No. 3 Ohio State and No. 11 Michigan State Meet in Big Ten Tussle
William Buford

Feb. 10, 2012

No. 11 Michigan State Spartans (19-5, 8-3) at No. 3 Ohio State (21-3, 9-2)
Date: Feb. 11, 2012
Site: Value City Arena (18,809)
Game Time: 6 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN
Talent: Dave O'Brien (play-by-play), Dan Dakich (expert analysis) 
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius-91, XM-91
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play), Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
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USBWA Names Sullinger to Watch List
The United States Basketball Writers Association named Jared Sullinger to a list of 20 student-athletes in consideration for the 2012 Oscar Robertson Trophy, given annually to the organization's national player of the year honoree. The award will be presented March 30 in New Orleans. The USBWA selected Sullinger as its Wayman Tisdale Award winner in 2011. The award recognizes the national freshman of the year.

Sullinger Named B1G Player of the Week
Sophomore Jared Sullinger was named the Big Ten Player of the Week Monday, his second of the year (Jan. 9) after recording a double-double in the win at Wisconsin last Saturday. He recorded 24 points and 10 rebounds against the Badgers. He became Ohio State's 48th player all-time to reach 1,000 career points and the 17th Buckeye to reach both 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds. This is Sullinger's sixth career B1G Player of the Week award.

Sullinger Paces Buckeyes at Home
Sophomore Jared Sullinger averages a double-double in games played this season in Columbus. He contributes a team-leading 17.4 points and 10.0 rebounds a game on Ohio State's home court. He also is leading the regulars by scoring on 57 percent of his shots from the field (99-171). Senior William Buford averages 16.2 points and has made 88 percent of his foul shots on familiar turf (44-50). Sophomore Deshaun Thomas is the third Buckeyes averaging double figures at home with 13.7 points per game. Ohio State is outscoring opponents by 25.3 points per game with an 8.8 rebounds per game advantage in Columbus.

Academics and Athletic Awards for Craft
Sophomore Aaron Craft was selected to the Academic All-District 5 First Team Feb. 2. He now advances to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be selected later this month. Craft is majoring in excercise science (pre-med) with a GPA of 3.89. Craft also is among 11 remaining candidates for the Bob Cousy Award after the list was trimmed from an initial pool of 60 candidates. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball. This current list of candidates will be narrowed down to the final five by March 1. Craft currently leads the Buckeyes in assists (114) and steals (53).

The Buckeyes vs. The Ranked
Ohio State leads the nation in wins vs. opponents ranked among the Top 25 with five victories in seven tries this season. The Buckeyes own wins vs. No. 7 Florida, No. 3 Duke, No. 7 Indiana, No. 20 Michigan and No. 19 Wisconsin. Losses have come to No. 13 Kansas and No. 13 Indiana, both on the road. The Buckeyes have five players, all starters, averaging in double figures in games vs. ranked opponents. Jared Sullinger leads with 17.5 ppg. He is joined by William Buford (15.0 ppg.), Deshaun Thomas (13.7 ppg.), Aaron Craft (10.9 ppg.) and Lenzelle Smith Jr. (10.3 ppg.). Sullinger (7.8 rebounds per game) and Smith Jr. (5.9 rpg.) lead the team on the glass. The Buckeyes outscore ranked foes by 7.4 points per game and own the edge on the boards by 3.0 rpg. Notre Dame also has five wins vs. Top 25 teams this season.

Matta Earns Another 20-Win Season
For each of the last 12 seasons, all as a head coach, Thad Matta has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Only Mark Few, among active coaches, has more consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career (12-not counting 2011-12). Matta set the Ohio State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2008-09 with a 22-11 record and extended it this year (21-3), the eighth-consecutive Ohio State season with 20+ victories. The previous record was four held by the 1960-63 teams under legendary head coach Fred Taylor. The Buckeyes also own the second-longest streak of 20-win seasons (8) in Big Ten history. Illinois owns the record with nine from (1983-1991). Matta also has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last six seasons. That effort eclipsed Taylor's mark of 10+ league wins in each of the seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta's first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last five (10, 10, 14, 16, 9). Ohio State is the two-time defending Big Ten regular-season champion. The last time the Buckeyes won three or more consecutive titles was from 1960-64, a string of five-consecutive conference crowns.

