Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Nov. 27, 2006

Date: Nov. 29, 2006
Opponent: No. 6/7 North Carolina (4-1)
Site: Dean E. Smith Center (21,800)
Game Time: 9 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN
Local TV: None
TV Talent: Dan Shulman (P by P), Dick Vitale (Expert Analysis), Doris Burke (Sideline)
Radio: OSU Radio Network (59 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

Two schools, UCLA and Notre Dame, have been ranked No. 1 in both football and men’s basketball at the same time, according to research performed by Tim Bourret, Clemson sports information director, who sought the information for a book project. Ohio State (6-0) moved to the No. 1 spot in men’s basketball Monday in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and to the No. 3 spot in the Associated Press writers poll. The Buckeye football team (12-0) is No. 1 in both polls, as it has been the entire 2006 season. UCLA was No. 1 in both sports the week of Nov. 13-19 in 1967. The Bruins were No. 1 in the AP and UPI football polls that week and had won the national championship in men’s basketball the previous March. The first poll of the college basketball season that fall was on Dec. 5, 1967. UCLA was No. 1. The Bruins then lost to USC in football, 21-20, in the next Saturday (Dec. 9, 1967) to drop from No. 1 spot in football. Notre Dame won the national championship (football) in the AP poll with a 24-23 win over Alabama in the Dec. 31, 1973 Sugar Bowl. The Fighting Irish basketball team then defeated UCLA 71-70 in basketball to end the Bruins’ 88-game winning streak and move to No. 1 in both basketball polls. That game was played Jan. 19, 1974 and Notre Dame was ranked No. 1 the next Monday. The Irish stayed No. 1 in basketball for just that week before traveling to UCLA for a rematch the following Saturday (Jan. 26, 1974, where they lost to the Bruins. Both UCLA (Nov. 13, 1967) and Notre Dame (Jan. 21, 1974) were No. 1 for just one week in both football and men’s basketball. BUCKEYES IN THE CHALLENGE
Ohio State will be participating in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the fifth-consecutive year. Ohio State first participated in the event during the 2002-03 season against Duke in Greensboro, N.C., a 91-75 Blue Devils’ victory. Georgia Tech traveled to Ohio State in 2004 and won 73-53. The Buckeyes traveled to Clemson in 2004-05 and fell to the Tigers, 80-73. Ohio State defeated Virginia Tech in Columbus a year ago, 69-59, for its first victory in the event.

The last time Ohio State was ranked No. 1 in either the coaches or media men’s basketball poll was against Cincinnati (3/24/62) in a loss to the No. 2-ranked Bearcats (71-59) in national title game in Louisville, Ky. Ohio State is 49-3 all-time as the No. 1 team (AP). Ohio State’s last four games as the No. 1 team have been played on neutral courts. The Buckeye’s last true road game as the No. 1 team was a loss at Wisconsin (3/3/62), 86-67. North Carolina enters the game ranked No. 6/7. Ohio State is 45-36 all-time when playing in a game in which both teams are ranked. The Buckeyes are 201-51 when playing with an AP Top 10 ranking. Ohio State is 300-91 when playing with an AP Top 25 ranking.

Thad Matta coached game No. 200 in his seven-year head coaching career in the contest vs. Kent State Nov. 12. He recorded win No. 50 as a Buckeye vs. Eastern Kentucky the next time out Nov. 17. Matta is 154-49 (.758) overall, which includes a record of 52-18 (.743) at Ohio State. He needed just 68 games to win 50 as a Buckeye, the third fewest total games to record win No. 50 as a Buckeye head coach. Fred Taylor (1959-76) won his 50th game in his 64th contest as a Buckeye while Randy Ayers (1990-97) was the second-fasted to 50 wins, doing so in 67 Ohio State games.

