Nov. 20, 2010

No. 4 Ohio State (2-0) vs. UNC Wilmington (2-1)

Site:             Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time:   8 p.m. ET
Television:     Big Ten Network
Talent:          Tom Hamilton (play-by-play)
                   Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio:          OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Local Radio:  WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Marty Bannister (play-by-play)
                    Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Buford, Sullinger Make Naismith List
 Junior guard William Buford and freshman center Jared Sullinger, both Ohio natives, are among the early contenders for the Naismith Award, given annually to the college national player of the year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Ohio State’s Evan Turner was selected for the honor after the 2009-10 season. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the Top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists. 

Sullinger, Williams Start Careers in Similar Fashion
 Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger has recorded a pair of double-doubles in his debut games as a Buckeye. He tallied 19 points and 14 rebounds in his first career game vs. NC A&T Nov. 12 and followed that effort with 26 points and 10 boards at Florida Tuesday. He is the first freshman to start his career with back-to-back double-doubles since Herb Williams tallied three-consecutive D-Ds as a rookie in 1977. Williams did so against California Hayward (34/10), Marshall (21/22) and Stetson (18/16).

Buckeyes Know Mr. Basketball
 The last four Associated Press Ohio HS Mr. Basketball awards have been earned by current Ohio State players. Senior Jon Diebler claimed the honors in 2007, junior William Buford claimed the honor in 2008 and freshman Jared Sullinger won it in both 2009 and 2010. Deshaun Thomas, another Ohio State rookie, claimed Indiana’s Mr. Basketball honor last year as a senior at Bishop Luers HS in Fort Wayne, Ind. Ohio State has had two of the last five Mr. Basketball honorees in Indiana with Greg Oden earning the honor in 2006.

Ohio State vs. UNC Wilmington
 The Buckeyes and Seahawks have never met previously in men’s basketball. Ohio State is 9-2 all-time vs. members of the Colonial Athletics Association. Losses have come against James Madison and Northeastern. In addition to UNCW, Ohio State has yet to face Drexel, Georgia State, Hofstra, Virginia Commonwealth and William and Mary from the CAA. Thad Matta is 0-1 against UNCW.

Ohio State vs. Colonial Athletic Assoc.
Delaware                           2-0
George Mason                   3-0
Georgia State
James Madison                 1-1
North Carolina-Wilmington
Northeastern                     0-1
Old Dominion                    1-0
Towson                             2-0
Virginia Commonwealth
William and Mary
Totals                               9-2

Matta Unbeaten in Openers
 Thad Matta owns a record of 11-0 in season openers as a head coach. He was 1-0 at Butler, 3-0 at Xavier and is 7-0 at Ohio State after the 102-61 win over NC A&T last week. In his 10 previous season 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 handed VMI a 107-69 defeat in the Black Coaches Association Classic in 2006. The Buckeyes started the 2007-08 campaign off with a 91-68 victory over Green Bay in the opening round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Preseason NIT. The 2008-09 Buckeyes opened the season with a 70-42 victory over Delaware State at St. John Arena. Alcorn State provided the opposition a year ago at VCA, a 100-60 win for the Buckeyes, who started the year at No. 16 in the Associated Press Poll

Buckeyes Picked to Finish 2nd in Big Ten
 Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue. That is the 2010-11 order of finish the Big Ten media selected  at the annual media day in Chicago in late October. The Buckeyes return four starters and welcome one of the nation’s top recruiting classes after finishing the 2009-10 season 29-8 overall and winning the postseason conference tournament, a share of the regular-season crown and advancing to the 2010 NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16.”

Feast or Famine
 The four returning starters from the 2009-10 season have played a combined 406 games at Ohio State with a total of 301 starts. Senior David Lighty leads that list with 122 games played and 90 starts.  

Pollsters Like Buckeyes Early
 Both the Associated Press (No. 4) and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches (No. 5) polls rated the Buckeyes among the nation’s elite teams heading into the 2010-11 season. Opponents on the 2010-11 schedule Michigan State, Purdue, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida State and Northwestern are among the Top 25 or receiving votes for consideration in one or both polls.