Buford Among Finalists for Senior CLASS Award
Ten NCAA men's basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were selected as finalists for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The winner of the fan vote will be announced at the 2012 Final Four in New Orleans. To vote for Buford visit

Matta Coaches Game 400
Thad Matta has a career record of 313-91 (404 career games) over 12 years as a head coach, which includes a 211-60 record in eight seasons at Ohio State. Matta coached for one season at Butler and three at Xavier before taking over the Ohio State program for the 2004-05 season. In his time with the Buckeyes, Matta has four Big Ten regular season titles and three Big Ten tournament crowns. The Buckeyes have been to five NCAA tournaments with Matta at the helm. He has taken nine teams to NCAA tournament play and won the 2008 National Invitational Tournament with Ohio State.

Buford Reaches 100 Wins as a Buckeye
Senior William Buford reached career win No. 100 as a Buckeye at Iowa Jan. 7. David Lighty (2007-11) holds the Ohio State record for wins with 129. Walk-ons Mark Titus and Danny Peters were part of Ohio State's program for 110 victories over their careers (2007-10). The four-year record for victories by scholarship players was originally set by Jamar Butler and Matt Terwilliger from 2005-08 with 105. The 2009 team had 107 wins from 2006-09 but there were no four-year seniors on that squad.
Wins Seniors Yr.-by-Yr.
129 - David Lighty (2007-2011) 35,24,7,29,34
110 - Danny Peters, Mark Titus (2007-10) 35,24,22,29
109 - Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale (2008-11) 24,22,29,34
107 - None (2006-09) 26,35,24,22
106 - William Buford (2009-12) 22,29,34,21
105 - Jamar Butler, Matt Terwilliger (2005-08) 20,26,35,24

The Buckeyes in the Big Ten
The Buckeyes rank No. 2 in both scoring offense (76.9 ppg.) and scoring defense (56.6 ppg.) after a 21-3 overall start. Ohio State's scoring margin of 20.3 ppg. leads the league while the .490 field goal shooting pct. rates in the No. 2 spot. Led by Jared Sullinger, Ohio State is among the Top 2 teams in rebounding offense (36.8 rpg., No. 2) and defense (29.3 rpg., No. 1-T). Overall, the Buckeyes are No. 2 in rebound margin (+7.5 rpg.). Behind Aaron Craft, Ohio State is No. 1 in turnover margin (+5.6).

100 Years in Big Ten
Ohio State celebrates 100 years as a member of the Big Ten Conference in men's basketball in 2012. The Buckeyes finished in the No. 6 spot in the 1913 conference standings, the first season of league play. Over the 99 previous seasons, Ohio State has earned 19 Big Ten regular-season titles with 23 NCAA tournament appearances, one national championship (1960) and nine 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 22 in the first round.

Ohio State VS. Michigan State
Michigan State is 58-51 vs. the Buckeyes all-time, though Ohio State owns the edge in Columbus 33-21 and has won the last three meetings. As a ranked team, Ohio State enters at the No. 3 spot nationally, the Buckeyes are 19-8 vs. the Spartans. Michigan State, currently ranked in the No. 11 spot, is 15-6 vs. Ohio State as a ranked team. When both teams meet as ranked squads, the series is tied at four wins apiece. Ohio State has won the last five games when ranked vs. the Spartans. William Buford leads Ohio State with 16.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in the Michigan State series. Jared Sullinger scored 11 points and grabbed two rebounds in the lone meeting with MSU last year.

Ohio State vs. the Big Ten
Ohio State is 733-664 vs. current members of the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes are playing their 100th season of Big Ten Basketball this season.

The Third to 200 as a Buckeye
Two previous coaches have reached the 200-win plateau at Ohio State. Thad Matta became the third with the 74-66 win at South Carolina Dec. 17. Fred Taylor recorded 297 career victories from 1959-1976 while also earning 158 Big Ten Conference regular-season victories. Harold G. Olsen tallied 259 all-time wins from 1923-46. He accumulated 154 Big Ten victories. Matta has 211 wins as a Buckeye over eight seasons with 93 wins in Big Ten regular-season play. His winning percentage of 77.8 overall and 71.8 in conference play are tops among the 13 head coaches in Ohio State history.

NCAA Stats Update (as of 2/6/12)
Ohio State rates among the Top 10 in several NCAA statistical categories after 24 games. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in scoring margin (+20.3 ppg.), No. 2 in turnover margin (+5.6), No. 7 in scoring defense (56.6 ppg) and No. 10 in assist/turnover ratio (+1.4). The Buckeyes have the second longest home win streak in the country at 39. Kentucky (49) leads the nation.

Ohio State at No. 3 in AP Poll
Ohio State is No. 3 in the Associated Press poll released Feb. 6. The Buckeyes are 34-6 all-time as the No. 3-ranked team in the AP poll and 36-30 when both teams are ranked in the Top 15 after the win vs. No. 7 Indiana. In the most recent poll seven Buckeyes' opponents are among the Top 25.

