Men's Basketball: Butler On Verge of 1,000 Points; Buckeyes Travel to Michigan State
Date: Jan. 15, 2008
Opp.: No. 6 Michigan St. (14-2, 2-1)
Site: Breslin Center (14,759)
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN
TV Talent: Brett Musburger (P-by-P), Steve Lavin (Expert Analysis), Erin Andrews (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)
Sirius Radio: Ch. 110

Senior Jamar Butler scored a game-high 26 points at Purdue last Saturday to move to 995 career points as a Buckeye. He will become the 43rd Ohio State men's basketball player to reach the milestone. Brent Darby was the last guard to reach 1,000 points for the Buckeyes. He did so from 2000-03 and stands No. 21 on the all-time scoring list with 1,368 career points. Butler made all four foul shots against the Boilermakers. He has made 25-consecutive foul shots, which ties the effort of Sean Connolly as sophomore in 2000-01.

Butler's Made FT streak

Coppin State (12/10/07) 1-2*
Presbyterian (12/15/07) 1-1
at Cleveland State (12/18/07) 0-0
Florida (12/22/07) 2-2
UMBC (12/29/07) 9-9
at Illinois (1/3/08) 8-8
Northwestern (1/6/08) 0-0
Iowa (1/9/08) 0-0
at Purdue (1/12/08) 4-4
*Made second attempt

The last two times Ohio State has played on Jan. 15 the Buckeyes were taken to double overtime before falling to LSU on the road in 2005 and to Michigan State at home in 2006. The Buckeyes lost the only game in which it scored 100 points in the LSU game, a 113-101 setback in two extra sessions. The Spartans also needed two OTs the last time it defeated the Buckeyes in a 62-59 victory in 2006. In all, Ohio State is 13-12 in games played on this date.

Thad Matta has guided the Buckeyes to 93 victories in 119 games at Ohio State. In eight seasons as a head coach, Matta has never failed to reach the 20-wins plateau in one season at Butler (24 wins), three at Xavier (26 wins each year) and three at Ohio State (20, 26, 35). He has averaged 26 wins over his career for a total of 195. Another 20-win season would eclipse the 200 mark for his career and the 100-win mark at Ohio State, a total only four previous head coaches have reached at Ohio State of the 13 who have led the men's basketball program (Fred Taylor/297, Harold Olsen/260, Eldon Miller/174 and Randy Ayers/124).

Making the NCAA tournament is almost a sure thing when Thad Matta is on the bench. In six seasons as an assistant coach, Matta was part of five NCAA tournament appearances at Miami (Ohio), Western Carolina and Butler. The 1998-99 Butler squad played in the postseason NIT, advancing to the second round. As a head coach, Matta's teams have played in the NCAA event in six of seven years and every year the teams he has coached were eligible for the annual postseason event. The 2004-05 Ohio State team, Matta's first in Columbus, was held out of the event by the university but nonetheless finished with a 20-12 record and a win over No. 1 and previously unbeaten Illinois in the regular season finale.

When it comes to conference tournaments, Matta teams regularly play in the title game. As an assistant, Matta helped Western Carolina to the Southern Conference title in 1996 and Butler to the Mid-Western Collegiate Conference championship in 1998 and 2000. As a head coach, Butler won the MCC in 2001 with Matta at the helm. Xavier won the Atlantic 10 in 2002 and 2004 and in three chances at Ohio State, Matta has directed the Buckeyes to the title game twice, winning the 2007 event.

Matta has been associated with nine regular-season conference champions, including five as a head coach.

The Buckeyes have had at least one player record a double-double in six games this season and are 6-0 in those games. Ohio State is 525-247 all time when a player records any combination of 10 or more points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks. Ohio State is 128-49 in games when at least two Buckeyes manage a double-double (twice this year vs. Northwestern and UMBC) and 14-1 when three Buckeyes do so in a single game (once this year vs. UMBC). Senior Jamar Butler handed out 11 assists and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in the Northwestern win Jan. 6 (62-51). It is the first time an Ohio State player recorded a double-double without scoring 10 or more points.