Coach Date gms to 50 50th win, Score
Taylor 1/28/61 64 Purdue, 92-62
Ayers 12/18/91 67 @Santa Barbara, 82-75
Matta 11/17/06 68 Eastern Ky., 74-45
Miller 12/2/79 76 Tennessee, 91-65
Williams 1/7/89 79 Wisconsin, 73-70
Olsen 2/22/27 80 @Indiana, 27-18
Dye 2/27/50 83 @Michigan, 69-58
St. John 1/1/17 92 @ Elyria, 33-25
O’Brien 2/25/04 104 @Minnesota, 70-59
Stahl 12/19/55 106 @Tulane, 72-66

Thad Matta has directed the Buckeyes to a 36-3 record in Columbus in three seasons as head coach of the Buckeyes. He is 34-3 overall at Value City Arena, which includes a 21-0 record vs. non-conference foes. Ohio State defeated Chattanooga in November of 2005 at St. John Arena on the OSU campus and Youngstown State at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus earlier this season. The 30-3 mark from 2004-06 at VCA (13-3 vs. the Big Ten) is the best two-year record in the facility since Ohio State began play in 1998-99. The Buckeyes set the building record with 16 victories in 2005-06.

Jamar Butler: The junior from Lima, Ohio, needs 19 points to reach 500 for his Ohio State career … he has averaged 7.0 points over 69 career games, which includes 48 starts … Butler is a career 81 percent foul shooter (105-129) and averages 3.7 assists a game for his career … when Butler hands out four or more assists, Ohio State is 27-5 during his tenure … moves to the shooting guard position this year after spending his first two seasons as Ohio State’s primary point guard … second on squad with 34 assists and 10 steals.

Ivan Harris: A senior from Springfield, Ohio, Harris has played in 94 career games for the Buckeyes … he has 498 career points for an average of 5.3 points a game … in six games this season, his scoring average is up to 11.3 points a contest … a career 41 percent shooter from 3-point range, Harris is nicknamed “Microwave” by his teammates for his ability to quickly heat up the Ohio State offense from long range, where he has made 84-204 treys for his career.

Ron Lewis: The Columbus, Ohio, native eclipsed the 1,300 career point mark with 11 points in the win vs. Eastern Kentucky Nov. 17 … with a career scoring average of 13.7 points a game in 98 appearances at Bowling Green (60 gms.) and Ohio State (38 gms.), his scoring average is 17.0 ppg. this season, second among the Buckeyes … Lewis is a career 33.8 percent shooter (120-355) from 3-point range but has upped that average to 47 percent (17-36) to date this season.

Matt Terwilliger: The junior from Troy, Ohio, has scored 116 career points in 48 career appearances for the Buckeyes … recorded a career high 12 points in the win vs. Youngstown State (11/24) … knocked down his first career 3-point attempt against the Penguins while connecting on 5 of 6 FG attempts … has moved to the center spot to start the season but will likely return to the power forward spot as the season progresses … minutes are up to 18.5 a game after averaging just over nine a contest his first two years in Columbus.

Mike Conley, Jr.: The freshman point guard from Indianapolis leads the Buckeyes with 38 assists and 19 steals this season … opened career with 10 assist game against VMI Nov. 10 … that VMI total is tied for the second-most assists in a single game by a freshman at Ohio State and is tied for the No. 9 spot all-time for assists in a game … handed out nine helpers against San Francisco Nov. 20 … his five steals vs. VMI is tied for the most in a game by an OSU rookie … also recorded five thefts vs. Youngstown State (11/24) … starts in all six games … averages nearly 27 minutes a game … connected on all six FGs vs. Eastern Kentucky … shooting percentage is .590 (23-39).

Daequan Cook: Three outings of 20 or more points in his young career, including his first game as a Buckeye with 22 in the season opener vs. VMI and most recently in the win vs. San Francisco with 20 … leads team with 17.8 points per game and is second with a 7.0 rebounds per game average … the Dayton, Ohio, native plays 23.5 minutes a game off the bench … has the ability to score both inside and from long range … connecting on 58 percent of his field goals (43-74) and 48 percent from 3-point range (12-25) … acrobatic one-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass from Jamar Butler vs. the Dons (11/17) was a crowd pleaser.