Noting the Florida Game

  • Ohio State won for the first time in a true road game vs. a Top 10 non-conference team since an 84-62 win at Wake Forest Dec. 9, 1961. Ohio State was ranked No. 1 and WFU was No. 3. The Buckeyes entered the game vs. No. 9 Florida ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Poll.
  • There were five ties and 17 lead changes in the win vs. No. 9 Florida. Ohio State took the lead for good at the 12:11 mark of the second half on a Jon Diebler 3-pointer to put OSU up 59-57. The largest lead was 20 (93-73) on a Dallas Lauderdale dunk with just over a minute to play.
  • Ohio State’s four returning starters have a combined 301 career starts and 406 games played at Ohio State.
  • Matta improved his career record to 260-53 overall and 158-54 at Ohio State.
  • Matta is 79-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 79-37 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 158-54.
  • During Matta’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are 144-5 when leading with 5:00 to play in the game; 77-6 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field; 143-17 when shooting better than the opponent and 106-11 when scoring 70 or more points.
  • Ohio State is now 7-4 vs. Florida all-time and a combined 30-26 against members of the Southeastern Conference.
  • With the win, Ohio State is 28-6 in November under Coach Matta.
  • Ohio State has had a player record a double-double (10+ points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks) in 808 games. The Buckeyes are 551-257 in those contests (.682).
  • Jared Sullinger made his second career start as a true freshman for the Buckeyes He is the first true freshman to earn a double-double in his first two games as a Buckeye since Herb Williams in 1977. Sullinger finished the contest vs. Florida with 26 points and 10 rebounds. He had 19 points and 14 rebounds vs. NC A&T. Williams had 34 points and 10 rebounds vs. Cal Hayward then 21 points and 22 rebounds vs. Marshall in his first two games.
  • Senior Jon Diebler made four 3-pointers pushing his Ohio State career record to 267.
  • With four 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 18 games with at least one 3-pointer made.
  • William Buford has scored double figures in 13 out of his last 14 games dating back to 2/13/10 at Illinois. He finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds and 8 assists vs. the Gators.
  • David Lighty scored 26 points, the seventh time he reached 20 or more points in a game as a Buckeye. He connected on 9 of 11 shots from the field, 6 of 7 free throws and handed out three assists with no turnovers in 36 minutes.
  • Lighty’s career total of 1,048 is good for the No. 43 spot all-time in OSU history.
  • Ohio State shot 70 percent from the field in the second half, making 24 of 34 shots from the floor to finish the game at 63 percent shooting (39-62).
  • The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 135-221 vs. ranked opponents in the Associated Press Top 25. That includes a mark of 55-112 vs. Top 10 foes. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 363-105 all-time. In games when both teams enter with a Top 25 ranking, Ohio State is 55-47. When ranked among the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 242-56 with wins in 33 of last 35 outings. 

Buford Next to 1,000
 Ohio State will boast three players with at least 1,000 career points scored once junior William Buford, with 27 this season, reaches 69 points during the 2010-11 season. He scored 372 as a freshman and 532 a year ago for a total of 931 career points. Seniors David Lighty (1,048) and Jon Diebler (1,091) joined Ohio State’s 1,000-point club late last season. Diebler became the 45th player in Ohio State history to reach the 1,000 point plateau with 14 against Illinois March 13, 2010. Lighty reached 1,000 points with 18 vs. Georgia Tech in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He was the third Buckeye, along with Evan Turner and Diebler, to achieve the feat last season. Lighty is the 46th player to reach 1,000 points in an Ohio State uniform.

Diebler On Track to Shatter Records
     Senior Jon Diebler already owns several Ohio State 3-point shooting records and looks to increase his career totals from long range while setting new career marks in his last year of eligibility. Diebler’s career total of 267 made 3s and single season mark of 116 a year ago are Ohio State records. He has increased his shooting percentage during each of his three years at Ohio State from 29 percent as a freshman to 41.6 percent as a sophomore and 42 percent a season ago.

Buford Works with U.S. National Team
     Junior William Buford was selected as one of 20 collegiate athletes to practice against the U.S. National Team July 19-24 in Las Vegas. Buford is Ohio State’s top returning scorer from the 2009-10 campaign at 14.4 points a game. He started all 37 contests for Ohio State a year ago and will be looked to for his offense and improving defense as a team veteran this season.

Lighty Offers Veteran Leadership
     Fifth-year senior David Lighty has battled injury over his career, missing the majority of the 2008-09 season with a broken bone in his right foot and then re-injuring the same foot during off-season workouts following the 2009-10 season. He is on track to be ready for the start of this season. Lighty has played in 122 games during his career, starting 90. He could be Ohio State’s all-time leader in game appearances when his eligibility expires at the end of the 2010-11 season. He was part of the 2007 NCAA Championship game, three NCAA tournament appearances, a National Invitational Tournament title (2009), a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles (2007, 2010) and two Big Ten championships (2007, 2010) during his tenure as a Buckeye.

Career Gives Lighty Chance at Lowe’s Senior CLass Award
 David Lighty is among several candidates for the 2010-11 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports. The acronym “CLASS” stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®. The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award celebrates the loyalty of seniors that honor a four-year commitment to their university. The Senior CLASS Award® recognizes these student-athletes for great achievement during competition and in their community while staying in school.