In four seasons at Ohio State, Thad Matta's Buckeyes have had at least one player record a double-double in 44 games. Ohio State is 39-5 in those games, including victories in 30 of the last 31. Two players managed double-doubles twice vs. Davidson in 2006 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament when J.J. Sullinger (13 pts./13 rebs.) and Terence Dials (19/13) led Ohio State to a 70-62 victory and this season against Northwestern (Jan. 6) when freshman Kosta Koufos (17/12) and Jamar Butler (11 assts./10 rebs.) helped secure victory (61-52). Ohio State had a rare outing vs. UMBC earlier this year when three Buckeyes (Othello Hunter, 13/10; Butler, 22/12 asts.; Koufos, 22/12) recorded double-doubles in the same game, a feat accomplished just 15 times in OSU history (14-1 rcd.).

Jamar Butler turned in one of the better individual performances in Ohio State history with his 32 points, a career high, at Illinois Jan. 3 in a 74-58 Ohio State victory. He scored 15-consecutive points in the second half to turn an Ohio State deficit (37-36) into an insurmountable lead (51-39) for the Buckeyes. His perfection from the line (8-8) gives him 25-consecutive foul shots made over the last nine games. That streak ties the longest known streak set when Sean Connolly knocked down 25-consecutive foul shots as a sophomore in 2000-01. Butler's 15-consecutive points scored in a game are the most since Michael Redd scored 17-consecutive points in a 30-point effort at Wisconsin Jan. 2, 1999, a 78-74 Ohio State victory. Butler followed the Illinois effort with an 11-assist, 10 rebound double-double in the home win (62-51) vs. Northwestern Jan. 6.

Thad Matta, now in his fourth season as head coach of the Buckeyes, has an overall win percentage of .782 (93-26) after 119 games at Ohio State. That winning mean is the highest among the 11 head coaches in the history of the Ohio State men's basketball program with three or more seasons on the sidelines. Matta's 38-14 record in Big Ten regular-season play (.731) also has produced the highest winning percentage in conference play among any previous Ohio State coach. Fred Taylor (1959-76) is second in both overall win percentage (.653/297-158) and Big Ten win percentage (.608/158-102) in 18 seasons.

Jamar Butler is the first Ohio State guard to reach 400 assists (459), 150 made 3s (187/school record) and 100 steals (109). He is nearing 1,000 career points (995) and is on pace to become Ohio State's 43rd player in the 1,000-point club.

Jamar Butler has played in all but one game in his Ohio State career, a total of 118. Senior classmate Matt Terwilliger has made 97 appearances during his career. The pair could go down as the winningest Buckeyes all-time and Butler is on pace to appear in more games than any other Buckeye in history. Seniors on the 1963 team finished with 98 career wins, three NCAA championship game appearances, the national title in 1960 and four Big Ten titles, which includes three outright titles from 1960-62. Seniors on the 1964 and 1992 teams each finished their careers with 89 victories. The 1964 seniors also had four league titles (two outright in 1961 and '62) to go with two NCAA title game appearances those same years. The 1992 veterans had two Big Ten titles (one shared) and made three NCAA tournament appearances. To date, Butler and Terwilliger have back-to-back outright league championships and two NCAA tournament appearances, including an NCAA title game experience and school-record 35 wins a year ago.

Total Wins 4-year Career *Seniors
98 1960-63# Richard Reasbeck, Douglas McDonald
93 2005-08 Jamar Butler, Matt Terwilliger
89 1961-64# Donald Flatt, LeRoy Frazier, Donald DeVoe, Gary Bradds
89 1989-92 Jamaal Brown, Steve Hall, Chris Jent, Bill Robinson
#Freshmen were not eligible during period
*4-year players in Ohio State program (Freshman and Varsity rosters)

Members of the 1968 Ohio State men's basketball team, which starred Big Ten Network analyst Bill Hosket, will be recognized during pregame ceremonies Feb. 10 against Indiana. Ohio State will recognize the 40th anniversary of that team, which tied for the Big Ten championship and advanced to the Final Four under the direction of legendary coach Fred Taylor. The Buckeyes finished 21-8 that season and third in the NCAA tournament after a semifinal loss to No. 4 North Carolina and a win over No. 1 Houston in the consolation game. It was the fourth Final Four appearance for Taylor during his illustrious career, which spanned 18 seasons, five NCAA tournament appearances, an NCAA title in 1960, two runners-up finishes in 1961 and '62, 297 victories and seven Big Ten titles, including a league record five-consecutive conference crowns from 1960-1964.