Othello Hunter: Six starts to date for the Winston-Salem, N.C., native … averages 7.7 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds a game … shooting 54 percent (19-35) from the field … also tops the roster with 11 blocks this season.

David Lighty: Along with classmate Mike Conley, Jr., David Lighty started his first career game for the Buckeyes, the first true rookie to do so since Michael Redd in 1997 … Lighty, a Cleveland, Ohio, native, plays 26 minutes a game … earned court time with his defense but is contributing offensively with 8.3 points a game on 19-38 shooting (.500) for the season.

Senior guard Ron Lewis averaged 20.0 points and shot 56 percent from the field (19-34) in leading Ohio State to the 2006 BCA Classic Title Nov. 12 with a win vs. Kent State. The effort earned the Columbus, Ohio, native the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, the first honor issued by the league this season. Lewis also knocked down 10-of-19 3-pointers (.526) and 12-of-14 foul shots (.857) in Ohio State’s first three wins of the season to earn the BCA Classic MVP honor.

Freshmen Daequan Cook and Mike Conley Jr. and backup forward Matt Terwilliger led a first-half onslaught to power Ohio State past Youngstown, 91-57 last Friday. No team has come closer than 12 points against Ohio State, which is winning by an average margin of 26 points. Ivan Harris had 19 points, Cook had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Lewis 16 points, Terwilliger 12 and David Lighty 11. Jamar Butler added nine assists and Conley had eight points, five assists and five steals. Terwilliger, a junior, scored 10 points in the first half to surpass his career high by a point. He also attempted his first collegiate 3-pointer and made it. John Barber scored 16 points, Quin Humphrey 15 and Keston Roberts 11 for the Penguins (2-4), who fell to 0-16 against Big Ten opponents and 0-4 against Ohio State.


The Buckeyes recorded their 201st win as a Top 10 team Friday.When ranked in the Top 10 (No. 3 USA Today and No. 4 in AP) OhioState has an all-time record of 201-51. As a Top 25 squad, theBuckeyes are 300-91. Ohio State is 2-0 in games played atNationwide Arena. The Buckeyes defeated Virginia Tech 62-57 Dec. 6,2003 in downtown Columbus. The Buckeyes had a 51-11 advantage inbench points Friday. Three of Ohio State’s four top scorers cameoff the bench. Overall, five Buckeyes scored in double digits forthe second time this season. Five Buckeyes scored double figures inOhio State’s 107-69 victory over VMI in the season opener. FiveBuckeyes had at least five rebounds Friday, led by Daequan Cook’scareer-best 11. Junior Matt Terwilliger scored a career high 12points vs. in the win over the Penguins. He also knocked down hisfirst career 3-pointer in the first half. Following a 10-all tie atthe 14:01 mark of the first half, the Buckeyes went on a 30-4 runover a 9:26 stretch to take a 40-14 lead after a Mike Conley Jr.steal and dunk at the 4:32 mark of the first half. Ohio State’s 54first half points is a season high for the first 20 minutes. OhioState scored 56 points in the second half vs. VMI Nov. 10. JuniorJamar Butler finished with nine assists. In the last two games hehas totaled 16 assists and just two turnovers. Ohio State is now27-5 when Butler hands out four or more helpers in a game. OhioState made 13-29 3-pointers Friday against the Penguins, markingthe third time this season the Buckeyes have connected on 10 ormore treys in a game. Ohio State is 36-5 all time when making 10 ormore 3s in a game. In the last three years under Matta, Ohio Stateis 20-3 when making 10 or more from long range. The Buckeyes shot50.7 percent (35-69) from the floor Friday. Under Matta, Ohio Stateis now 21-2 when the Buckeyes shoot 50-percent or better from thefloor. Ohio State has shot better than 50 percent in five of sixgames this season. With the win Friday, Ohio State now is 48-9against members of the Horizon League and 3-0 against YoungstownState. Conley Jr. was credited with five steals, which tied hiscareer high and the Ohio State single game freshman record forsteals in a game. Senior Ron Lewis scored 16 points Friday, givinghim double-figures in all six games this season. Lewis finishedwith a season-best seven rebounds. The Buckeyes are now 6-0 thisseason when leading at the half (54-25). Senior Ivan Harris scored19 points Friday, one of his career-best of 20 at LSU Jan. 15,2005. Nine of 10 Buckeyes who played scored Friday.

