 2000, Ken Johnson (37th/1,055) in 2001 and Brian Brown (19th/1,384) in 2002.

Darby, Connolly Among Best 3-Point Shooters in Buckeye History
Sean Connolly has made 120 of 314 (.382) career 3-pointers in three seasons as a Buckeye. He is tied at No. 3 all-time in 3-point shooting percentage among players with more than 200 career attempts. He is No. 7 in 3-pointers made and attempts as well. Senior Brent Darby is No. 7 in 3-point shooting percentage (.370) and is No. 4 in made (141) and No. 5 in attempted (381) 3-pointers.

Darby, Connolly Get Little Pine Time
Senior guards Brent Darby and Sean Connolly have little experience watching game action this season. Darby averages a team-high 37.9 minutes a game. Connolly plays 36.1 minutes a contest. Darby has played 40 or more minutes in 11 games, including seven of the last 13 contests. Connolly has not come out of five games and has played 39 in two others. He played a season-low 18 minutes against Minnesota Feb. 5.

Darby Leading Ohio State to Team Foul Shooting Mark of 72 percent
Brent Darby has been to the foul line 10 or more times in eight games this season. In those games, he has made 81 of 99 free throws (.812). He leads Ohio State in free throws made (146) and attempted (180). As a team, Ohio State has connected on 411 of 570 free throws for a .721 accuracy rating.

Buckeye Success at Foul Line Best Since 1990-91 Season
Ohio State has not shot a better percentage from the free throw line since the 1991-92 season when the Buckeyes connected on 506-702 foul shots for a .721 shooting percentage. Ohio State has made 411-570 (.721) free throws this year. The last time the Buckeyes finished the season above .700 at the foul line was in 1999-00 when the Buckeyes knocked down 443-629 free throws (.704). Ohio State could make over 500 foul shots for the second-consecutive season. The last time an Ohio State team made 500 or more foul shots in back-to-back seasons came in 1990-91 (551-778/.708) and 1991-92 (506-702/.721).

Ohio State vs. the Big Ten Conference
Ohio State has a winning record against the Big Ten Conference overall and has a winning mark all-time against five league members. This is the 91st season Ohio State has been affiliated with the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes have won or shared 17 league titles, including the 2001-02 co-championship.

Ohio State vs. The Big Ten Illinois 59-96 Indiana 68-95 Iowa 64-68 Michigan 82-69 Michigan State 45-55 Minnesota 72-51 Northwestern 102-44 Penn State 14-12 Purdue 70-78 Wisconsin 79-56 Totals 655-624

This Date In History
Ohio State is 17-12 in games played on Feb. 22. Ohio State’s last win was a home 63-61 victory over No. 3 Illinois in 2001.

OSU on Feb. 22 2/22/99 W @Kenyon 14-11 2/22/13 W Chicago 24-21 2/22/15 W Iowa 27-15 2/22/16 L Indiana 26-29 2/22/17 W Northwestern 27-25 2/22/18 L Purdue 20-38 2/22/19 L Wittenberg 21-25 2/22/22 W Chicago 29-23 2/22/23 L Michigan 14-39 2/22/27 W @Indiana 27-18 2/22/28 L Indiana 17-52 2/22/29 L Purdue 23-39 2/22/30 W Army 31-30 2/22/37 L @Northwestern 29-44 2/22/41 W @Northwestern 35-29 2/22/43 W Michigan 53-48 2/22/46 W @Chicago 53-31 2/22/47 W @Wisconsin 57-56 2/22/58 L Indiana 83-88 2/22/64 W @Northwestern 72-61 2/22/65 W Michigan State 101-90 2/22/69 W Iowa 88(10)-81 2/22/75 L @Illinois (ot) 78-83 2/22/79 W Illinois 73(14)-55 2/22/84 W Michigan State 86-70 2/22/86 L @Illinois 62-66 2/22/95 L Purdue 55-64(21) 2/22/97 L Iowa 56-69 2/22/01 W Illinois 63-61(3)

Five Foes Among Top 25 Teams in Associated Press Poll
Ohio State has played 10 teams and 10 games against teams currently ranked or receiving votes in the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls. No. 4/3 Louisville, No. 8/8 Pittsburgh, No. 9/9 Duke, No. 20/15 Illinois and No. 24/23 Purdue all have faced the Buckeyes this season. Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Indiana are all receiving votes in one or both polls.

Key Buckeyes Miss 38 Games to Date With Various Injuries
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham (9 games), a sophomore point guard, Shun Jenkins (8), a junior forward, Terence Dials (17), a sophomore center, senior guard Sean Connolly (2) and junior center Velimir Radinovic (2) have missed game action recovering from injuries. Fuss-Cheatham, who started both exhibition contests and then missed the first four regular-season games and two contests in Big Ten play, went down with an injury to his left knee in an exhibition game against the Harlem Globetrotters. The injury, a partially torn lateral meniscus, required arthroscopic surgery Nov. 25. Jenkins suffered a broken little finger on his left hand against the Globetrotters. He had surgery Nov. 27 and missed the first eight games of the season. He had the pins removed Dec. 19 and played for the first time as a Buckeye against Tennessee State. Dials has missed the last 14 games with a stress fracture in his lumbar spine (level 2). He is out indefinitely. He last played against Pittsburgh Dec. 18. Connolly did not play at Michigan State or at Illinois while recovering from a left ankle sprains sustained Jan. 4 against Louisville and Feb. 1 vs. Northwestern. Radinovic suffered a compound dislocation to his left little finger Feb. 4 and missed the Minnesota game Feb. 5 and the Illinois game Feb. 9.

Connolly, Darby Reach 100 Career Games Played
Sean Connolly reached 100 games played against Seton Hall. Connolly played a total of 30 games at Providence and has appeared in 84 at Ohio State. Brent Darby has played in 113 games as a Buckeye with 71 career starts.

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.

Winning Percentage Soars for O’Brien in Last Four Seasons
Jim O’Brien has won 70 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 106-46 (.700) in the 152 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 season titles (2000 and 2002) and a claiming one Big Ten tournament crown (2002).

Salley Added to Buckeye Roster
Nate Salley, a freshman safety on the Ohio State football team, joined the men’s basketball team Jan. 7. Salley took three days off after helping the football team win the national title before donning basketball practice gear and working out with Jim O’Brien’s squad. Salley, a 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound guard, averaged more than 19 points a game as a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He wore the No. 21 on the football field and will do same as a member of the basketball team. On the gridiron, he played in all 14 games, primarily on special teams, recording six total tackles and three solos.