Men's Basketball

Buckeyes Travel to Chicago For Big Ten Tournament

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

March 6, 2007

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Date: March 9, 2007
Opp: Michigan (20-11) or Minnesota (9-21)
Site: United Center (21,711)
Game Time: Noon ET
Television: ESPN
Local TV: None
TV Talent: Dave O'Brien (P-by-P), Steve Lavin (Expert Analysis), Erin Andrews (Sideline)
Radio: OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

MATTA REPEATS AS BIG TEN COACH OF THE YEAR
Ohio State returned just one starter and four letterwinners from its 2006 Big Ten title team but has put together a record-breaking campaign in 2007 with a school-record tying 27 victories, including a 15-1 record in league play. After consecutive outright league titles, the Big Ten coaches and media selected Thad Matta as the league's coach of the year in 2006-07, his second in as many seasons. Matta now has four coach-of-the-year honors to his credit in three NCAA Division I conferences. He also has five league titles in his seven years as a head coach. Ohio State coaches have won the award seven times. Matta joins Randy Ayers as back-to-back honorees. Ayers did so in 1990 and 1991. Matta's three-year record of 73-21 (.777) gives him the most wins of the 13 head coaches in program history over the first three years of their tenures. His three-year winning percentage is second only to legendary mentor Fred Taylor's .808 win percentage over his first three seasons (63-15 from 1959-62).

BUCKEYES WELL REPRESENTED ON COACHES, MEDIA ALL-LEAGUE TEAMS
Big Ten coaches and media voted several Buckeyes to the all-league teams in 2006-07. The coaches chose freshman Greg Oden as the conference Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He landed a spot on the First Team All-Big Ten and All-Defensive teams. Classmate Daequan Cook was voted the Sixth Man of the Year. Another OSU rookie, Mike Conley Jr., joined Oden on the All-Freshman Team as well as earning a spot on the Second Team All-Big Ten squad. Junior Jamar Butler and senior Ron Lewis were honorable mention All-Big Ten selections as well. The league media picked Oden and Conley on the first team with Butler, Cook and Lewis earning spots on the honorable mention squad. Oden was the media's selection for Freshman of the Year. He also was the Ohio State's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

OHIO STATE REPEATS ALL-BIG TEN HONORS AT CENTER
A season ago senior center Terence Dials earned the 2006 Big Ten's Player of the Year award and earned First Team All-Big Ten accolades. With Greg Oden earning first team honors this season, Ohio State has repeat first teamers in the middle for the first time since 1970 (Dave Sorenson) and 1971 (Luke Witte). Jerry Lucas was a first team center in each of his three seasons from 1960-62. Oden is Ohio State's fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Year joining Jim Jackson (1990), Greg Simpson (1993) and Michael Redd (1998). He is the Buckeyes' second Defensive Player of the Year and third award winner. Ken Johnson won the honor in 2000 and 2001. Oden's high school teammate at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, Mike Conley Jr., is the first Ohio State point guard to earn first team honors since Scoonie Penn was a back-to-back selection in 1999 and 2000.

BUCKEYES OPEN BIG TEN TOURNAMENT AS NO. 1 SEED AGAIN IN 2007
Thad Matta's Buckeyes earned the No. 1 seed in the annual Big Ten tournament for the second-consecutive season after securing the outright league title with the 49-48 victory Feb. 25 in Columbus vs. then-No. 1 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes closed out the regular season with a 65-61 win at Michigan March 3. The Buckeyes open the league tournament at noon (ET) Friday at the United Center in Chicago against the winner of the Michigan (No. 8 seed) and Minnesota (No. 9) game Thursday.

OSU BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Buckeyes are 6-6 all-time in Big Ten Tournament play since the event began in 1998. The Buckeyes will be the No. 1 seed in 2007.

Year (seed)W/LOpp. (seed)Score
1998 (11)LIndiana (6)71-78
2000 (1)LPenn State (9)66-71
2003 (8)WIowa (9)66-64
 WWisconsin (1)58-50
 WMich. St. (5)55-54
 LIllinois (2)59-72
2004 (9)LIndiana (8)69-83
2005 (6)WPenn State (11)72-69
 LWisconsin (3)49-60
2006 (1)WPenn State (8)63-56
 WIndiana (5)52-51
 LIowa (2)60-67
2007 (1) Michigan (8)/Minnesota (9)

MATTA GRABS 5TH LEAGUE TITLE IN THIRD DIVISION I CONFERENCE
Head coach Thad Matta guided the Buckeyes to the outright 2006 and 2007 Big Ten Conference regular-season titles, clinching the latter with a 49-48 home victory over then No. 1 Wisconsin Feb. 25 at Value City Arena. The 2007 championship gives Matta five total regular-season league titles in three Division I conferences. Matta won both the regular-season and conference tournament titles in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 2001 while coaching his lone season at Butler, his alma mater. He then won both the regular-season and tournament Atlantic 10 titles in his first year at Xavier in 2002. The Musketeers won the regular-season title again in 2003 and the tournament championship in 2004. Matta was the coach of the year in both the MCC (2001) and A-10 (2002). He was tabbed the Big Ten's coach of the year in 2006 and again in 2007, his fourth honor in his seven years as a collegiate head coach.