Buford 17th to Reach 1,500 Career Pts.
With 23 points against VMI Nov. 23, senior William Buford surpassed 1,500 career points to become the 17th Buckeye in history to reach that mark. Over 130 career games, Buford has averaged 13.8 points for a total of 1,795. He also became the 23rd player all-time to reach both 1,000 points and the 500-rebound mark (588) with five boards vs. Duke Nov. 29. Jared Sullinger is the latest (24th all-time) on the 1,000/500 chart after scoring 24 points to reach 1,000 points at Wisconsin Feb. 4. He has 1,018 career points and 574 career rebounds.

Sullinger Moving up Career Double-Double Charts
Sophomore Jared Sullinger has recorded at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in 10 games this season for a career total of 28. He tied the Ohio State freshman record with 18 double-doubles a season ago. His career total is 11th all-time. Evan Turner was the most recent Buckeye to reach 20 or more career double-doubles with 27 from 2008-10. Through 24 games, Sullinger is averaging 17.4 points and 9.0 rebounds a game. He tallied 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds a game as a freshman.

Noting the Purdue Game (Feb. 7)
• The win vs. Purdue was the 39th-consecutive victory at home for Ohio State dating back to the game vs. Michigan on Feb. 27, 2010. The streak is the second-longest in the country behind Kentucky.
• The 39-consecutive home game win streak is the second-longest in Ohio State history. The Buckeyes won 50 in a row from 12/1/59 - 12/11/64.
• Ohio State has now recorded 20 wins in eight consecutive seasons, all under Coach Matta (seven in a row with 21 wins).
• The Buckeyes move to 77-83 all-time vs. Purdue and 52-28 in Columbus.
• As a ranked team, the Buckeyes are 23-4 vs. the Boilermakers.
• Ohio State moves to 733-664 overall in the Big Ten, including a 68-18 record at Value City Arena.
• Ohio State moved to 158-23 (.871) all-time at Value City Arena, including a 56-1 mark in its last 57 home games.
• They are 42-7 in their last 49 Big Ten matchups, dating back to 3/8/09.
• Ohio State has won 10 of its last 11 Big Ten homes games by 10 or more points.
• As a ranked team, Ohio State is 416-111 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 295-62.
• As the Associated Press No. 3 team, Ohio State is 34-6 overall.
• The 87 points tied a season high for points in a Big Ten game (87 vs. Northwestern, 12/28/11).
• Four players scored in double figures for Ohio State. So far this season, seven Buckeyes have scored in doubles figures a total of 79 times.
• In their last 77 games, the Buckeyes are 70-7.
• This is the 286th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
• The starting lineup of Buford, Craft, Smith, Jr., Sullinger and Thomas is 19-2 this season.
• The Buckeyes have now amassed 142 assists in the Big Ten while only allowing 99 from their opponents.
• Ohio State began the game vs. Purdue on a 7-0 run.
• With the team's 21st win, Thad Matta has now reached 20 wins in all 12 years he has been a head coach.
• The win vs. Purdue was Coach Matta's 211th win at Ohio State and his 107th Big Ten victory since beginning his Ohio State career.
• Matta's career record moves to 313-91 overall and 211-60 at Ohio State.
• With the win, Matta moves to 111-43 in the Big Ten during his career.
• Matta now has a 12-6 record record vs. Purdue.
• Matta's .778 winning percentage at Ohio State is the best among Big Ten coaches since Matta became the Buckeyes' head coach in 2004.
• Matta's .714 conference winning percentage is best of any Big Ten coach in history, narrowing edging Bo Rein (.713) and Bog Knight (.700)
• Ohio State is 36-16 in February under Coach Matta.
• The Scarlet and Gray are 129-19 when grabbing more rebounds than the opponent, including 18-2 this season (OSU outrebounded Purdue, 32-23).
• When shooting a better percentage than the opponent, Ohio State moves to 188-19 under Matta, including 21-1 this season.
• When shooting 50 percent or better from the field, Ohio State is 9-0 this season and 103-7 under Matta.
• Ohio State is 196-5 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play, including 21-0 this year.
• The Buckeyes are 18-2 this season and 179-47 under Matta when limiting themselves to 15 or fewer turnovers. Ohio State had seven turnovers vs. the Boilermakers.
• Ohio State is 17-2 this season and 145-13 when scoring 70 or more points in a game under Matta. The Buckeyes had 87 points in the win vs. Purdue.
• The start was William Buford's 122nd donning the Scarlet and Gray, one behind Ken Johnson (123) for fourth place in career games started at Ohio State.
• Buford has been a part of 106 wins at Ohio State, passing Jamar Butler and Matt Terwilliger for sixth all-time.
• Buford is just the fourth Buckeye in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Buford's current totals are 1,795/588/332.
• Buford scored a career high 29 points for the Buckeyes (28 vs. Northwestern on 12/2811), improving his career total to 1,795, passing Jim Jackson (1,785) fox sixth all-time in Ohio State career scoring. He is 84 behind Michael Redd (1,879) for fifth.
• The 10 made field goals tied a career high (5X, last vs. VMI, 11/23/11).
• Buford has now scored 935 points in the Big Ten. He is currently the highest active scorer in the Big Ten.
• Buford had seven rebounds to push his career total to 588. He is one of 17 former Buckeyes in the prestigious 1,500 point and 500 rebound club.
• Buford has scored in double figures 20 times this season and 98 times in his career, including 60 games with at least 15 points.
• Buford became the fifth player in Ohio State history to join the 400 (made field goals) and 4,000 (minutes played) Club. After the Purdue game, Buford has now tallied 676 made field goals and 4,198 minutes played in 128 career games (J. Diebler, D. Lighty, J. Butler and H. Williams are the other Buckeyes to achieve this feat).
• Buford had two assists in the game for a career total of 332.
Deshaun Thomas finished with 13 points. It is the 32nd time in his career he has scored in double figures and 21st time this season.
• Thomas has scored in double figures in 21 of his last 24 games played. The 21 times this season are a team high.
• Thomas also chipped in five rebounds for the Buckeyes.
Jared Sullinger had 18 points for the Buckeyes. It is the 21st time this season and 55th time in his career he has scored in double figures.
• With 18 points, Sullinger added to 1,000 point club total (1,018). He is one of seven total players in Ohio State history to score at 1,000 or more points in two years.
Aaron Craft had two assists to push his season total to 114 and his career total to 291.
• Craft is now nine assists away from reaching 300 for his career.
• Craft scored 13 points, the 10th time he scored in double figures this year.