Upper Sandusky (Ohio) High School retired the No. 23 during ceremonies Dec. 8 to honor star guard Jon Diebler, a freshman on the Ohio State men's basketball team. Diebler led the nation in scoring as a senior in 2006-07 with 41 points a game. He owns the career-scoring record in the state of Ohio with 3,208 career points.

Senior Jamar Butler has connected on 187 career 3-pointers and owns the Ohio State record for made 3s in a career. He passed Brent Darby (2000-03) and Scoonie Penn (1999-2000) with a 4 of 8 effort from long range against VMI Nov. 25. Butler ranks No. 1 all-time in 3-pointers attempted (488) and No. 6 in career 3-point shooting percentage (187-488/.383). He also is moving up the career assist charts. He is currently No. 3 with 459.

Kosta Koufos, a freshman forward from Canton, Ohio, led Ohio State to a 2-1 record the week of Nov. 26, which included a win over No. 21 Syracuse at Madison Square Garden in New York. Koufos averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and recorded six blocks for the Buckeyes to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors. He set a career high with 24 points against the Orange and then recorded his first-career double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds in a home victory over VMI at St. John Arena Nov. 26. Koufos connected on 50 percent of his shots from the field for the week and hit 69 percent (9-13) against the Keydets.

Freshman Kosta Koufos averaged 17 points and 7.0 rebounds in the two NIT Season Tip-Off games in New York. The 7-0 forward also blocked four shots and made 3-of-5 3-pointers. Butler, a preseason All-Big Ten selection, averaged 15.5 points while knocking down 55 percent of his 3-point attempts (6-11). He scored 13-consecutive points for the Buckeyes in the first half vs. Texas A&M Nov. 23 and led the team at the event with seven assists and four steals. Both Koufos and Butler were named to the all-tournament team.

In an 11-day stretch starting with the NIT Season Tip-Off games in New York, Ohio State's roster of 13 players played in three of the most storied venues in college basketball history. The NIT games were played in Madison Square Garden, tabbed the world's most famous arena and the host of countless college basketball games. The Buckeyes next played in St. John Arena, the home of Ohio State basketball from 1956-57 to 1997-98. St. John has hosted 579 Ohio State men's basketball games in which the Buckeyes have won 428 (.739 winning pct.). After playing No. 1 North Carolina Nov. 28 in Ohio State's current home, Value City Arena, the Buckeyes took on No. 16 Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The facility was used to film the movie "Hoosiers" and has been the home court for the Bulldogs since 1928.

Jamar Butler scored the first 12 points for the Buckeyes, all on 3-pointers, to finish with a career high 6 made 3s on his way to a game-high 26 points
Ohio State's 19-game league win streak, which included three wins in the 2007 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, ended with the loss. It was the second-longest league win streak in school history
The loss also snapped a streak of seven-consecutive road wins in conference play, the third longest streak in Ohio State history
Ohio State had won the previous eight games in the Purdue series and the previous eight overall games this season before loss to the Boilermakers
Thad Matta is now 7-2 all-time against Purdue, which includes a 1-1 record at Xavier
Ohio State is 72-79 all-time against Purdue and 23-52 in West Lafayette
The Buckeyes had two players foul out, the first two of the season for the Buckeyes and the first for senior Othello Hunter and sophomore David Lighty in 55 career games for both
Butler is now five points shy of 1,000 career points ... he will become just the 43rd player in Ohio State history to reach that milestone ... Butler is one assist shy of reaching 100 for the season ... he had 144 as a sophomore and 142 a season ago

Tickets to several Ohio State men's basketball games are sold out for the 2007-08 season. Games vs. North Carolina (19,049), Florida (19,049), Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State have been sold out. Tickets are in short supply for Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Purdue. To order tickets call 1-800-GO-BUCKS or go online at

Ohio State is 3-3 in preseason NIT appearances after the pair of victories in Columbus Nov. 12-13 and a split in New York (11/21, 23) to open the 2007 season. The Buckeyes first participated in 1989. DePaul downed Ohio State Nov. 15, 1989, 71-53. Ohio University defeated the Buckeyes 78-67 Nov. 16, 1994 in Ohio State's last appearance.