Thad Matta Coaching Resumé

YearSchool League
Title
P'season
Title
Coach
of Yr.
Conf.
2001ButlerXXXMCC
2002XavierXXXA-10
2003XavierX----A-10
2004Xavier--X--A-10
2005Ohio St.------Big Ten
2006Ohio St.X--XBig Ten
2007Ohio St.X XBig Ten

BUCKEYES ENTER POSTSEASON PLAY ON 14-GAME WIN STREAK
Ohio State surged down the stretch in Big Ten Conference play, winning 13-consecutive league games and 14 in a row overall. Freshman Greg Oden averaged 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds over the final 10 games of the regular season. He connected on 56 percent of his field goals (57-101), blocked 33 shots and grabbed 83 rebounds. Classmate Mike Conley Jr. handed out 58 assists and was the second-leading scorer with 11.1 points per game down the stretch. Over the win streak, Oden is averaging a team best 16.3 ppg. and 9.4 rebounds while making 63 percent of his field goal attempts (.623). Guard Mike Conley Jr. is second offensivley over the last 14 games with 11.4 points a game while handing out 86 assists (6.0 apg.).

BUCKEYES LOCK DOWN 17th TITLE
Ohio State secured the outright 2007 regular season Big Ten title with the win vs. Wisconsin in the home finale Feb. 25. The Buckeyes have won 17 league championships in school history. The 2007 championship is the second in as many years under head coach Thad Matta. Ohio State has won 12 outright league titles and five shared championships.

ODEN AMONG WOODEN AWARD FINALISTS
Freshman center Greg Oden will be on the ballot of 22 student-athletes in the running for the 2007 Wooden Award. Only once before has a freshman been included on the final ballot. Oden and Kevin Durant of Texas are the only two first-year collegiate players in the running this year. The winner will be announced April 9 in Los Angeles.

ODEN, CONLEY JR. PICKED FOR POSTSEASON HONORS
Freshmen Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. have been selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches to the All-District 10 team with Oden picked for the first team and Conley for the second team. Oden leads the Buckeyes in scoring and rebounding while Conley is tops in assists in steals. Both players lead the Big Ten Conference in several statistical categories. Oden also is a finalist for the United States Basketball Writers' Association's Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to the nation's player of the year. Oden, along with fellow freshman Kevin Durant of Texas, sophomore Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, junior Joakim Noah of Florida and Wisconsin senior Alando Tucker make up the finalists for that award.

BUCKEYES REACH NO. 1 IN BOTH POLLS FOLLOWING WISCONSIN WIN
Voters in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll picked Ohio State for the No. 1 spot in its weekly poll for the first time since 1962 Feb. 25. Ohio State last played a game as the AP No. 1 team March 24, 1962 in the NCAA title game that year. Ohio State is 50-3 all-time when ranked No. 1 in the AP poll after first reaching the top spot before a Dec. 17, 1960 win (93-82) at Wichita State. Ohio State has been rated No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll in four games, all this season, with a 3-1 record in those outings. Overall, Ohio State is 52-4 when playing in games as the No. 1-rated team nationally.

ODEN EARNS SECOND LEAGUE HONOR
Greg Oden shared Big Ten Player of the Week honors with Drew Neitzel of Michigan State after helping the Buckeyes to a pair of home wins as Ohio State clinched the outright Big Ten title for the second-consecutive year Feb. 25 at home vs. then-No. 1 Wisconsin (49-48). Oden registered 11 points while adding five rebounds vs. the Badgers. He began the week by tallying his ninth double-double of the season with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Penn State. For the week, he averaged 14 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while blocking seven shots.

SENIORS RECOGNIZED FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS
The Ohio State men's basketball program recognized four seniors prior to the start of the game vs. the Badgers, the final home contest of the season, Feb. 25. Ivan Harris, a four-year letterwinner from Springfield, Ohio, Ron Lewis, a Columbus native with a three-year tenure on the Buckeyes' roster and managers Ty Shepfer and Alan Stuker all made their final appearance at Value City Arena on the Ohio State bench.

HARRIS PART OF RECORDS BOOK
Ivan Harris will leave Ohio State as one of its all-time best 3-point shooters. With 120 made 3-pointers over his 118-game career, Harris ranks No. 10 in history in 3-pointers made as a Buckeye. His .396 long-range shooting percentage (120-303) rates No. 4 all-time. During his career, Harris has been a part of 87 Ohio State victories, which includes 57 wins at Value City Arena.

LEWIS FINISHES AT OHIO STATE
Ron Lewis started elsewhere but finished at home. The Columbus Brookhaven alum started his career at Bowling Green State University but has spent the last three years at Ohio State where he has been a mainstay in the lineup the last two years after sitting out the 2004-05 season. Lewis has scored 1,576 career points in 122 games, 60 with the Falcons and 62 with the Buckeyes. His ability to score in a variety of ways has helped the Buckeyes to 53 victories the last two years to go along with the 2006 and 2007 outright Big Ten titles and a home record of 34-1 at Value City Arena.

OHIO STATE VS. NO. 1 AND AS NO. 1
Ohio State is no stranger when it comes to facing the top-rated team in the country. The Buckeyes are 8-9 all-time when taking on the nation's best, which includes wins in six of the last seven opportunities vs. No. 1. The last time an Ohio State team took on the No. 1 team in the land was in the home finale this year against Wisconsin. The then No. 2-rated Buckeyes (AP) prevailed 49-48. Ohio State is 52-4 all-time with a 50-3 record as the AP No. 1 team and has a 3-1 record as the coaches' poll leader.

A LOOK AT THE MINNESOTA SERIES
The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers met just once during the regular season in Minneapolis. Ohio State won that game 85-67 behind freshman Greg Oden's 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Junior Othello Hunter contributed 15 points on 5 of 6 shooting in his only series appearance to date. Overall, Ohio State is 72-52 in the all-time series. The teams have never met on a neutral court.

