Feb. 1, 2013

Feb. 2, 2013
No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (16-4, 6-2) vs. the Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-11, 2-7)

Site: Devaney Center (13,595)
Game Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Television: Big Ten Network
Talent: Kevin Kugler (play-by-play)
Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 94/XM 202
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Ohio State Notes | Neb. Notes | Big Ten Notes | Big Ten Stats
Ohio State Men’s Basketball
Men’s Basketball Jeff Boals Greg Paulus Dan Wallenberg Alissa Clendenen
@OhioStateHoops @JeffBoals @Greg_Paulus @OSUADAthComm @AlissaC_OSU
Press Conference w/ Coach Matta | Press Conference w/ Smith Jr. and Ross
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Craft Earns Academic District Team
Aaron Craft, a junior on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, was named to the 2013 Capitol One Academic All-District (5) First Team Jan. 31. Craft, a 2012 Capitol One First Team Academic All-American, advances to the 2013 national ballot after making the district squad this year. A nutrition (pre-med) major, Craft carries a 3.92 grade point average. The defending 2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Craft set the Ohio State career steals record this year. He enters the weekend with 210 career thefts.

Thomas Makes Robertson List
The United States Basketball Writers Association announced the midseason watch list for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year. Ohio State junior Deshaun Thomas made the 12-member midseason list., who leads the Big Ten in scoring with 20.3 points per game. He has reached 20 or more points in six conference games this season, including a 25-point effort in the most recent outing vs. Wisconsin.

The Nebraska Series
Overall, the Buckeyes are 7-2 in the series following the Ohio State victory in the Big Ten opener for both schools Jan. 2 in Columbus (70-44). The Buckeyes have  won the last six meetings, including both last year in Nebraska’s inaugural Big Ten season. The Buckeyes are 2-1 in Lincoln vs. the Huskers are are 4-0 as a ranked team in the series. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll earlier this season in the game vs. Nebraska. Deshaun Thomas leads Ohio State in the Nebraska series with an average of 17.3 points a game. He also is Ohio State’s top rebounder with 6.0 boards a game in the series. Lenzelle Smith Jr. contributes 8.0 points a game in the series.  
A Look at the Huskers
Nebraska is under the direction of first-year head coach Tim Miles, a University of Mary (1989) graduate. He entered the season with a career head coaching record of 283-220 in 17 seasons. Nebraska owns a record of 11-11 and winners in two of the last four league games. Ray Gallegos (13.5 ppg.) leads three Huskers averaging 12 points or more. He is followed by Dylan Talley (13.0 ppg.) and Brandon Ubel (12.1 ppg.). Ubel is the team`s leading rebounder with 6.7 boards a game.  

Thomas Leads B1G
Junior Deshaun Thomas has reached 20 or more points in six of eight Big Ten Conference regular-season games. He reached 20 or more in the first five games of the league season, a first since Jim Jackson had a five-game 20-point scoring streaks during both his junior (1992) and sophomore (1991) seasons. The last Ohio State player with a string of 20+ scoring games in six or more league games was Dennis Hopson, who amazingly reached at least 20 points in 17-consecutive Big Ten games to end the 1987 season. Including a non-conference game vs. Florida International and two NCAA tournament games. Hopson ending his career on a streak of 20-consecutive games with at least 20 points scored. The last Ohio State player to score more than 20 points in five-consecutive games was Michael Redd, who posted a streak of nine-consecutive 20+ scoring games during his freshman season in 1997-98. Thomas has scored 20 or more in 11 games this season and in 23 career games (3-2010-11, 9-2011-12, 11-2012-13). He has reached 20 points in 12 games vs. league foes, including twice in Big Ten tournament play. He scored 25 points in the most recent win vs. Wisconsin to lead all scorers.

Did You Know?
Deshaun Thomas is one of three players nationally averaging more than 20 points and 6 rebounds (20.3 ppg./6.3 rpg.). The others are Creighton’s Doug McDermott and VMI’s Stan Okoye. At Ohio State, the last to do so were Evan Turner in 2009-10 and Michael Redd in 1997-98.

Ohio State In the Big Ten
The Buckeyes are No. 2 in scoring defense (57.3 ppg.) and field goal percentage defense (.379) and No. 3 in scoring margin (14.9 ppg.), 3-point field goal percentage (.375) and turnover margin (+2.5) among Big Ten teams. Individually, Deshaun Thomas leads the conference in scoring with 20.3 points per game and is No. 2 in made 3s per game with 2.5. Aaron Craft (4.6) rates No. 2 in assists per game and steals (2.0). Shannon Scott is No. 2 in assist to turnover ratio (+3.5). Craft is No. 4 in the league (+2.4).

101 Years in Big Ten
Ohio State celebrates 101 years as a member of the Big Ten Conference in men’s basketball in 2013. The Buckeyes finished in the No. 6 spot in the 1913 conference standings, the first season of league play. Over the 100 previous seasons, Ohio State has earned 20 Big Ten regular-season titles with 24 NCAA tournament appearances, one national championship (1960) and 10 trips to the Final Four. Eight former coaches and players are members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame while nearly 50 student-athletes have been drafted by National Basketball Association teams, including 23 in the first round.

VOTE Thad Matta
Thad Matta is one of 48 Division I coaches participating in the third annual Coaches’ Charity Challenge, a fan-vote challenge, with the total contributions exceeding $300,000. Matta won the challenge a year ago, earning $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. He is once again supporting RMHC. Fans can vote once a day for the next eight weeks:

Craft Among Cousy Top 20 Candidates
Aaron Craft, a junior guard for the Buckeyes, is among the candidates for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the top point guard in the country. The list of more than 80 nominations was cut to 20 around Jan. 10. Ten finalists will be announced near Feb. 1 and a final five March 1. The winner will be announced at the 2013 Final Four weekend.