Kyle Madsen, a sophomore from Dublin, Ohio, played in a game that counts for the first time in more than two years. The Dublin Coffman High School graduate played at Value City Arena in the 2005 Ohio High School Boys Basketball Tournament before going to Vanderbilt for the 2005-06 season. He redshirted in his first year in Nashville, Tenn., before transferring to Ohio State, where he had to sit out the 2006-07 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He played in both games Nov. 12-13 in the opening rounds of the NIT Season Tip-Off and scored a career best six points vs. Texas A&M in the finals.

Ohio State opponents North Carolina (No. 1 in ESPN/USA Today and No. 1 in the AP polls), Texas A&M (10/11), Tennessee (9/8), Michigan State (6/6), Indiana (11/10), Butler (14/14) and Wisconsin (21/21) all are ranked among the Top 25 teams in both polls. Florida and Syracuse also are receiving votes for Top 25 consideration. Ohio State's three losses this year are to UNC, Texas A&M and Butler. Those three teams are a combined 47-2 on the season to date.

Ohio State played one game this season in St. John Arena, the home court of the Buckeyes from 1956-57 through 1997-98. Because of a scheduled event over the Thanksgiving weekend at Value City Arena, Ohio State faced Virginia Military Institute (W, 90-57) at St. John in just the second men's basketball game played at the venue since the opening of Value City Arena for the 1998-99 season. Overall, the Buckeyes own a 428-151 record at St. John for a winning percentage of .739. More than 6.6 million fans have witnessed Ohio State men's basketball games in the historic venue.

Jamar Butler was selected to the 2007-08 Preseason First Team All-Big Ten squad by a panel of 22 media members who regularly cover Big Ten basketball. The honor was announced Oct. 27 at the annual league media day in Chicago. Ohio State was picked to finish third in the league race behind favorite Michigan State and Indiana. The Buckeyes are the two-time defending outright regular season champions and defending postseason league tournament winners.

More than 2.5 million fans have passed through the doors at Value City Arena since the facility opened for business in 1998-99 for men's basketball. Ohio State fans have ranked among the Top 10 nationally in attendance in five of the nine years the facility has played host to the men's basketball program. Buckeye fans have been treated to 54 home wins in the last four years under Thad Matta, including a school-record 18-0 campaign a year ago.

Thad Matta is familiar with the situation he finds the Ohio State men's basketball team facing in 2007-08, his fourth in Columbus as head coach of the Buckeyes.

One starter returns from a record-setting 2006-07 season that ended with Ohio State winning a school-record 35 games, advancing to the program's ninth Final Four, appearing in the NCAA title game, winning its second-consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season title and the program's first postseason league tournament championship.

Senior Jamar Butler, who guided the Buckeyes to an outright league title as a sophomore in 2005-06, is the lone holdover among the starters from a year ago. He was in a similar position as a junior and will be sufficiently equipped to lead the Buckeyes again this season.

Butler will have support from three other returning letterwinners. Seniors Matt Terwilliger, Othello Hunter and sophomore David Lighty all are back after significant contributions to Ohio State's run toward the NCAA title a year ago.

For the second-consecutive season, Matta has recruited one of the nation's top incoming freshman classes. Five Buckeyes will be playing as rookies on a college campus. A sixth, sophomore Kyle Madsen, is eligible to compete after spending his freshman season as a redshirt at Vanderbilt and a transfer year at Ohio State a year ago. He will have three years of eligibility in Columbus. Another newcomer, junior college transfer P.J. Hill, also will have three seasons to play as a Buckeye.

Matta attracted a mix of size and skill in the 2007 class.

Jon Diebler, a 6-6 guard from Upper Sandusky (Ohio) High School, is the most prolific scorer in Ohio High School history. He led his team to the state title game as a senior after winning the championship as a sophomore. He scored 3,208 points as a prep standout. His average of just over 41 points a game as a senior not only led the state of Ohio but was the top scoring average nationally a year ago.