A LOOK AT THE MICHIGAN SERIES
Ohio State won both regular-season meetings with the Wolverines this season, including the season finale March 3 in Ann Arbor (65-61). The Buckeyes are on a five-game winning streak in the series and lead 81-69 overall. Michigan leads 1-0 on neutral court competition in the only other time the teams have met three times in a single season. The 1992 Wolverines lost both regular season contests to the Buckeyes but prevailed in the NCAA tournament 75-71 in overtime of the regional finals that year. Ohio State is 26-4 overall in the series when ranked nationally in the Associated Press poll. This season, freshman Mike Conley Jr. was the leading scorer in the two games played vs. the Wolverines. He established a career high with 23 points in the Columbus matchup. Conley's 34 points and 10 assists paced the Buckeyes in the two wins this season. He connected on 64 percent (14-22) of his field goals in 64 minutes of court time. Among Ohio State veteran players, Ron Lewis is the leading scorer with an average of 11.8 points a game in six career meetings with the Wolverines. Freshman Greg Oden averaged 16.5 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds in two games.

BIG TEN WIN STREAK LONGEST SINCE 1961 FOR BUCKEYES
The recent win over Michigan in the season finale was the 13th-consecutive victory in Big Ten play for the Buckeyes. The league win streak is the longest since 1961. The win vs. Michigan gives the Buckeyes the second-longest league win streak in school history behind the 27-game wins streak over the 1960-62 seasons. Ohio State was 14-0 in conference play in 1961 to make the longest single season league win streak. That team won the Big Ten title and advanced to the NCAA title game. The Buckeyes have won at least 10-consecutive regular-season league games six times in history.

Yr.Strk.Big Ten Rcd.OverallNCAA
19501012-1 (1st)22-4Regs.
19601213-1 (1st)25-3Champs
19611414-0 (1st)27-1Title gm.
20071315-1 (1st)27-3 
19621213-1 (1st)26-2Title gm.
19711013-1 (1st)20-6Regs.

Note: OSU record for consecutive Big Ten wins is 27 over the 1960-62 conference seasons: 1960 (1), 1961 (14), 1962 (12).

LEAGUE WINS TOTAL MOST SINCE '92
The 15 Big Ten Conference wins this season is the most since the 1991 and 1992 Ohio State teams won 15 in an 18-game league schedule. The Big Ten schedule has been 16 games since 1998. The 1991 and 1992 teams were the last Buckeye squads to post back-to-back conference championships. The 1991 team tied for the league crown and the 1992 squad won it outright.

OHIO STATE REMAINS NO. 1 IN BOTH POLLS, 1ST IN AP SINCE 1962
Ohio State ended the 2006 season ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 13 in the last ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. This year, after losing four senior starters from 2005-06, the Buckeyes currently are ranked No. 1 in both the coaches' poll and in the AP Top 25. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 earlier this season in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll when playing at North Carolina Nov. 29 and then again Feb. 19. The current No. 1 ranking in the AP poll is the highest since Ohio State was No. 1 at the end of the 1962 season. The Buckeyes were No. 1 for 53-consecutive games, the last being a loss to No. 2 Cincinnati in the 1962 title game March 24 (71-59).

BUCKEYES IN THE TOP 25
Ohio State is 47-39 all-time when playing in a game in which both teams are ranked. The Buckeyes are 222-54 (.804) when playing with an AP Top 10 ranking and 321-94 (.773) when playing with an AP Top 25 rating. Ohio State has been ranked among the AP's Top 10 in each of the last 37 games dating back to March 1, 2006 (No. 9 at Northwestern). The Buckeyes are 32-5 during that stretch with losses to No. 10 Iowa (76-70, 3/12/06), vs. No. 23 Georgetown (70-52, 3/19/06), at No. 3 UNC (98-89, 11/29/06), at No. 5 Florida (86-60, 12/23/06) and at No. 3 Wisconsin (72-69, 1/9/07). Ohio State has been a Top 25 squad for the last 55 games (46-9) since Dec. 23, 2005 as the No. 24 team in a win vs. Tennessee St. (75-65).

BUCKEYES TOUGH TO BEAT AT HOME UNDER MATTA
Thad Matta has directed the Buckeyes to a 50-3 record in Columbus in three seasons as head coach of the Buckeyes. He is 48-3 overall at Value City Arena, which includes a 27-0 record vs. non-conference foes. Ohio State defeated Chattanooga in November of 2005 at St. John Arena on the OSU campus and Youngstown State at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus earlier this season. The 34-1 mark over the last two seasons at VCA is the best two-year record in the facility since Ohio State began play in 1998-99. The Buckeyes set the building record with 18 victories Feb. 25 against then No. 1 Wisconsin.

Matta at Value City Arena...

Current win streak25
vs. the Big Ten21-3
vs. non-conference27-0
in 2004-0514-2 (6-2 in Big Ten)
in 2005-0616-1 (7-1 in Big Ten)
in 2006-0718-0 (7-0 in Big Ten)
as OSU head coach48-3
Total in Columbus50-3*

* Includes 1 win each at St. John and Nationwide arenas in Columbus.

BUTLER, CONLEY 1ST TANDEM WITH 100+ ASSISTS SINCE 1996-97
Jamar Butler has recorded 114 assists to date this season after dishing out six helpers in the win at Michigan March 3 in the regular season finale. Freshman Mike Conley Jr. is the team and Big Ten leader with 191 assists on the year. The last time Ohio State had two players with 100+ assists in a season was the 1996-97 season when Damon Stringer (120) and Shaun Stonerook (101) accomplished the feat.