Ron Lewis led Ohio State with 18 points and three teammates joined him in double figures as the Buckeyes went 3-0 in the BCA Classic to claim the title with an 81-59 win against Kent State last Sunday at Value City Arena. Jamar Butler, the only starter back from last season’s Big Ten champions, added 14 points, junior-college transfer Othello Hunter had 13 and freshman David Lighty finished with 10. Lewis was the tournament MVP for the Buckeyes. He was joined on the all-tournament team by freshman Daequan Cook. Nobody hit double figures for Kent State, the defending Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament champions. Omni Smith had nine points and three others had eight. The Buckeyes hit half of their 26 3-point attempts and ended up shooting 55 percent from the field. Kent State had 20 turnovers and hit just 4-of-15 shots behind the arc. Sub Ivan Harris hit three big 3-pointers that helped turn the tide.

Ohio State opened its 108th season of men’s basketball against Virginia Military Institute Nov. 10, a 107-69 OSU win. The Buckeyes are 82-22 (.788) all-time in season openers. In the first road game of the year, Ohio State is 51-53 (.490). Ohio State is 86-18 (.827) in home openers.

Ohio State ended the 2006 season ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 13 in the last ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. This year, after losing four senior starters the Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll and No. 3 in the AP Top 25.

Ohio State is 201-51 (.798) all time when carrying a Top 10 ranking and 300-91 (.767) when ranked among the Top 25 in the Associated Press rankings.

Ohio State is the third stop as a head coach for Thad Matta. In his seven debuts, Matta defeated Eastern Illinois (90-73) in his first game at Butler in 2000. In his first game as Xavier head coach in 2001, Matta’s squad downed Coastal Carolina 72-41. He also guided the Musketeers to season-opening wins in 2002, an 87-48 win over St. Peters in the preseason NIT, and in 2003, a 62-37 victory over Coppin State. In his first game as a Buckeye in 2004, the Buckeyes knocked off Towson University 74-53 in the opening round of the Guardians Classic in Columbus. Ohio State defeated Chicago State in the 2005 opener 81-52 and handled VMI in the season opener this year 107-69.

North Carolina opened the season with a pair of neutral site victories vs. Sacred Heart (103-81) and Winthrop (73-66) in the Preseason National Invitation Tournament. The Tar Heels then hosted Gardner-Webb, winning 103-50, before heading to New York to resume NIT play. Gonzaga handed North Carolina its lone loss to date, 82-74 in the NIT semifinals. The Tar Heels then defeated Tennessee in the third-place game 101-87. Sophomore Tyler Hansbrough is the leading scorer (20.6 ppg.) and rebounder (8.8) for UNC. He has made 58 percent of his shots from the field (34-59) in leading four Tar Heels in double figures.

Ohio State is 33-23 vs. teams representing the ACC all time and is 2-7 vs. North Carolina, 0-1 in Chapel Hill.

The Buckeyes vs. the ACC W-L
Boston College 1-1
Clemson 0-1
Duke 2-3
Florida State 3-0
Georgia Tech 10-3
Maryland 3-2
Miami, Fla 1-0
North Carolina 2-7
North Carolina State 0-1
Virginia 3-1
Virginia Tech 2-4
Wake Forest 6-0
Totals 33-23

Thad Matta, who enters his third season as head coach of the Buckeyes, signed a new contract through the 2014-15 season, Eugene Smith, director of athletics at Ohio State, announced Nov. 3. Matta guided the Buckeyes to an outright Big Ten title in 2006 while earning league coach of the year honors along the way. He has produced 20+ win seasons in each of his six years as a collegiate head coach and has won league coach of the year awards in three NCAA Division I conferences.

