April 6, 2006

The 2005-06 Ohio State men’s basketball team finished the season with 26 victories, tied for second-most in OSU history, and an outright Big Ten regular-season title, the 18th league title and 11th outright championship since the Buckeyes joined the Big Ten in 1912-13.

Ohio State was a No. 2 seed in the Minneapolis Region of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, the 19th appearance in the annual event for the Buckeyes. Ohio State advanced to the second round behind Big Ten Coach of the Year Thad Matta and Big Ten Player of the Year Terence Dials.

The Buckeyes ended the season ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The final 26-6 record placed Ohio State No. 9 nationally in the Ratings Percentage Index, a formula used by the NCAA to rate the best teams in college basketball. That same formula rated the Big Ten Conference among the nation’s best leagues.

In Big Ten play, Ohio State won 12 of 16 conference games to claim the league’s regular-season title. The Buckeyes also advanced to the title game of the annual league tournament.

Matta now has won regular-season league titles in three NCAA Division I conferences in his six years as a collegiate head coach. He has guided all six teams he has mentored to at least 20 victories, one of only two coaches nationally to have six-consecutive 20+ win seasons to start a career. Five of Matta’s teams, all that were eligible for postseason competition, advanced to participate in the NCAA tournament. He has never lost a first round game in NCAA tournament play.

Matta, who has been named coach of the year in all three conferences in which he has coached, has been particularly effective at home during his two-year tenure with the Buckeyes. He has a record of 22-3 vs. non-conference teams with an 18-0 record in Columbus and a 17-0 record at Value City Arena vs. non-Big Ten teams over the last two seasons. Ohio State played one game during the 2004-05 season, a win vs. Chattanooga, at St. John Arena, the former home of the Buckeyes. Overall, Ohio State is 31-3 in Columbus during Matta’s tenure. Seniors Terence Dials, Matt Sylvester, J.J. Sullinger and Je’Kel Foster ended their careers with the Buckeyes in 2006. Dials and Sullinger received their degrees March 16 in sociology and African American and African studies, respectively. Sylvester and Foster are scheduled to graduate after Ohio State’s 2006 spring quarter.

Dials ended his career No. 2 in career games played (132) and No. 5 on the all-time Ohio State rebounding list with 876. He also is No. 12 in career scoring (1,566) and No. 4 in career field goal percentage (.558). He was a two-time team captain, earning first team All-Big Ten honors as a senior along with the player of the year award.

Foster’s two-year career produced some of the best 3-point shooting and defensive numbers in Ohio State history. He ended 2005-06 with the second best long-range shooting percentage (.412) for a season at OSU. His career percentage of .401 and 139 made treys both rate sixth best in the Buckeye records book. His season total of 77 made treys as a senior is third most all-time.

On defense, Foster was credited with 72 steals as a senior, the second most in a single season at Ohio State.

Sylvester will best be remembered for a couple clutch shots that rallied the Buckeyes to home wins vs. No. 1 Illinois in the regular season final in 2005 and vs. 2006 Final Four participant LSU on New Year’s Eve last season at Value City Arena. Sylvester played in 113 career games as a Buckeye and was part of 77 victories.

Sullinger had a career year in his final season as a Buckeye. He had season highs in points (322), rebounds (225), blocks (18), field goals (119) and 3-pointers made (19). He was one of three Buckeyes with more than 1,000 career points scored, which included 935 points in three years at Ohio State. He appeared in 94 games at Ohio State, which included 86 starts.

The 2005-06 Buckeyes–By the Numbers…

.401 (77-192), season 3-pt. shooting pct. by Je’Kel Foster, sixth best in OSU history
.412 (139-337), career 3-pt. shooting pct. by Je’Kel Foster, second best in OSU history
.558 (604-1,082), career field goal percentage by Terence Dials, fourth best in OSU history
.875 (7-8), single game 3-pt. shooting pct. (vs. Minnesota, 2/4/06) by Je’Kel Foster, third best at OSU
2.25, steals per game for Je’Kel Foster, second in the Big Ten
2.53, assist-to-turnover ratio by Jamar Butler, second in the Big Ten
6, single game steals, twice, by Je’Kel Foster vs. Gardner-Webb (12/28/05) and at Purdue (1/11/06), tied for third most in OSU history
7, 3-pointers made in a single game (vs. Minnesota, 2/4/06) by Je’Kel Foster, third most in OSU history
12, consecutive 3-pointers made (vs. Minn./Mich, 2/4, 2/9 2006) by Je’Kel Foster, OSU school record
18, career double-doubles by Terence Dials, tied for 15th all-time at Ohio State
72, season steals by Je’Kel Foster, second most in OSU history
77, season total, 3-pointers made, by Je’Kel Foster, third most in OSU history
97, career starts by Terence Dials, 10th most in Ohio State history
132, career games played by Terence Dials, second most in OSU history
139, career 3-pointers made by Je’Kel Foster, tied for sixth all-time in OSU history
144, season assist total by Jamar Butler, eighth most in OSU history
552, career free throws attempted by Terence Dials, third most in OSU history
604, career field goals for Terence Dials, tied for 10th most all time at OSU
876, career rebounds for Terence Dials, 5th on the all-time rebounding list
1,566, career points scored by Terence Dials, 12th on the all-time scoring list

.307, 3-point field goal pct. defense, best in the Big Ten
1.30, assist-to-turnover ratio, best in the Big Ten
6, final national ranking by in the Associated Press (media) Poll
8.19, 3-pointers made per game, second in Big Ten
9, final RPI rating for Ohio State, best in the Big Ten
11, games, all wins, in 2005-06 with 10 or more made 3-pointers an OSU record for a season
11, non-conference wins (no losses) for the Buckeyes
13, final national ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
14, final national ranking in fewest turnovers per game (11.8)
16, home wins in 2005-06, an Ohio State record for home victories in a season
16, final national ranking in scoring margin (+10.2 ppg.)
17, final Sagarin rating for Ohio State, second in the Big Ten
26, tied for second most wins in a season at Ohio State (27 in 1991, 1961)
262, Ohio State record number of 3-pointers made during the 2005-06 season
718, Ohio State record number of 3-pointers attempted during the 2005-06 season
16,271, average attendance all-time at Value City Arena
2,115,244, total attendance at Value City Arena in eight seasons of men’s basketball