CONLEY EARNS BIG TEN HONOR
Mike Conley Jr., the Big Ten's leader in assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio, earned co-Big Ten player of the week honors (Feb. 12) after he led Ohio State to a pair of home wins (Feb. 6, 10) to remain unbeaten at home (18-0) and at the top in Big Ten Conference play with a 14-1 record. Conley, a freshman point guard from Indianapolis, averaged 18.5 points and five assists while connecting on 61 percent of his shots from the field, 75 percent of his 3-point attempts and 86 percent of his foul shots. He scored a career-high 23 points in the win over Michigan (Feb. 6) while making 9-of-12 shots from the field and handing out six assists with just one turnover. He shared the award with Wisconsin senior forward Alando Tucker.

BUCKEYES REACH 10 WINS IN LEAGUE PLAY FOR 25TH TIME
Ohio State has won 10 or more games in Big Ten Conference play 25 times in history. The Buckeyes finished 15-1 vs. league competition in 2007. Ohio State, 12-4 in 2006, has posted back-to-back double-digit wins in conference play for the first time since 1990-92 when Ohio State reached at least 10 conference wins over three-consecutive seasons. The win total this season is the most in a 16-game league schedule and the most since a 14-0 record in a 14-game Big Ten schedule in 1961.

MATTA REACHES 7TH 20-WIN SEASON AS HEAD COACH, SETS CAREER HIGH
Thad Matta does not know what it's like to end a season with fewer than 20 wins during his head coaching career. The third-year Ohio State coach came to the Buckeyes with a streak of four 20+ win seasons at Butler (24 wins in 2001) and Xavier (26 in all three years from 2002-04). With 20 victories in 2004-05, 26 a season ago and 27 this year at Ohio State, Matta is one of two coaches nationally to record 20 or more wins in the first seven seasons of his coaching career. Mark Few of Gonzaga is the other with 20+ in all eight years with the Bulldogs (21-10 to date in 2006-07). Matta has the Buckeyes off to a 27-3 record this season following the win at Michigan March 3, which set his career high for wins in a season. Overall, Ohio State has enjoyed 18 20-win seasons. The first was a 22-4 campaign in 1950 under the direction of head coach William H.H. Dye. Legendary Ohio State coach Fred Taylor recorded six 20-win campaigns. Eldon Miller directed four while Gary Williams and Randy Ayers each coached two teams to 20 or more wins in a season. Matta became the only Ohio State coach to guide his first three Buckeye teams to 20 or more victories. Bruce Weber (Illinois) is the only other current Big Ten head coach to reach 20+ wins in the first three seasons in the conference. Weber was 26-7 in 2003-04, 37-2 in 2004-05 and 26-7 in 2005-06.

ODEN CLAIMS FIRST OF TWO BIG TEN WEEKLY HONORS
Greg Oden, a freshman center, averaged a double-double in a pair of wins for the then-fifth-ranked Buckeyes to earn the Big Ten's Player of the Week honor, which he shared with Wisconsin's Alando Tucker Jan. 29. Oden's 18 points per game and 11.5 rebound average led Ohio State to victories at Northwestern and at home against Michigan State. He connected on 59 percent of his field goals (10-17) and 67 percent of his foul shots (16-24). Oden continues to shoot with his off hand, his left, from the foul line as his natural shooting right wrist heals from offseason surgery.

Against Northwestern, Oden recorded a career-high 17 rebounds. Northwestern had 19 rebounds as a team. His 11-of-14 shooting from the foul line against Michigan State was instrumental in Ohio State's 66-64 victory over the Spartans. Oden earned the honor again Feb. 25, sharing it with Michigan State's Drew Neitzel.

CONLEY'S NUMBERS MOUNT DURING BIG TEN SEASON
Ohio State freshman Mike Conley Jr. has orchestrated 14-consecutive wins for the Buckeyes from his point guard position. In wins vs. Northwestern (1/17) and Iowa (1/20), Conley handed out 10 assists in each game, was credited with eight steals, became Ohio State's all-time leader in assists by a freshman (191), posted back-to-back games with 10 assists for the first time since 1988, averaged a double-double with 12.5 points and 10.0 assists, recorded a career high with 17 points (vs. Northwestern), shot 63 percent from the field (10-16) and played 66 minutes with just four turnovers. In 16 Big Ten games, Conley averaged 6.6 assists, 2.1 steals and a +3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio (105/31). Five of his six 10-assist games this season have come against Big Ten foes (Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State).

OSU FRESHMEN SETTING RECORDS
Ohio State freshmen are setting rookie records this season. Point guard Mike Conley Jr. has six games this season in which he has handed out 10 assists, which establishes an OSU record for double-digit assist games in a season. Conley's 10-assist games rate No. 2 in the freshman records book behind the 11 handed out by Damon Stringer against Central Connecticut State in 1995. In the single game steals category, Conley is tied for the top spot among freshmen all-time at OSU with five thefts three times this year. He also has six of the Top 7 games for a rookie with four or more steals. His 191 assists are a freshman record as are his 69 steals on the year. Greg Oden is No. 4 among OSU freshmen in scoring average (15.3 ppg.), No. 2 in field goal percentage (.614/132-215), No. 2 in rebounding (9.3 rpg.) and No. 1 in blocked shots (80). Daequan Cook is No. 1 in 3-point shooting pct. (.440/48-109) and No. 1 in 3-pointers made (48).

CONLEY, ODEN AMONG TOP 10 NATIONALLY
Freshman Mike Conley Jr. averages 6.4 assists a game for the Buckeyes this season. He leads the Big Ten with 191 assists and is No. 6 nationally. Conley's 69 steals leads all conference players. His steals average (2.3 spg.) is No. 25 nationally. Oden is No. 7 in blocks (80/3.5 bpg.), No. 14 in FG pct. (.614) and No. 26 in rebounds (9.3 rpg.).