Kosta Koufos, a 7-0 post player from GlenOak High School in Canton, Ohio, gives the Buckeyes several options. He can perform well in the paint but is equally comfortable shooting 3-pointers, a rarity for a player of his exceptional size. His rebounding and ability to block or alter shots also will contribute significantly to Matta's game planning strategy this year.

Dallas Lauderdale will play center at 6-feet-8-inches. His size, strength and general physical build is expected to add depth to the Buckeye frontcourt, which will be much deeper this season. Lauderdale, who competed against Koufos on several occasions while playing for Solon (Ohio) High School, has the size and strength to handle the rigorous Big Ten battles down low.

Evan Turner is a 6-6 guard from Chicago, where he starred for St. Joseph's High School, one of the premier high school programs in the state of Illinois. With long arms and a wiry frame, he adds rebounding assistance as well as a scoring touch and an ability to get to the basket.

Eric Wallace was the last freshman recruit to commit to the Buckeyes for this season. He is likely to become a fan favorite with his exceptional leaping and acrobatic dunking ability. A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Wallace also will be looked upon to rebound and contribute defensively. He played at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy a season ago.

P.J. Hill, a junior college transfer from Minneapolis, joined the Buckeyes during the summer and will have three years of eligibility in Columbus. He played for one season at Midland (Texas) College, the 2007 National Junior College Athletics Association National Champions.

Hill (6-1, 160) was a point guard for the 29-8 Midland squad that won the NJCAA title for the first time since 1982 when Spud Webb played for the Chaparrals. Hill averaged 6.5 points and nearly three assist a game a season ago. He played his high school basketball at Minneapolis North.

Sophomore David Lighty spent part of last summer playing for the United States Under-19 World Championship team that traveled to Serbia in July. Lighty was named team captain before the team began play in the event. The U.S. squad won the silver medal going 8-1 overall after a loss in the final (74-69) to tournament host Serbia.

Lighty started all nine games, averaged 23.7 minutes, second on the team, and shot 69 percent (31-45) from the field. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in his first international competition. Lighty is the only sophomore returning from the 2006-07 squad that featured three Ohio State freshmen drafted in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft (Greg Oden, No. 1/Portland, Mike Conley Jr., No. 4/Memphis and Daequan Cook, No. 21/Philadelphia).

Jamar Butler is the most experienced Buckeye on the 2007-08 roster after starting his first three seasons in Columbus in Thad Matta's multiple point-guard offense. Butler led the Buckeyes to an outright Big Ten title as a sophomore and then teamed with Mike Conley Jr. to repeat the feat in 2007. Butler is among the top returning guards in the Big Ten and will again lead a squad primarily made up of newcomers. In 118 games as a Buckeye, Butler owns 459 career assists and is on pace to become a 1,000-point scorer (995 to date), the 43rd in Ohio State history and first since Terence Dials (1,566 pts. from 2002-06).

Ohio State will make four trips to the state of Indiana in 2007-08. Traditional trips to West Lafayette and Bloomington to take on Big Ten foes Purdue and Indiana, respectively, will be supplemented by a pair of trips to Indianapolis against Butler (Dec. 1) and to participate in the Big Ten tournament in March (13-16). Indianapolis will be the host city of the annual league postseason tournament for the next five years.

Tennessee, North Carolina, Syracuse, Texas A&M and Florida are certain opponents for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2007-08. Add a road game at Butler and one can imagine why Thad Matta, a former Butler Bulldog (class of 1990), had trouble sleeping last summer. Then there is an expanded Big Ten Conference schedule of 18 regular-season games, up from a 16-game schedule used from 1998-2007. All this after losing three student-athletes in the first 21 picks in the 2007 NBA Draft.

The Buckeyes have been here before. The team lost four starters after winning the 2006 Big Ten title and responded with another league crown in 2007 and a school record 35 victories. The constant from the situation in 2006-07 is point guard Jamar Butler, who helped lead the Buckeyes to back-to-back league crowns and an appearance in the NCAA title game last season. With four returning letterwinners and a slew of newcomers, the Buckeyes again hope to use the difficult schedule as a springboard to postseason play.