Men's Basketball

Golden Gophers, Buckeyes set for 6 p.m. tip Saturday in Columbus

LaQuinton Ross
LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points against the Golden Gophers on January 16th, 2014.

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Date: Feb. 22, 2014
No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes (21-6, 8-6) vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-10, 6-8)
Site: Value CIty Arena (18,809)
Game Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Television: BTN
Talent: Eric Collins (play-by-play)
Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 119/XM 192
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460 Radio
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Craft Named Academic All-American for 3rd Time, Just 4th in B1G to do so
For the third-consecutive year, Aaron Craft has been named a NCAA Division-I First Team Academic All-American. He was named Capital One Academic All-District IV Jan. 30. Craft is a three-time Capital One Academic All-American, winning as a sophomore, junior and senior. In 2013 and again this year, he was named the Academic All-America of the year in men's basketball. Craft is Ohio State's only three-time Academic All-American in men's basketball. There have been just three previous Big Ten student-athletes in men's basketball to be named a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. Only two other Division-I men's basketball student-athletes have eanred two Academic All-America of the year honors: Alec Kessler of Georgia and Matt Bonner of Florida.

Big Ten Three-Time Academic All-Americans
Men's Basketball
Steve Grote, MICH, 1975-76-77
Shon Morris, NU, 1986-87-88
Chris Hill, MSU, 2004-05-06
Aaron Craft, OSU, 2012-13-14

Bob Cousy Award Names Craft a Finalist
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Feb. 17 the 23 watch list finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Senior Aaron Craft made the list of 23. Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, the annual honor recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. The original watch list of 80 candidates was narrowed down to the list of 23 by a nationally based committee. Beginning Tuesday February 18th through Monday March 10th, fans from around the country will have the chance to vote for the top point guard in college basketball - fans can vote at www.cousyaward.com.

Craft Among Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Aaron Craft was named a finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS award Feb. 12. Fans have a vote in selecting the 2014 Senior CLASS Award winner in men's basketball at http://go.osu.edu/Vote4AC. Thirty men's basketball student-athletes were named candidates at the start of the season. 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. Media, coaches and fans will select the winner, who will be announced at the 2014 Final Four. Craft, a two-time first team academic All-American, is the third Buckeye in the last four years to make the initial list of candidates. David Lighty (2011) and William Buford (2012) each advanced to make the final list of 10 finalists.

NABC Names Craft to 2014 Good Works Team
Aaron Craft was named one of five men's basketball student-athletes in NCAA Division I to the 2014 AllState Good Works Team. The group, along with 15 others from Division I and II in men's and women's basketball, will convene at the 2014 Final Four to be recognized for their career community service efforts. The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Allstate Insurance Company announced the 202 nominees for the 2014 AllState NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® Dec. 3. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service. In its second year, the AllState NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® honor players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport's finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. The student-athletes nominated for this prestigious award embody the true spirit of teamwork and giving back.  

Craft Earns 3rd Career B1G POW, 2nd of 2014
Aaron Craft averaged 12.0 points while recording 10 assists and nine steals in a pair of wins  Feb. 4 and Feb. 8. The Buckeyes downed No. 17 Iowa on the road and then dispatched Purdue at home. Craft scored 17 points while handing out six assists and recording six steals at Iowa, the best single-game numbers in the Big Ten since 2001. Craft moved to No. 7 all-time in assists (653) in Big Ten history while also taking over the No. 1 spot in career steals (317) since the NCAA officially recognized steals in 1985-86. Craft has earned three career Big Ten POW honors and two this season.

Vote Thad Matta
After the first round of the third annual Coaches' Charity Challenge, head coach Thad Matta is leading all coaches with 35 percent of votes and a 17-point percentage lead over Matt Painter of Purdue. With 48 coaches participating at the start, the field is now set at 24 and votes have been reset to zero. For the next week, fans can vote once a day at VoteCoachMatta.com to help Matta advance to the round of 16.  The Coaches' Charity Challenge is a fan-vote contest that will run for 10 weeks in a tournament-style format. Contributions from the contest have exceeded 300,000. Matta won the challenge in 2012 and 2013 earning 100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Central Ohio. He is once again supporting RMHC.        

The Minnesota Series
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Minnesota 80-56. The Buckeyes are 49-18 vs. the Golden Gophers in Columbus. When ranked among the Associated Press Top 25, Ohio State has a record of 26-4 vs. Minnesota. Ohio State has won the last six games at home in the series. In 10  years as head coach of the Buckeyes Thad Matta is 10-6 vs. the Golden Gophers. Junior LaQuinton Ross leads the Buckeyes with 16.0 points per game in the Minnesota series. His 4.0 rebounds a contest is tied with Amir Williams for the team lead vs. the Gophers.     

A Look at the Gophers
Minnesota enters the game at Ohio State with losses in five of the last seven games, including a home loss to Illinois Wednesday (62-49). The Golden Gophers are 17-10 overall and 6-8 in league play. A trio of Minnesota starters averaged 10+ points this season. Andre Hollins (14.9 ppg.), DeAndre Mathieu (11.6 ppg.) and Austin Hollins (11.2 ppg.) pace the Golden Gopers. Elliott Eliason is the top rebounder with 7.4 boards a game.      

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 763-678 against current league members. Thad Matta, in 14 seasons as a head coach, owns an overall record of 141-58 vs. league members, including a mark of 138-56 while coaching the Buckeyes.  

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


 

 

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