CONLEY JR., BUTLER ON POINT
Ohio State's point guard tandem of Mike Conley Jr. and Jamar Butler rate Nos. 1 and 8, respectively, in assists and Nos. 1 and 2 in assist/turnover ratio among all Big Ten players. The pair has combined to hand out 305 assists while committing 111 turnovers (+2.7 a/t ratio). Conley's 191 assists this season set Ohio State's single season record for assists. He passed Curtis Wilson's 188 as a senior in 1988 for the record with four at Michigan March 3. Butler recorded 144 assists as a sophomore, good for the No. 9 spot all-time at OSU in single-season assists. With 332 to date, Butler took control of the No. 9 spot for career assists with six at Michigan March 3. Jim Jackson (1990-92) is up next at the No. 8 spot with 372.

FIVE BUCKEYES RECORD DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Five Ohio State players have recorded a double-double this season to date after freshman Mike Conley Jr. scored a then-career-high 17 points to go with 10 assists in a 73-41 win over Northwestern Jan. 17. Freshmen Daequan Cook and Greg Oden, junior Othello Hunter and senior Ron Lewis each have scored 10 or more points while grabbing at least 10 boards in a game already this year. The last time an Ohio State team had five different players record double doubles was in 1994-95 (Antonio Watson, Kevin Martin, Carlos Davis, Rickey Dudley and Doug Etzler). Ohio State is 515-246 (.677) in games when at least one Buckeye has a double-double. Oden is the latest to hit double digits in scoring (17) and rebounding (14) in a game. He did so vs. Penn State (2/21).

ODEN'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE IN DEBUT MATCHES WILLIAMS' EFFORT IN 1977
When Ohio State freshman Greg Oden took the court for the first time Dec. 2 little did he know he would be on his way to matching one of Ohio State's all-time great's career-opening efforts. With 14 points and 10 rebounds Oden became the first freshman to reach double digits in scoring and rebounding in his freshman debut since Ohio State Hall of Famer (HOF Class of 1999) Herb Williams did so in his first game as a Buckeye in 1977. Williams, who finished his career No. 2 in career scoring with 2,011 points, rebounding with 1,111 career boards and blocked shots with 328, scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 99-82 victory against California-Hayward Nov. 25, 1977. Williams went on to record 59 double-doubles for his career, second only to Jerry Lucas' 78 in 82 career games.

OHIO STATE TOPS BIG TEN IN SEVERAL AREAS
The Buckeyes put together a successful regular season with 27 wins in 30 outings. The effort also has the team leading the 11 Big Ten schools in several statistical areas. Ohio State leads league institutions in scoring (74.3 ppg.), field goal shooting percentage (.476), rebounding (35.8 rpg.), assists (15.83) and defensive rebounds (24.70). Ohio State is second in 3-pointers made (7.73 pg.), scoring margin (+13.6), blocked shots (5.83), assists (15.93), field goal pct. defense (.401) and assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.30 apg.).

YOUNG BUCKS LEAD BIG TEN
Mike Conley Jr. finds himself leading the Big Ten Conference in three statistical categories. He leads the league with 69 steals (2.3 spg.), has the best assist/turnover ratio (+3.03) and the highest assists per game average (6.37 apg.). Classmate Greg Oden is No. 1 in FG pct. (.614), rebounding (9.3 rpg.), blocked shots (3.48 bpg.), offensive rebounds (3.43 orpg.) and defensive rebounds (5.87 drpg.). Freshman Daequan Cook is No. 4 in 3-point shooting percentage (.440/48-109).

BUCKEYES DO WELL OUTSIDE THE LINE UNDER MATTA
Thad Matta's Buckeyes shoot the 3-point shot and shoot it well. In three seasons as the Ohio State head coach, the Buckeyes have made 10 or more 3-point shots in 28 games. The Buckeyes are 23-5 in those contests, which includes a 5-2 record this season. Ohio State had a streak of 17-consecutive wins with 10+ made 3s snapped at North Carolina (Nov. 29) earlier this season when Ohio State connected on 13 of 26 treys but fell to the Tar Heels 98-89 in Chapel Hill. All-time, the Buckeyes have made 10+ 3-pointers 45 times, with wins in 38 of those games (.844). Matta's teams have been involved in 62 percent of all games with 10 or more made 3s by the Buckeyes (28 of 45). Opponents have made 10+ treys 65 times with a record of 29-36 against OSU in those games.

HIGH PERCENTAGE SHOTS PAY OFF
The Buckeyes enjoy success from long range but the team still takes advantage of its opportunities down low as well. In the last three years under head coach Thad Matta the Buckeyes have made at least half their shots in 31 games, which includes 13 of 30 games this season. Ohio State is 28-3 under Matta when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, including a 12-1 record this season.

BUCKEYES COMPLETE TOUGH STRETCH 3-1 VS. 2006 NCAA TEAMS
Ohio State completed one of the more difficult stretches of its 2006-07 schedule with games vs. Indiana Jan. 2 (W 74-67), Illinois Jan. 6 (W 62-44), Wisconsin Jan. 9 (L 72-69) and Tennessee Jan. 13 (W 68-66). All four games were against teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament a year ago. After playing at then-No. 3 Wisconsin, Ohio State has played each of the Top 3 teams nationally on the road. Ohio State played at No. 1 Florida, at No. 2 Wisconsin and at No. 3 North Carolina earlier this year.