Buckeyes Set Record for Home Wins
Ohio State finished 20-0 at home after its win vs. Wisconsin March 6, 2011. The win total set the school record for home wins and a Value City Arena record with a 19-0 record. The 2006-07 squad previously set the VCA record with 18 wins in a season. The Buckeyes played one game last year at St. John Arena. Ohio State currently is on a 39-game home win streak, tied for the second-longest home win streak in school history. The Buckeyes again have 20 scheduled home games in 2011-12 with 19 played at VCA and one at Nationwide Arena (Dec. 22 vs. Miami (Ohio)). The game at Nationwide satisfied an NCAA requirement for the host school of the NCAA Second and Third Rounds (March 16, 18, 2012) to play at least one game at the NCAA tournament site.

400 And 4,000 Club
Senior William Buford has scored 676 career field goals and logged 4,198 career minutes in 130 games. He joined a small group of former Buckeyes with more than 400 field goals and 4,000 minutes played. David Lighty was added to an exclusive club following the game vs. Illinois Jan. 22, 2011. The former Buckeye reached 4,000 minutes played with more than 400 field goals in the Illinois win in Champaign. Lighty made 516 career field goals and logged 4,582 career minutes during his 157-game career. Lighty's classmate Jon Diebler had 473 made baskets (374 of which are 3s) while playing a total of 4,687 minutes in 144 games. He reached 400/4,000 with a triple and 36 minutes vs. Iowa Jan. 19.
Herb Williams and Jamar Butler also logged 4,000+ minutes at Ohio State. Williams made 834 career field goals over 114 games and 4,216 minutes. Butler connected on 420 FGs (242 3FGs) over 139 games and 4,213 minutes played.

Buford Joins Turner, Jackson, Lighty
Evan Turner (1,517 pts., 682 rebs., 414 asts.) became just the second player in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists with eight helpers vs. Northwestern Jan. 19, 2010. Jim Jackson was the only other Buckeye to do so with 1,785 career points, 552 career rebounds and 372 career assists from 1990-92. David Lighty joined the duo last season. He finished with 1,458 points, 577 rebounds and 374 assists to his credit. Only 22 players in Ohio State history have scored more than 1,000 points and collected 500+ rebounds. Lighty was added to the list with five rebounds vs. Iowa Jan. 19. William Buford currently has 1,795 points, 588 rebounds and 332 assists. He handed out four assists vs. Miami (Ohio) to join the quartet.

