Feb. 4, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Opponent Minnesota
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
Local TV WBNS 10 TV
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 (10-9, 3-5)

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.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Probable Starters (12-6, 4-3)

G 12 – Kevin Burleson, 6-3, Sr.
G 11 – Maurice Hargrow, 6-10, So.
C 40 – Jerry Holman, 6-10, Sr.
F 41 – Michael Bauer, 6-8, Jr.
F 1 – Rick Rickert, 6-11, So.

Connolly 12 away from 1,000 Career Pts.
Ohio State senior Sean Connolly needs 12 points to reach 1,000 for his collegiate career. He scored 330 as a freshman at Providence College before making the move to Ohio State. In three seasons as a Buckeye he has scored 658 points to give him a career total of 988 heading into the game against Minnesota. Ohio State Owns 20-Game Edge in Series
Ohio State has won 71 of the 122 games in the series between the Golden Gophers and Buckeyes. Minnesota has lost 44 of the 61 games played in Columbus and has a 34-27 edge in Minneapolis. Minnesota broke a five-game losing streak to the Buckeyes with an 89-71 home win over Ohio State last year in the only meeting of the season. The two teams play just once again this season in Columbus. Minnesota has not won at Value City Arena in three tries. The last Minnesota win in Columbus was in 1997, a 73-67 victory on Jan. 18 of that year.

Gophers Start 8-3 Before Big Ten
Minnesota started the year with an 8-3 record in non-conference play with key wins over Georgia and Georgia Tech. Non-league losses were Nebraska and Oregon on the road and Texas Tech at home in overtime. In league play, the Golden Gophers (11-6, 3-3) have lost to Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan with wins over Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State.

Gophers Even Season Series with Home Win Over Michigan
With 26-seconds remaining in the game, Jerry Holman dunked to give Minnesota a five-point lead and clinched a 87-80 win over Michigan. The Wolverines came within three after Daniel Horton made a layup to bring the score to 83-80 with 20 seconds left. But, with four-straight free throws from Kevin Burleson, Minnesota clinched the victory. Michigan’s Sherrod Harrell brought the Wolverine’s within two points with just over a minute remaining. Minnesota took control in the final minute going on a 7-2 run to hand Michigan just their second Big Ten loss this season. Holman was key for Minnesota with 18 points, four rebounds. Rick Rickert added 17 points and five rebounds, while Jeff Hagen tied his career-best 12 points. Michigan was led by Horton’s 20 points and four rebounds. Lester Abram added 18 points and six rebounds for the Maize and Blue. Michigan won its home game against Minnesota 75-63 Jan. 22.

Gopher Trio Scoring More Than A Dozen
Sophomore forward Rick Rickert leads Minnesota with 14.5 points a game. Sophomore guard Maurice Hargrow (13.6) and junior Michael Bauer (12.2) also are adding double-digit offensive numbers for the Gophers. Rickert also is the leading rebounder with 6.4 boards a game. The Gophers have six players with 11 or more 3-pointers made with Baurer leading the way with 37 on the year.

Monson in 4th year at Minnesota
Dan Monson is in his fourth year on the Minnesota sidelines. He has an overall record of 60-49 in Minneapolis and an overall mark of 112-66, which includes his two years as the head coach at Gonzaga.

Connolly Owns Top Scoring Average vs. Gophers
Senior Sean Connolly’s 13.0 points per game against Minnesota is the best among the five current Buckeyes who have played against Minnesota. For Connolly, his scoring average against the Golden Gophers in three games is the highest against any other Big Ten foe. Of the five players with experience against Minnesota, only four will be available this year with sophomore Terence Dials still out with a back injury. Junior Zach Williams is Ohio State’s leading rebounder against the Golden Gophers with 4.3 caroms a game in three career meetings. Senior Brent Darby has the most experience with five career games played against Minnesota.

Radinovic Turns in Career Efforts at Purdue, vs. Northwestern
Junior center Velimir Radinovic scored a career-high 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting from the field against Purdue. He then set a career high with 10 rebounds on his way to his first career double-double with 12 points at home against Northwestern.

Darby Among Big Ten Leaders
Senior Brent Darby is second in scoring among Big Ten players with 17.9 points per game behind Illinois’ Brian Cook (20.6). Darby also is No. 7 in assists (4.26 apg.) and No. 3 in steals (1.74 spg.). In 3-point shooting statistics, Darby rates No. 8 in percentage (.366/37-101) and No. 9 in 3-pointers made per game (1.95). In conference games, Darby is among the Top 10 in several categories.

Radinovic, Jenkins Among Leaders in Big Ten Conference Games
Junior center Velimir Radinovic has connected on 58 percent of his shots from the field in conference games (29-50) to rank No. 4 in the Big Ten. Junior Shun Jenkins is the sixth-best rebounder in league games with an average of 7.1 a game. He also is the No. 2 rated offensive rebound in conference games with an average of 3.12 in eight league games.