MATTA'S BUCKEYES HIT DOUBLE DIGITS BEFORE NEW YEAR FOR THIRD TIME
Ohio State opened Big Ten play against Indiana with 11 wins. Thad Matta's teams have recorded 10 or more victories before ringing in the new year in each of his three seasons at Ohio State. His first team was 11-2 in 2004-05 and the 2005-06 squad was 10-0 before Jan. 1. Matta's teams never have failed to reach 20 victories in each of his six previous seasons as a head coach, which includes a one-year stint at Butler and three seasons at Xavier.

BUCKEYES GO 4-0 VS. OHIO TEAMS
The game with Cincinnati was the fourth against a school from Ohio this year for the Buckeyes. Kent State (W 81-59), Youngstown State (W 91-57) and Cleveland State (W 78-57) all played in Columbus this year with the Buckeyes meeting Cincinnati (W 72-50) in Indianapolis Dec. 16. The last time Ohio State faced four in-state schools was in 1992-93 when Ohio University, Bowling Green and Wright State played in Columbus during non-conference play and Miami (Ohio) took on the Buckeyes in the National Invitation Tournament in March.

BUCKEYES REACH NO. 1 IN FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL FOR 2ND TIME
Four schools, Ohio State, UCLA, Florida and Notre Dame, have been ranked No. 1 in both football and men's basketball at the same time, according to research performed by Tim Bourret, Clemson sports information director, who sought the information for a book project. Ohio State (27-3) has managed the feat twice after it moved to the No. 1 spot in men's basketball Nov. 27 of this year in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and to the No. 3 spot in the Associated Press writers poll that week. The Buckeyes were the first to reach No. 1 in both football and men's basketball on Nov. 28, 1961 after the football Buckeyes defeated Michigan 50-20 (11/25/61) to claim the No. 1 spot in the United Press International poll. The basketball team was No. 1 the entire 1961-62 season until a loss to No. 2 Cincinnati in the title game March 24, 1962. The 2006 Buckeye football team (12-1) finished No. 2 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, after spending the entire 2006 regular season ranked No. 1. UCLA was No. 1 in both sports the week of Nov. 13-19 in 1967. The Bruins were No. 1 in the AP and UPI football polls that week and had won the national championship in men's basketball the previous March. The first poll of the college basketball season that fall was on Dec. 5, 1967. UCLA was No. 1. The Bruins then lost to USC in football, 21-20, the next Saturday (Dec. 9, 1967) to drop from the No. 1 spot in football. Notre Dame won the national championship (football) in the AP poll with a 24-23 win over Alabama in the Dec. 31, 1973 Sugar Bowl. The Fighting Irish basketball team then defeated UCLA 71-70 in basketball to end the Bruins' 88-game winning streak and move to No. 1 in both basketball polls. That game was played Jan. 19, 1974 and Notre Dame was ranked No. 1 the next Monday. The Irish stayed No. 1 in basketball for just that week before traveling to UCLA for a rematch the following Saturday (Jan. 26, 1974, where they lost to the Bruins. Both UCLA (Nov. 13, 1967) and Notre Dame (Jan. 21, 1974) were No. 1 for just one week in both football and men's basketball. Florida is the most recent team to accomplish the feat. The Gators did so this season after winning the 2006 National Title in football and reaching No. 1 in both basketball polls.

MATTA REACHES 50 WINS AT OSU
Thad Matta coached game No. 200 in his seven-year head coaching career in the contest vs. Kent State Nov. 12. He recorded win No. 50 as a Buckeye vs. Eastern Kentucky the next time out Nov. 17. Matta is 175-52 overall, which includes a record of 73-21 at Ohio State. He needed just 68 games to win 50 as a Buckeye, the third fewest total games to record win No. 50 as a Buckeye head coach. Fred Taylor (1959-76) won his 50th game in his 64th contest as a Buckeye while Randy Ayers (1990-97) was the second-fastest to 50 wins, doing so in 67 Ohio State games.

CoachDategms to 5050th win, Score
Taylor1/28/6164Purdue, 92-62
Ayers12/18/9167@Santa Barbara, 82-75
Matta11/17/0668Eastern Ky., 74-45
Miller12/2/7976Tennessee, 91-65
Williams1/7/8979Wisconsin, 73-70
Olsen2/22/2780@Indiana, 27-18
Dye2/27/5083@Michigan, 69-58
St. John1/1/1792@ Elyria, 33-25
O'Brien2/25/04104@Minnesota, 70-59
Stahl12/19/55106@Tulane, 72-66

BUCKEYES SURGE LATE AT MICHIGAN FOR 15TH LEAGUE VICTORY
Greg Oden scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half despite foul trouble, lifting the Buckeyes to a 65-61 win over Michigan in the regular-season finale for both teams. After trailing by six, the Buckeyes held the Wolverines scoreless for the final 3:54 to win their 14th-consecutive game and their first as a top-ranked team since 1962 (in AP poll). Ohio State's Ron Lewis scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half and Mike Conley had nine of his 11 in the second in a game with eight ties and seven lead changes. Brent Petway and Courtney Sims each had 11 and Jerret Smith added 10 for the Wolverines. Michigan led by as much as eight in the first half and was ahead by seven early in the second half after Amaker was called for a technical. On the next possession, Oden was called for his third foul with 17:01 left in the game. The Buckeyes kept it close with their star on the bench. He returned midway through the second half, and the Wolverines went after him and scored six-consecutive points to lead 51-44. Oden responded, attacking on offense and drawing fouls. He was 4-of-4 at the line on the next two possessions to pull the Buckeyes within three. After Oden was called for a fourth foul with 4:55 left he left the game briefly and Michigan went ahead 61-55. The Wolverines didn't score again.