Big Ten Conference media selected Ohio State as its preseason favorite to win the league regular-season crown in 2006-07. The Buckeyes are looking to win back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1991 and 1992 after winning the outright regular-season title in 2006. Ohio State returns one starter from a year ago when the Buckeyes posted a 26-6 overall record and a 12-4 league mark.

Freshman center Greg Oden has yet to play a collegiate game and is recovering from right wrist surgery which has prohibited him from working out with the Buckeyes in contact situations. Even so, Oden appears on the preseason All-Big Ten list turned in by the conference media Oct. 29 in Chicago. Oden is expected to be available in time for the Big Ten regular-season opener against Indiana Jan. 2. The preseason recognition is believed to mark the first time a true freshman has been so recognized in conference history.

Junior guard Jamar Butler is one of 50 student-athletes participating in NCAA Division I basketball to appear on the John R. Wooden Award preseason watch list. The list will be cut to 30 in January. The award was created in 1976 and is annually given to the nation’s best player.

Jamar Butler was the last true freshman to crack the starting lineup for the Buckeyes prior to the season opener vs. VMI when rookies Mike Conley Jr. and David Lighty earned starting nods for Thad Matta’s Buckeyes. Butler started his first game at Northwestern Jan. 29, 2005. He has been a mainstay in the first five ever since. The last true freshman to start the season opener was Michael Redd vs. Kent State Nov. 19, 1997. Redd played 39 minutes and scored 21 points on 9 of 17 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds.

The Buckeyes will appear on national television at least 14 times this season with the possibility of additional exposures as the regular season concludes, during the Big Ten tournament and in postseason play-should Ohio State qualify. Fans across the country will get their first look at Ohio State over national airwaves Wednesday when the Buckeyes travel to North Carolina for a Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup on ESPN (9 p.m.). On Dec. 16, Cincinnati and Ohio State renew a rivalry at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis. CBS will televise that contest at 3:45 p.m. ET. Other CBS games include a matchup at No. 1 Florida Dec. 23, a home game vs. Tennessee Jan. 13, at Michigan State Feb. 3, at Minnesota Feb. 18 and vs. Wisconsin in Columbus Feb. 25. The regular season finale at Michigan also could be picked up by CBS. ESPN will televise the Buckeyes vs. their first three Big Ten foes Jan. 2 vs. Indiana, at Illinois Jan. 6 and at Wisconsin Jan. 9. Four other league games will be featured on ESPN or ESPN2 during regular season play.

Ohio State is 644-635 vs. the current members of the Big Ten Conference.

The Buckeyes vs. the Big Ten W-L
Illinois 56 97
Indiana 67 97
Iowa 61 72
Michigan 79 69
Michigan State 45 54
Minnesota 71 52
Northwestern 101 44
Penn State 18 12
Purdue 69 78
Wisconsin 77 60
Totals 644 648

Thad Matta does not know what it’s like to end a season with fewer than 20 wins during his head coaching career. The third year Ohio State coach came to the Buckeyes with a streak of four 20+ win seasons at Butler (24 wins in 2001) and Xavier (26 in all three years from 2002-04). With 20 victories in 2004-05 and 26 a season ago at Ohio State, Matta is one of two coaches nationally to record 20 or more wins in the first six seasons of his coaching career. Mark Few of Gonzaga is the other with 20+ in all seven years with the Bulldogs. Matta has the Buckeyes off to a 6-0 start this season.

The NCAA tournament will return to Columbus for the opening rounds of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the organization announced in July 2004. Ohio State played host to the first and second rounds in March 2004, as it will in 2007. Games were played at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which will again be the site of the event in 2007.

A 160-foot banner is on display in downtown Columbus recognizing two of the more prominent centers in college basketball. Two-time All-American Jessica Davenport, a senior on the Ohio State women’s basketball team, along with two-time National High School Player of the Year Greg Oden, a 7-0 freshman center for the Buckeyes, are featured on the larger-than-life display. The banner is part of Ohio State’s effort to publicize its outstanding student-athletes and coaches around the city of Columbus.

