COLUMBUS, Ohio-Thad Matta, now in his sixth season as the head coach of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, put the Buckeyes through it’s final practice in Columbus before heading north to Canada for a three-game excursion.
Ohio State went through 10 practice days in preparation for the summer trip that will feature two games against the University of Windsor and a single contest against Western Ontario.
The games vs. the Lancers of Windsor will take place at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday with the game vs. the Western Ontario Mustangs being played at noon Monday.
All three games will be played at the Denis Centre on the Univeristy of Windsor campus. Tickets for each game are available at the door for $10.
The Buckeyes return 10 of 11 letterwinners from the 2008-09 squad and all fiver starters from a team that tied for fourth in the Big Ten and finished with an overall record of 22-11.
Evan Turner, a junior guard from Chicago, returns as the top scoring player in the Big Ten last year. His 17.3 points a game and team-leading 7.1 rebounds a contest earned him a spot on the leading candidate’s list for the 2010 Wooden Award and a likely spot on the preseason All-Big Ten team.
Running mates Jon Diebler, 2009 honorable mention All-Big Ten, William Buford, the 2009 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and David Lighty, who missed the majority of last season with a broken foot, all return to form one of the nation’s top guard/wing rotations.
The paint will be patrolled by one of the leading shot blockers nationally, junior Dallas Lauderdale, and sophomore Zisis Sarikopoulos, a 7-foot transfer from UAB who brings extensive international experience, rebounding and interior passing ability.
After the Canada trip concludes, the players and coaches will break for about two weeks before regrouping in mid-September. The first official practice of the 2009-10 season is scheduled for Oct. 16 with the first game set for Nov. 9 vs. Alcorn State in the 2009 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
Note: In keeping with the Canada theme, check out the update with former Buckeye and Toronto native Velimir Radinovic at the link above.