NOTING THE MICHIGAN GAME

  • Head coach Thad Matta set a personal career high for wins in a season with 27 with the victory over Michigan. Matta had reached 26 wins four times previously. In each of his three years at Xavier the Musketeers recorded 26 wins as did the 2005-06 Buckeyes.
  • The 27 wins in 2006-07 ties an Ohio State record for victories in a season. The 1961 Buckeyes finished 27-1 and the 1991 team was 27-4.
  • The win at Michigan gave Ohio State a 15-1 record in regular season Big Ten Conference play. The league win total tied the 1991 and 1992 teams for wins in a regular season Big Ten schedule. Both of those teams played 18-game conference schedules (15-3). The league went to a 16-game schedule in 1998.
  • The .938 conference win percentage this season is the second best in school history behind the 1961 team's perfect 14-0 record. The 1971 team went through a 14 game conference schedule with a 13-1 record (.929).
  • The Buckeyes' 13-game Big Ten win streak is the second longest in school history behind the 27-consecutive wins by the 1960-62 teams: 1960 (1), 1961 (14), 1962 (12). The current streak is second to the 1961 team's record of 14-consecutive wins in a single Big Ten regular season.
  • With the Michigan win, Ohio State is 26-0 on the season with leading or tied with 5:00 to play in the second half. The Buckeyes and Wolverines were tied at 53-all at the 5-minute mark Saturday.
  • Junior Jamar Butler handed out six assists at Michigan. He moved to the No. 9 spot on the OSU career assists list with 332. He passed Jay Burson (1986-89) and currently trails No. 8 Jim Jackson's 372 from 1990-92. The Buckeyes are 33-7 when Butler hands out four or more assists in a game.
  • Freshman Mike Conley Jr. set the Ohio State single-season assists record with four helpers at Michigan. His total of 191 eclipses the 188 tallied by Curtis Wilson in 1998.
  • Freshman Greg Oden set the Ohio State freshman record for blocks in a season with two rejections at Michigan. His single season total of 80 passes the previous record of 79 set by Herb Williams as a rookie in 1978.
  • Ohio State improved to 81-69 all-time against the Wolverines and to 34-42 in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 1 in both polls, are 26-4 all-time when ranked in games vs. Michigan. Ohio State has won the last five meetings in the series, all under Matta's direction.
  • The Ohio State starting lineup of seniors Ron Lewis and Ivan Harris, junior Jamar Butler and freshmen Mike Conley, Jr. and Greg Oden finished the regular season 19-2 overall and 14-1 in the Big Ten.
  • When playing as the No. 1 team nationally in the Associated Press media poll, the Buckeyes are 50-3 all-time. When playing as the No. 1 team in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, Ohio State is 3-1 (all this season). Overall, Ohio State is 52-4 when ranked No. 1 in one or both polls.
  • Overall as a ranked team, Ohio State is 222-54 as a Top 10-ranked team in the AP poll and 321-94 as a Top 25 squad. The Buckeyes have been rated among the nation's Top 10 in each of its last 37 games (32-5) and as a Top 25 squad in the last 55 outings (46-9).

    BUCKEYES WIN BCA CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE GAME AGAINST KENT STATE
    Ron Lewis led Ohio State with 18 points and three teammates joined him in double figures as the Buckeyes went 3-0 in the BCA Classic to claim the title with an 81-59 win against Kent State Nov. 12 at Value City Arena. Jamar Butler, the only starter back from last season's Big Ten champions, added 14 points, junior-college transfer Othello Hunter had 13 and freshman David Lighty finished with 10. Lewis was the tournament MVP for the Buckeyes. He was joined on the all-tournament team by freshman Daequan Cook. Nobody hit double figures for Kent State, the defending Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament champions. Omni Smith had nine points and three others had eight. The Buckeyes hit half of their 26 3-point attempts and ended up shooting 55 percent from the field. Kent State had 20 turnovers and hit just 4-of-15 shots behind the arc. Sub Ivan Harris hit three big 3-pointers that helped turn the tide.

    MEDIA CORRECT WITH PRESEASON PREDICTION, BUCKEYES WIN LEAGUE
    Big Ten Conference media selected Ohio State as its preseason favorite to win the league regular-season crown in 2006-07. The Buckeyes secured back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1991 and 1992 with the win against No. 1 Wisconsin Feb. 25 in Columbus. Ohio State (27-3, 15-1) returned one starter from a year ago when the Buckeyes posted a 26-6 overall record and a 12-4 league mark.

    MEDIA SELECT ODEN TO SHINE
    Freshman center Greg Oden had yet to play a collegiate game while recovering from right wrist surgery in June when he appeared on the preseason All-Big Ten list turned in by the conference media Oct. 29 in Chicago. The preseason recognition is believed to mark the first time a true freshman has been so recognized in conference history. Oden missed the first seven games of the season. He made his debut against Valparaiso Dec. 2. He recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 78-58 OSU victory. His first start came against Cleveland State Dec. 9. He finished with 16 points on 8 of 8 shooting from the field, which tied an OSU record for single game field goal percentage.

    OSU FRESHMEN IN STARTING FIVE
    Jamar Butler was the last true freshman to crack the starting lineup for the Buckeyes prior to the season opener vs. VMI when rookies Mike Conley Jr. and David Lighty earned starting nods for Thad Matta's Buckeyes. Butler started his first game at Northwestern Jan. 29, 2005. He has been a mainstay in the first five ever since. The last true freshman to start the season opener prior to this season was Michael Redd vs. Kent State Nov. 19, 1997. Redd played 39 minutes and scored 21 points on 9 of 17 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds.