Thad Matta recruited one of the best classes nationally for the 2006-07 season. Four of the top freshmen in the country along with a talented junior college forward joined the Buckeyes for the 2006 fall quarter in Columbus.

The four incoming Ohio State freshmen all played for state championships during their senior high school seasons. Three won titles with the other finishing as runner-up.

Greg Oden (a 7-0 center) and 6-1 guard Mike Conley Jr., led Indiana’s Lawrence North High School to its third-consecutive state championship March 25, 2006, with a victory over Muncie Central (80-56). Oden led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. He also was the game’s top rebounder with 11. Conley added 21 points and seven boards in the win.

Daequan Cook, a 6-5 guard, led Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar to its first state title in 19 years with a 73-46 victory over Triway in the Ohio Division II state championship game (3/25/06) at Value City Arena in Columbus. Cook scored 23 points in the victory.

David Lighty, a 6-5 guard/forward, led his Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio) squad to the Ohio Division III state title game as well. Lighty scored 20 points in a loss to North College Hill.

All four incoming freshmen were named to their state’s first team all-state squads as seniors. Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., were honored in Class 4A, the large school division in Indiana, while Daequan Cook (Ohio Division II) and David Lighty (Ohio Division III) made their respective teams. Cook, the Division II Ohio Player of the Year, and Lighty both made the Associated Press all-state tournament teams as well in their respective divisions.

With the addition of Oden, Conley Jr., and Cook, Ohio State will have four former McDonald’s High School All-Americans on its squad in 2006-07.

Senior Ivan Harris played in the annual game (first played in 1977) in 2003. Ohio State has had a total of 10 current or former student-athletes compete in the McDonald’s game. Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992) and Greg Simpson (1992) all played in the prestigious event.

Ohio State has had multiple players play in the game twice previously with Carter and Lee in 1987 and Macon and Simpson in 1992. Ohio State and North Carolina had three players compete in the 2006 game.

Greg Oden is one of the most recognized and honored high school student-athletes of all-time. His list of accomplishments grew when he was recognized in April 2006 as the Gatorade Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season, a rare feat accomplished just once before when LeBron James was so honored in 2001 and ’02.

The only high school player invited to work out with the U.S. Senior National team July 19-26, 2006 in Las Vegas, Greg Oden was scheduled to practice against members from the national team who were selected to represent the United States at the 2006 World Championships in Japan and ultimately the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. Oden was unable to participate after right wrist surgery in June ended his summer schedule.

Othello Hunter, a 6-9 forward/center, was the final player to commit to the five-player incoming class of student-athletes in 2006-07. He averaged nine points and six rebounds a game for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., as a freshman. He improved those numbers to 16.8 points and 11.4 rebounds a game as a sophomore.

Hunter had 15 games in 2005-06 with 10 or more rebounds with a season-high 20 boards vs. St. Petersburg College (1/21/06). For his career, he managed 10 or more rebounds 19 times and 10 or more points 32 times.

Hunter recorded 18 career double-doubles at HCC, including 14 during his sophomore season.

Hillsborough finished 24-6 in 2005-06 and 19-14 in 2004-05. The team lost in the 2006 Florida Community College Activities Association State Tournament opening round to River Community College (75-68). Hunter scored 22 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked six shots in the loss.

Ohio State opened the 2006-07 season as the host school for the 2006 BCA Classic. The Buckeyes earned the title with a 3-0 record.

The Buckeyes take on two of the nation’s top teams on the road in 2006. Ohio State travels to North Carolina as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 29 and later takes on Florida, the defending NCAA champions, in Gainesville Dec. 23.

A neutral-site game vs. Cincinnati in Indianapolis at the Wooden Classic renews a rivalry between the intrastate foes. Dec. 16. Tennessee also begins a home-and-home series with the Buckeyes with a clash in Columbus Jan. 13. The Big Ten season gets underway Jan. 2 with Indiana, an ESPN-televised game in Columbus.

Ohio State will play Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota once this season with home-and-home matches vs. the remaining league schools. Indiana and Iowa travel to Columbus while Illinois and Minnesota play host to the Buckeyes this season.