Ohio State Among Top 3 League Teams in Several Areas
The Buckeyes are ranked among the Top 3 teams in several statistical areas in Big Ten games this season. Ohio State is No. 3 in scoring defense allowing 64.0 points per game, No. 3 in field goal percentage defense (.400), No. 2 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.288), No. 2 in rebounding offense (35.0) and No. 3 in rebounding defense (31.6). Ohio State is No. 3 in rebounding margin (+3.4) and No. 3 in offensive rebounds per game with an average of 11.50 a game.

Buckeyes, Opponents Close in Many Areas
Ohio State is one game up on opponents with a 10-9 record this season. Ohio State is nearly as close in several other statistical categories heading into the game against Minnesota. Ohio State is 416 of 990 from the field for a shooting percentage of .420. Opponents have made 416 of 1,001 shots for a .416 shooting percentage. Ohio State has made 33.5 percent of its 3-point attempts (91-272). Opponents are shooting 33.4 percent (131-392). Ohio State owns the rebounding edge by a just 3.2 a game (34.4-31.2) and averages less than two points more than opponents on the season (67.0-65.4). In Big Ten play, both Ohio State and opponents have scored 163 field goals and are separated by just two attempted field goals (OSU 406, opponents 408). Opponents have nearly doubled the Buckeyes in 3-pointers made 49-24 but have outscored the Buckeyes by just 1.2 points a game (64-62.8 ppg.). The Buckeyes own the rebounding edge 35-31.6 rebounds per game.

Darby Moves Up Scoring Chart, Connolly Closing on 1,000 Points
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 1,122 career points and is tied at No. 30 all-time on the Ohio State scoring chart with Brad Sellers (1985-86). Richard Schnittker (1,129/1947-50) is next on the all-time scoring list at No. 29. Sean Connolly has scored 978 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 115 of 301 (.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 No. 7 in attempts as well. Senior Brent Darby is No. 7 in 3-point shooting percentage (.373) and is No. 4 in made (135) and No. 5 in attempted (362) 3-pointers.

Darby, Connolly Get Little Pine Time
Senior guards Brent Darby and Sean Connolly have little experience watching game action this season. Connolly averages a team-high 37.7 minutes a game. Darby plays 37.6 minutes a contest. Darby has played 40 or more minutes in nine games, including five of the last nine contests. Connolly has not come out of five games and has played 39 in two others. He played a season-low 31 minutes at Iowa Jan. 25.

Three Buckeyes Playing More than 34 Minutes Per Game
Jim O’Brien has not had three players log more than 34 minutes per game until this season. Seniors Sean Connolly (37.7) and Brent Darby (37.6) along with junior Zach Williams (34.1) all have trouble finding time to rest this season. The Buckeyes have used eight different starting lineups because of injuries but Darby, Connolly and Williams remain the anchors of the Buckeye lineup. No Buckeye in O’Brien’s six years has averaged as many minutes as Connolly or Darby since Michael Redd played 37.9 minutes a game as a freshman in 1997-98. Three other players averaged 30 or more minutes that season, but not more than 34 a contest.

Darby Leading Ohio State to Team Foul Shooting Mark of 73 percent
Brent Darby has been to the foul line 10 or more times in six games this season. In those games, he has made 62 of 76 free throws (.816). He leads Ohio State in free throws made (117) and attempted (144). As a team, Ohio State has connected on 350 of 482 free throws for a .726 accuracy rating.

O’Brien Nearing Win No. 350
Ohio State head coach Jim O’Brien has won 112 games in Columbus with the Buckeyes in six seasons. His career total of 347 wins includes 67 victories at St. Bonaventure and 168 victories at Boston College. With at least nine games remaining this season, O’Brien has averaged 18.7 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.

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 350-482 (.726) 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 is on pace to 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 59-95 Indiana 68-95 Iowa 64-68 Michigan 82-68 Michigan State 45-55 Minnesota 71-51 Northwestern 102-44 Penn State 13-12 Purdue 70-78 Wisconsin 79-56 Totals 653-622

This Date In History
Ohio State is just 14-7 in games played on Feb. 5. The Buckeyes have won four of the last five on this date though fell at Purdue the last time out at Purdue in 1997.

