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|Senior Aaron Craft averages double figures with 10.2 points per game vs. Penn State.
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No. 24 Ohio State (16-4; 2-4) vs. Penn State (10-10, 1-6)
||Jan. 29, 2014
||Value City Arena (18,809)
||7:01 p.m. ET
||Big Ten Network
||Kevin Kugler (play-by-play)
Stephen Bardo (expert analysis)
||OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
||Sirius 91 /XM 91
||WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
||Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
The University of Akron announced on Dec. 14 that Director of Men's Basketball Operations Dan Peters began a personal leave of absence to seek treatment for pancreatic cancer. As part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, Ohio State's men's basketball staff will wear lapel pins with a purple ribbon - the color for pancreatic cancer awareness - and the words "4 Pete's Sake" in support of Coach Peters and his battle against pancreatic cancer. These pins will be worn by the men's basketball coaches of every school at which Peters has worked, as well as every school in the Mid-American Conference. The media, members of the college basketball community and fans are encouraged to tweet about "Pete" using the hashtag #4PetesSake. Coach Peters was an assistant coach at Ohio State and his son Danny played for the Buckeyes. Danny now is on staff at the University of Arizona.
Craft is Among Midseason 25 on Wooden List
Aaron Craft remains in contention for the 2014 Wooden Award. A list of 25 finalists was announced Jan. 22. Craft and LaQuinton Rosswere selected to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list Nov. 12. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the sport's most prestigious honor. The award is presented annually by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The 2014 winner will be named at the club the weekend of April 11-12.
Vote Thad Matta
Thad Mattais one of 48 Division I coaches participating in the third annual Coaches' Charity Challenge, a fan-vote contest, with the total contributions exceeding $300,000. Matta won the challenge in 2012 and 2013, earning $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. He is once again supporting RMHC. This year, the challenge will run for 10 weeks in a tournament-style contest. For the next three weeks, fans can vote once a day at VoteCoachMatta.com to help Matta advance to the round of 24. Votes will not carry over to the next round
The Penn State Series
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State 29-12. The Buckeyes are 15-3 in Columbus vs. the Nittany Lions. Thad Matta's Buckeyes are 17-0 vs. Penn State since 2004-05, his first at Ohio State. Penn State is 0-9 at Value City Arena and overall, Ohio State is on an 18-game win streak in the series. When ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, Ohio State is 16-2 vs. the Nittany Lions. Junior Sam Thompson (11.0 ppg.) and senior Aaron Craft (10.2 ppg.) average double figures offensively in the Penn State series. Thompson and classmate Amir Williamseach average a team high 4.0 rebounds. Thompson has made 8 of 10 field goals in the series.
A Look at the Nittany Lions
Penn State enters the game vs. the Buckeyes with a 10-10 overall record. The Nittany Lions are 1-6 in Big Ten Conference play and 2-4 on the road. Penn State is led by guards D.J. Newbill (17.2 ppg.) and Tim Frazier (16.5 ppg.). Ross Travis also adds 10.2 ppg. Travis leads the squad in rebounds with 7.3 a contest.
Ohio State vs. The Big Ten
Ohio State is in its 102nd season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes own an overall record of 758-677 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 14 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 136-56 vs. league members, including a mark of 133-54 while coaching the Buckeyes.
Buckeyes Among National Stat Leaders
After 20 games, Ohio State ranks No. 3 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.262), No. 8 in scoring defense (58.3 ppg.), No. 13 in fewest fouls per game (16.2) and No. 15 in scoring margin (14.4 ppg.). Aaron Craft is No. 10 nationally in total steals (47). Shannon Scottis No. 20 (43).
Noting the Illinois Game
- Illinois leads the all-time series with Ohio State 101-67. Ohio State is 43-40 in Columbus.
- As a ranked team, No. 17 Ohio State is 24-11 vs. Illinois.
- The Buckeyes own an overall record of 758-677 against current Big Ten members.
- Tied at 46 with 6:08 remaining in the game, Ohio State went on a 12-4 run to claim their largest lead, 58-50.
- Three players scored in double figures for Ohio State: LaQuinton Ross (18 points), Lenzelle Smith Jr. (16) and Aaron Craft (11).
- Ohio State has won 80-consecutive home games against unranked opponents. The last loss was Dec. 27, 2008 vs. West Virginia.
- Ohio State has won 53-consecutive home games against unranked Big Ten opponents. The last loss was Jan. 19 2005 vs. Minnesota.
- The Buckeyes are 79-22 all-time vs. Big Ten opponents at Value City Arena, 2-8 vs. Illinois.
- As a ranked team, No. 17 Ohio State is 471-128 all-time.
- The Buckeyes scored 16 points off a season-high 15 turnovers for Illinois.
- Thad Matta is 266-77 during his career at Ohio State and 368-108 overall as a head coach.
- In 13 seasons as a head coach, Matta owns an overall record of 136-56 vs. Big Ten members, including a mark of 133-54 while coaching the Buckeyes.
- Matta is 53-1 against unranked Big Ten opponents at home.
- Matta is 13-5 against Illinois as OSU head coach. His teams ranked against Illinois are 10-2, including a 6-0 record in Columbus.
- Matta is 11-4 vs. his former assistant coaches, including a 2-1 record against Illinois coach John Groce.
- Against unranked opponents, Matta owns a 220-24 record as Ohio State head coach.
- At the helm of the Ohio State program, Matta is 55-26 in the month of January.
- Aaron Craft collected two steals against Illinois. He ranks third all-time in Big Ten history with 295. He needs six steals to pass Gary Grant of Michigan (300) for second all-time and 30 to pass Bruce Douglas of Illinois (324) for first.
- Craft had five assists vs. the Fighting Illini. He is Ohio State's all-time assist leader with 628 for his career. Craft ranks eighth all-time in Big Ten history. He needs 18 assists to pass Scott Skiles (645) of Michigan State for seventh.
- Craft Scored 11 points. He ranks 36th all-time at Ohio State with 1,157 career points. Craft passed Frank Howard (1,147) during the matchup with Illinois. He needs 23 to pass Lawrence Funderburke (1,179) for 35th all-time
- Craft made four free throws, passing 300 for his career (302).
- LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes with 18 points. Passing the 600-point career milestone, he now has 607 points total.
- Ross has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 15 games.
- Shannon Scott has recorded at least two steals in each of the last five games, as well as 13 of 20 games overall this season.
- Lenzelle Smith Jr., with five made field goals reached 300 for his Buckeye career. For more on the
Buckeyes, click on the Ohio State Noteslink above.