    OHIO STATE ON NATIONAL TV
    The Buckeyes will appear on national television at least 17 times this season with the possibility of additional exposures during the Big Ten tournament and in postseason play. Fans across the country got their first look at Ohio State over national airwaves Nov. 29 when the Buckeyes traveled to North Carolina for a Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup on ESPN. Cincinnati and Ohio State renewed a rivalry at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis on CBS Dec. 16. Other CBS games included the matchup at No. 1 Florida Dec. 23, a home game vs. Tennessee Jan. 13, at Michigan State Feb. 3, at Minnesota Feb. 18 vs. Wisconsin in Columbus Feb. 25 and in the season finale at Michigan March 3. ESPN televised the Buckeyes vs. their first three Big Ten foes vs. Indiana (W 74-67, Jan. 2), at Illinois Jan. 6 (W 62-44) and at Wisconsin Jan. 9 (L 72-69). ESPN also will have the Big Ten Tournament opener for the Buckeyes vs. either Michigan or Wisconsin at noon Friday in Chicago. Four other league games were featured on ESPN or ESPN2 during regular-season play.

    THE NEWCOMERS
    Thad Matta recruited one of the best classes nationally for the 2006-07 season. Four of the top freshmen in the country along with a talented junior college forward joined the Buckeyes for the 2006 fall quarter in Columbus.

    The four Ohio State freshmen in 2006-07 all played for state championships during their senior high school seasons. Three won titles with the other finishing as runner-up.

    Greg Oden (a 7-0 center) and 6-1 guard Mike Conley Jr., led Indiana's Lawrence North High School to its third-consecutive state championship March 25, 2006, with a victory over Muncie Central (80-56). Oden led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. He also was the game's top rebounder with 11. Conley added 21 points and seven boards in the win.

    Daequan Cook, a 6-5 guard, led Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar to its first state title in 19 years with a 73-46 victory over Triway in the Ohio Division II state championship game (3/25/06) at Value City Arena in Columbus. Cook scored 23 points in the victory.

    David Lighty, a 6-5 guard/forward, led his Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio) squad to the Ohio Division III state title game as well. Lighty scored 20 points in a loss to North College Hill.

    FOUR FIRST TEAMERS
    All four incoming freshmen were named to their state's first team all-state squads as seniors. Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., were honored in Class 4A, the large school division in Indiana, while Daequan Cook (Ohio Division II) and David Lighty (Ohio Division III) made their respective teams. Cook, the Division II Ohio Player of the Year, and Lighty both made the Associated Press all-state tournament teams as well in their respective divisions.

    THREE MORE MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICANS
    With the addition of Oden, Conley Jr. and Cook, Ohio State has four former McDonald's High School All-Americans on its squad in 2006-07.

    Senior Ivan Harris played in the annual game (first played in 1977) in 2003. Ohio State has had a total of 10 current or former student-athletes compete in the McDonald's game. Others were Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992) and Greg Simpson (1992). Ohio State has had multiple players play in the game twice previously with Carter and Lee in 1987 and Macon and Simpson in 1992. Ohio State and North Carolina had three players compete in the 2006 game.

    ODEN CLAIMS SEVERAL NATIONAL AWARDS
    Greg Oden is one of the most recognized and honored high school student-athletes of all-time. His list of accomplishments grew when he was recognized in April 2006 as the Gatorade Boy's Basketball Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season, a rare feat accomplished just once before when LeBron James was so honored in 2001 and '02.

    U.S. NATIONAL TEAM INVITES ODEN TO WORKOUTS
    The only high school player invited to work out with the U.S. Senior National team July 19-26, 2006 in Las Vegas, Greg Oden was scheduled to practice against members from the national team who were selected to represent the United States at the 2006 World Championships in Japan and ultimately the 2008 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team. Oden was unable to participate after right wrist surgery in June ended his summer schedule.

    JUNIOR COLLEGE FORWARD COMPLETED 2006-07 CLASS
    Othello Hunter, a 6-9 forward/center, was the final player to commit to the five-player incoming class of student-athletes in 2006-07. He averaged nine points and six rebounds a game for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., as a freshman. He improved those numbers to 16.8 points and 11.4 rebounds a game as a sophomore.

    Hunter had 15 games in 2005-06 with 10 or more rebounds with a season-high 20 boards vs. St. Petersburg College (1/21/06). For his career, he managed 10 or more rebounds 19 times and 10 or more points 32 times.

    Hunter recorded 18 career double-doubles at HCC, including 14 during his sophomore season.

    Hillsborough finished 24-6 in 2005-06 and 19-14 in 2004-05. The team lost in the 2006 Florida Community College Activities Association State Tournament opening round to River Community College (75-68). Hunter scored 22 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked six shots in the loss.

    THE SCHEDULE
    Ohio State opened the 2006-07 season as the host school for the 2006 BCA Classic. The Buckeyes earned the title with a 3-0 record.

    The Buckeyes have taken on three of the nation's top teams on the road to date in 2006. Ohio State traveled to North Carolina as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 29 and faced Florida, the defending NCAA champions, in Gainesville Dec. 23 and faced then-No. 3 Wisconsin in Madison Jan. 9.

    A neutral-site game vs. Cincinnati in Indianapolis at the Wooden Classic renewed a rivalry between the intrastate foes. Tennessee also began a home-and-home series with the Buckeyes with a clash in Columbus Jan. 13.

    Ohio State played Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota once this season with home-and-home matches vs. the remaining league schools. Indiana and Iowa traveled to Columbus while Illinois and Minnesota played host to the Buckeyes this season.

     

     

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