Ohio State Vs. the Big Ten
Ohio State is in its 101st season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes own an overall record of 745-670 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 13 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 123-49 vs. league members, including a mark of 120-47 record while coaching the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 7-2 vs. Nebraska all-time. Thad Matta is 3-0 vs. the Cornhuskers.  

2nd Big Ten POW goes to Thomas
Ohio State junior preseason All-American Deshaun Thomas averaged 21 points in wins over Purdue and No. 2 Michigan the week of Jan. 7 to earn Big Ten player of the week honors Jan. 14. The award was his second of the season and third of his career. He scored a career-high 31 points against Washington and tallied 25 vs. Rhode Island to average 28.0 points per game over two contests at the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Nov. 17-18. Thomas grabbed 10 boards against Rhode Island and eight vs. the Huskies to average 9.0 rebounds over that weekend. Thomas was named the BHOF Naismith Bracket MVP for his performance in the event.

Aaron Craft: Reached 700 career points with 10 vs. Chicago State (781)…reached 400 career assists with eight vs. UNC Asheville … his 450 career total rates No. 4 all-time at Ohio State, passing Mark Baker with three helpers at Illinois. Curtis Wilson is No. 3 with 475 … has at least one steal in 15-consecutive games … is shooting 81 percent from the foul line (43-53) this season, up from 71 percent as a junior … a career 74 percent foul shooter (199-270) … has more career steals (210) than turnovers (201) … owns Ohio State career record for steals (210) after recording four thefts vs. Iowa Jan. 22 … just the second Buckeye in history (Jay Burson-204) to record 200 career thefts. Evan Ravenel: Scores at a 55 percent clip in two seasons as a Buckeye (95-172) and 56 percent this year (49-87)…set a career high with 10 rebounds vs. Chicago State. LaQuinton Ross: Makes 78 percent of his foul shots (29-37) this season.  Shannon Scott: Scored career-high 15 points vs. Kansas to go with six rebounds, which tied a career best … has 83 assists this season after handing out 60 as a freshman … just 24 turnovers have been charged to him this year. Lenzelle Smith Jr.: Connected on 5 of 7 3-pointers vs. Nebraska Jan. 2, a career-best for long range makes in a game … grabbed 10 rebounds at Purdue Jan. 8 and repeated that effort vs. Michigan Jan. 13, the first time in his career with back-to-back double digit rebound games (3 career). Deshaun Thomas: Reached 400 career rebounds with 10 vs. UNC Asheville, added seven boards vs. Iowa (465) … 200 of his career boards have come on the offensive end … moved into the No. 28 spot in career scoring with 25 vs. Wisconsin Jan. 29 (1,302) … has 20 or more points in six Big Ten games this season … Thomas is shooting 81 percent at the line this year (59-73). Amir Williams: Of his 78 rebounds this year, half (39) have been on the offensive end … 66 of his career 140 boards have been a teammate’s missed shot … has made 60 percent of his field goals this year (27-45) and is shooting 57 percent for his career (46-81).

Six Foes among Top 25
In the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, six Ohio State opponents are among the Top 25 and four opponents are ranked in the Top 5. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play nine games against teams currently ranked. No. 2 Kansas traveled to Columbus Dec. 22 (L, 74-66 vs. No. 9 KU). The Buckeyes will face No. 3 Indiana, No. 1 Michigan (W, 56-50 vs. No. 2 UM Jan. 13), and No. 15 Michigan State (L 56-53 vs. No. 18 MSU Jan. 19) twice each during the 2013 Big Ten season. No. 23 Minnesota plays at Ohio State in the lone meeting against the Gophers Feb. 20. The Buckeyes fell to now-No. 5 Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Nov. 30 (73-69 vs. No. 4 Duke) in Durham.
Buckeyes among National Leaders
In the recent release of national statistics (Jan. 28), Ohio State ranks among the Top 25 in scoring margin (No. 14/+14.8) and No. 17 in scoring defense (57.3). Ohio State is No. 20 in field goal percentage defense (.379) and No. 19 in turnovers per game (11.2). Individually, junior Deshaun Thomas is No. 13 in scoring with 20.3 ppg. Sophomore Shannon Scott is No. 4 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (+3.5).

Thomas Reaches 1,000, Craft Next
Juniors Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft both could join Ohio State’s 1,000-point club this season. Thomas reached the milestone with 16 points at Duke Nov. 28. He has 1,302 for his career, good for the No. 28 spot all-time at Ohio State. Craft is 219 points away. Thomas averages 13.6 points over his career. Craft has averaged 8.1 points a game over 96 career outings.

Craft sets Steals Record
In the 18th game of his junior season, Aaron Craft set the Ohio State all-time steals record (210) after recording four thefts vs. Iowa Jan. 22. Jay Burson (1986-89) owned the Ohio State career record previously with 204.

Thomas close to Joining 1,000/500 Club
A total of 24 Ohio State players have scored 1,000 or more points to go with 500 career rebounds. Deshaun Thomas (1,302 career points) will be the next to join the club with 35 rebounds. Jared Sullinger was the last to reach the milestone with 1,282 career points and 717 career rebounds. Thad Matta has coached five of the players on the all-time list. William Buford (1,990/666), Terence Dials (1,566/876), Evan Turner (1,517/683), David Lighty (1,458/577) and Sullinger were added to the list during Matta’s tenure.

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Notes link above.