OSU on Feb. 5 2/5/10 W Ohio Wesleyan 34-29 2/5/17 L @Illinois 21-34 2/5/27 L @Iowa 25-39 2/5/38 W @Iowa 51-43 2/5/40 W Mexico YMCA 56-33 2/5/44 W Purdue 54-37 2/5/49 W Minnesota 48-39 2/5/51 L @Wisconsin 51-56 2/5/55 W Indiana 90-87 2/5/62 W Iowa 89-63 2/5/66 L @Illinois 77-78 2/5/68 W @Indiana 78-77 2/5/72 W Wisconsin 79-69 2/5/73 W Indiana 70-69 2/5/77 L @Michigan 72-93 2/5/81 L @Illinois 63-82 2/5/83 W Wisconsin 82-69 2/5/87 W Michigan 95-87 2/5/92 W Wisconsin 86-72 2/5/94 W Wisconsin 73-57 2/5/97 L @Purdue 77-94

Buckeyes Win for 24th-Consecutive Time in Columbus over Northwestern
Velimir Radinovic scored five of his 12 points during a 17-3 second-half run as Ohio State beat Northwestern 65-52. The Buckeyes beat the Wildcats for the eighth time in a row and for the 24-consecutive time in Columbus. Brent Darby led Ohio State with 15 points, Sean Connolly had 13 and Zach Williams added 11. Aaron Jennings led the Wildcats with 15 points. Winston Blake added 14. Northwestern was content to shoot 3-pointers instead of going inside. The Wildcats shot a school-record 36 3-pointers – making 10 – while hitting 9 of 20 shots inside the arc. With Northwestern offering only token resistance on the boards, Ohio State outrebounded the Wildcats 45-26. Radinovic and Williams each had 10 rebounds.

Noting the Win vs. Northwestern

Ohio State is 102-44 in the all-time series againstNorthwestern, including the last eight overall and the last 24 inColumbus. The Buckeye starting lineup of Sean Connolly, BrentDarby, Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, Zach Williams and Velimir Radinovicmade their first starting appearance as a unit in a Big Ten gametonight. The five players are the only starting lineup to goundefeated this season with a 3-0 record. Ohio State has used eightstarting lineups this season. Northwestern set a school record with36 3-point field goals attempted against Ohio State. The previousWildcat record was 32 attempted against Kansas State last season.The mark also set a Value City Arena record. Indiana attempted 343-point shots back on Jan. 11. Brent Darby jumped to the 30thposition on Ohio State’s all-time career scoring list with 15points against the Wildcats. The senior guard has totaled 1,122points as a Buckeye and is tied for 30th with Brad Sellers. RichardSchnittker (1947-50) is currently 29th on the list with 1,129career points. Darby continued his scoring streak of 10 or morepoints in 13 consecutive games. The stretch is the longest of hiscareer. With one 3-pointer against the Wildcats, Darby has tallied135 for his career, putting him fourth on Ohio State’s all-time3-point field goal list. Jamie Skelton (1991-94) is currently thirdwith 144 career 3-point field goals. Connolly is seventh on thelist, totaling 115 career 3-pointers after two today. Boban Savovic(1999-02) is sixth with 125 3-pointers. Radinovic tallied his firstcareer double-double with 12 points and 10 boards againstNorthwestern. He has scored in double figures for thefourth-consecutive time and nine times in his career, includingeight times in the last 13 games. Williams recorded his fifthcareer double-double and second of the season with 11 points and 10rebounds against the Wildcats. He has scored in double figures in14 games, including 10 of the last 13 this season. The last timetwo Buckeyes recorded double-doubles in a game was during the1999-2000 season. Michael Redd scored 28 points and pulled down 10rebounds while George Reese bucketed 11 points and grabbed 10rebounds in an 82-71 victory at Indiana Feb. 19.

Six Foes Among Top 25 Teams in Associated Press Poll
Ohio State is scheduled to play six teams and seven games against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. Another five games are on tap against teams receiving votes in either the AP or ESPN/USA Today polls. No. 4/4 Pittsburgh, No. 5/6 Louisville, No. 9/9 Duke, No. 22/20 Alabama and No. 24/25 Louisville all have faced the Buckeyes this season. No. 16/16 Illinois awaits Ohio State Feb. 9 in Champaign. Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State are all receiving votes in one or both polls.

Key Buckeyes Miss 28 Games to Date With Various Injuries
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham (6 games), a sophomore point guard, Shun Jenkins (8), a junior forward, Terence Dials (13), a sophomore center, and senior guard Sean Connolly (1) 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 eight 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 while recovering from a left ankle sprain sustained Jan. 4 against Louisville.

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 81 at Ohio State. Brent Darby has played in 109 games as a Buckeye with 67 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 71 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 103-43 (.705) in the 146 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).

Ohio State vs. Ranked Opponents
The Buckeyes are 126-199 all-time against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. In the last five years, Ohio State has won 22 of 41 (.537) games against ranked foes.

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 67-11 (.859) in games played on the home floor since the building opened for the start of the 1998-99 campaign.

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 this week. 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. He scored on his only shot from the field in Ohio State’s loss at Michigan State Jan. 9.