Schedule Notes
     The Buckeyes will make two trips to Florida in 2010. Ohio State defeated Florida 93-75 Tuesday and will travel for the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 30 at Florida State. South Carolina will face the Buckeyes in Columbus to start a home-and-home series with USC. Northwestern and Michigan State face the Buckeyes once this season with Ohio State traveling to Evanston and playing host to the Spartans. All other league teams face the Buckeyes home-and-home. The Buckeyes open the league season at Indiana Dec. 31. Happy New Year! 

Rookies Plentiful on OSU Roster
     Six freshmen and a transfer were added to the roster for the 2010-11 season. The rookie class has been ranked among the Top 2 recruiting classes nationally. Columbus natives Jared Sullinger and J.D. Weatherspoon, high school teammates at Northland HS, along with Cincinnati’s Jordan Sibert, Aaron Craft (Findlay, Ohio), Deshaun Thomas from Fort Wayne, Ind., and Lenzelle Smith, Jr., of Zion, Ill., make up the incoming freshman class. Evan Ravenel, a junior forward from Tampa, Fla., transferred from Boston College and will sit out the 2010-11 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He will be eligible with two seasons to play in 2011-12.

Lighty, Kecman Recovering from Injury
 David Lighty re-injured his right foot during spring workouts. It was the same injury that kept him out of the 2008-09 season. Lighty had surgery and spent the summer rehabilitating the injury. He was ready for the start of fall workouts. Junior Nikola Kecman suffered an ACL injury to his right knee. He had surgery in early July and is out indefinitely. He missed all but one game during the 2008-09 season with a similar injury to his left knee.

Buckeyes Again Look to Develop a Point
     Thad Matta, now in his seventh season as the head coach of the Buckeyes, moved forward Evan Turner to the point guard position after the 2008-09 season. The experiment worked with Turner developing into the 2010 National Player of the Year and the No. 2 pick (Philadelphia) in the 2010 NBA Draft. The point guard position will again be open entering camp this year. Freshman Aaron Craft will get an opportunity but veterans David Lighty, Jon Diebler and William Buford could handle the position by committee as well. All have been working on the skills necessary to run the Buckeyes during the 2010-11 campaign.

Matta Looks for Another 20-Win Season
 For each of the last 10 seasons, all as a head coach, Thad Matta has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Only Mark Few, among active coaches, has more consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career (11). Matta set the Ohio State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2008-09 with a 22-11 record and extended it with a 29-8 campaign last season, the sixth-consecutive Ohio State season with 20+ victories. The previous record was four held by the 1960-63 teams under legendary head coach Fred Taylor. Matta also has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last five seasons. That effort tied Taylor’s mark of 10+ league wins in each of the seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta’s first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last three (10, 10, 14).

Dickerson Added to Staff
 Dave Dickerson, former head coach at Tulane, was added to the Big Ten Champion Ohio State men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach in April. Dickerson replaced Alan Major, who accepted the head coaching position at Charlotte after last season. Prior to his time in New Orleans, Dickerson spent nine years as an assistant under former Ohio State coach Gary Williams at Maryland, his alma mater, and in 2004-05, was the program’s associate head coach. Dickerson also served as assistant coach at Gardner Webb (1990-91), James Madison (1991-92) and Radford (1993-96) before returning to Maryland. As a player, he lettered for the Terrapins from 1986-89, earning team captain status as a senior. A native of Olar, S.C., Dickerson graduated from Maryland in 1990 with a degree in government and politics.

Diebler is Three King
 With four threes in the Big Ten semifinal against Illinois, junior Jon Diebler surpassed Jamar Butler as the all-time leader at Ohio State in 3-point makes. Butler played from 2005-08 and averaged nearly 61 made 3s a season (242 total). Diebler has averaged 67 (267 total) a season over four years. Butler’s career percentage from long range ranks No. 8 all time at 37.2 percent accuracy (242-650). Diebler is shooting 38.8 percent (267-688) for his career. This after connecting on just 29 percent (48-166) as a freshman. He shot 42 percent as a sophomore (96-231) and made 42 percent last season (116-276). In just four seasons has a Buckeye made 80 or more 3s. Diebler has two of those after knocking down 96 treys as a sophomore and 116 last year. Diebler set the single season record for made 3s in a season after making 11 treys in Milwaukee in the opening rounds of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Diebler surpassed the century mark from long range with five makes in the 2010 Big Ten Tournament title victory over Minnesota.

Sullinger Second Recruit to Earn Naismith HS Award in Last 5 yrs.
 Jared Sullinger was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year March 10, 2010 by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Sullinger is the second Thad Matta recruit to earn the award in the last five years. Greg Oden earned the honor in 2006. Sullinger, of Columbus Northland HS, averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and nearly two blocks a game for his national No. 1 ranked high school squad, which was coached by his father “Satch” Sullinger, the 2010 Naismith High School Coach of the Year. 