Double Digit 3s
Ohio State has made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 79 times since the shot was instituted for the 1986-87 season. The Buckeyes are 68-11 in those games after knocking down 10-of-20 treys vs. Northwestern Dec. 28. Opponents have made double-digit 3s 93 times and are 37-56 in those games vs. the Buckeyes. Matta's Ohio State teams are 53-9 when making 10 or more 3s in a game. Opponents are 9-30 against Matta-coached teams when making 10 or more treys.

Jent Returns to Ohio State Sideline
Chris Jent left the professional ranks to return to his alma mater as an assistant basketball coach. Jent, who played and coached at the NBA level, played for the Buckeyes from 1988-92 and coached most recently for the Cleveland Cavaliers. As an Ohio State player, he helped the Buckeyes to back-to-back Big Ten titles and three-consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament. He spent 10 seasons in the professional ranks overseas, in the CBA and NBA. He was an assistant and interim head coach with the Orlando Magic before most recently coaching with the Cavaliers.

Buford Working on Record Season
William Buford is the lone senior on the Ohio State roster this season. In fact, he is just one of two upperclassmen and the only player with more than a year of experience in an Ohio State uniform. After transfer Evan Ravenel, who transferred to Ohio State from Boston College and sat out the 2010-11 campaign, there are 11 freshmen (5) and sophomores (6) on the Ohio State roster. Buford has 1,795 career points over 130 career games (13.8 ppg.). Dennis Hopson (1984-87) is the all-time leading scorer in Ohio State history with 2,096 points over 125 career games played (16.8 ppg.). Buford is currently No. 7 spot on the Ohio State all-time scoring list.

Paulus Leaves Navy to Work for Matta
Greg Paulus, who served as an assistant coach at Navy during the 2010-11 season, joined the Buckeyes last May to handle the program's video needs. He replaced Kevin Kuwik, who left Thad Matta's staff to become an assistant coach at Dayton. Paulus played basketball at Duke from 2006-09 and then a year of football at Syracuse.

Titles Mounting for Matta, Buckeyes
Thad Matta's teams have won four Big Ten regular-season titles and three league tournament crowns during his seven-year tenure at Ohio State. Ohio State has won each of the last two regular-season and tournament titles. The Buckeyes have not posted three-consecutive Big Ten Conference crowns since winning a conference record five-consecutive titles from 1960-64 under the direction of head coach Fred Taylor. Taylor led Ohio State to seven league championships from 1959-76. Harold G. Olson win five Big Ten titles as coach between 1923-46.

Scott, Williams Add to Ohio State's 17-Player McDonald's List
Ohio State incoming freshmen Shannon Scott and Amir Williams were selected Feb. 10, 2011 to represent the East (Scott) and West (Williams) teams in the 2011 McDonald's All-America game. The game was played March 30 at the United Center in Chicago. Scott led both teams with five steals. The East won the game 111-96. Scott also had four points, two rebounds and two assists over 12 minutes. Williams had six points, three rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes for the West squad. The Buckeyes will have five All-America game participants on their roster in 2011-12 in Jared Sullinger (2010), Deshaun Thomas (2010), William Buford (2008), Scott and Williams. Four McDonald's All-Americans were a part of Ohio State's 2006-07 squad that finished 35-4 overall, 15-1 in Big Ten Conference play, won the league regular-season title outright and played for the NCAA national title vs. Florida in April of 2007. Ivan Harris (2003), Greg Oden (2006), Mike Conley Jr. (2006) and Daequan Cook (2006), all former McDonald's All-Americans, played for the Buckeyes in 2006-07. Previously, B.J. Mullens (2008), Kosta Koufos (2007), Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992) and Greg Simpson (1992) all played for Ohio State after playing in the McDonald's All-America game before joining the Ohio State program, a total of 17 all-time.

Five Mr. Basketball Honorees on Ohio State Roster
Ohio State's contains four players who have combined to win five Mr. Basketball awards in their respective home states. Jared Sullinger leads the team with two Mr. Ohio Basketball accolades, achieving the distinction both in 2009 and 2010, while playing at Northland High School. Deshaun Thomas, a native Fort Wayne, Ind., and Bishop Luers High School, captured Mr. Indiana Basketball in 2010. Senior William Buford claimed 2008 Mr. Ohio Basketball with his performance at now-closed Libbey High School in Toledo. Freshman Shannon Scott brings the recognition of being named 2011 Mr. Georgia Basketball to Columbus after starring at Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga. Freshman Amir Williams finished third in the 2011 Mr. Michigan Basketball voting.