Buckeyes Comfortable at VCA
 Ohio State finished 17-1 at home last season, the second most home victories in a season at Ohio State. The Buckeyes shot 52 percent at home and 41 percent from 3-point range in 2009-10. The team reached 100 or more points three times and averaged a margin of victory of +22.1. The Buckeyes opened the 2010-11 campaign with a 102-61 victory over NC A&T. Ohio State is 68-1 all-time when scoring 100 or more points in a game.
Lighty Could Join Turner, Jackson in OSU Record Book
 Evan Turner (1,517 pts., 682 rebs., 414 asts.)became just the second player in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists with eight helpers vs. Northwestern Jan. 19, 2010. Jim Jackson is the only other Buckeye to do so with 1,785 career points, 552 career rebounds and 372 career assists from 1990-92. David Lighty could join the duo this season. He currently has 1,048 points, 439 rebounds and 258 assists to his credit. Only 21 players in Ohio State history have scored more than 1,000 points and collected 500+ rebounds. Turner was the last to accomplish.
Ohio State vs. The Ranked
 The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 135-221 vs. ranked opponents in the Associated Press Top 25. That includes a mark of 55-112 vs. Top 10 foes. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 363-105 all-time. In games when both teams enter with a Top 25 ranking, Ohio State is 55-47. When ranked among the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 242-56 with wins in 33 of last 35 outings.

Wins Follow Buckeye Double-Doubles
 Ohio State has had a player record a double-double (10+ points, rebs, assists, steals or blocks) in 808 games. The Buckeyes are 551-257 in those contests (.682). Freshman Jared Sullinger (26/10) recorded a double-double in the win vs. Florida Nov. 16. 

Double Digit 3s
 Ohio State has made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 67 times since the shot was instituted for the 1986-87 season. The Buckeyes are 56-11 in those games after knocking down 10 of 22 treys against UC Santa Barbara March 19. Opponents have made double-digit 3s 87 times and are 35-52 in those games vs. the Buckeyes. Matta’s Ohio State teams are 41-9 when making 10 or more 3s in a game. Opponents are 7-26 against Matta-coached teams when making 10 or more treys.

First Four Games Part of Global Sports Invitational
 The first four games of the regular season make up the Global Sports Invitational on the Ohio State schedule. Home games vs. North Carolina A&T (W 102-61, Nov. 12), North Carolina Wilmington Nov. 20 and Morehead State Nov. 23 along with the road game vs. Florida (W 93-75, Nov. 16) comprise the event.

Buckeye Class of 2011 Added
 Five student-athletes were added to the Buckeye men’s basketball program during the NCAA National of Letter of Intent early signing period Nov. 10-17. Three inked the first day, one, LaQuinton Ross, was added Nov. 14 and on the final day center Amir Williams became a Buckeye. The class of high school seniors is rated by analysts as a Top 5 class nationally.
 Shannon Scott, son of former North Carolina star Charlie Scott, will play the point position for the Buckeyes when he arrives in Columbus.
 As a high school player to date, Shannon (6-2, 165) led Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., to the 5A state championship with an overall 29-4 record as a junior. The squad was ranked No. 1 during the title run. He averaged 13 points and 8.0 assists last year.
 Sam Thompson is the latest student-athlete from the Chicago area to join the Buckeyes. Evan Turner, the 2010 National Player of the Year and current Ohio State freshman Lenzelle Smith Jr., also call Chicagoland their home.
 Thompson (6-6, 190) plays for Whitney Young High School in downtown Chicago where he won a state title as a sophomore with a 25-9 record. The squad was ranked No. 1 in Illinois that season. As a junior, Thompson led Whitney Young to a runner up finish in the state tournament with a record of 23-7. He averaged nearly 12 points. 8.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.6 blocks a game.
 Trey McDonald, a 6-9, 230-pound center, plays for Battle Creek (Mich.) High School. His squad finished 11-9 last season. An all-city and all-conference performer as a junior, McDonald led his team in scoring with 10 points a game to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks an outing.
 Ross, a 6-8, 195-pound forward from Jackson, Miss., joined the Buckeyes after his official visit Nov. 15. Ross played his junior season at Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J., where he averaged nearly 17 points and eight rebounds a game. His team finished with a 14-6 record in 2009-10.
 Williams, a 6-10 center from Detroit County Day High School, is rated No. 2 at his position nationally by ESPN,  averaged 15.0 ppg., 10.2 rpg. and 4.8 bpg as a junior at Detroit Country Day in 2009-10. He was selected to the Max Preps 2010 Junior All-America third team and named an all-state selection after leading his team to the state championship a year ago. With USA Basketball, Williams was a member of the 2010 USA U18 National Team that compiled a 5-0 record, captured the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold medal and qualified the U.S. for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship.