|Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. will play their final game at Value City Arena this Sunday against Michigan State.|
Preview: Coach Matta | Preview: Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr.
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|Date:||March 9, 2014
Ohio State Buckeyes (22-8, 9-8) vs. Michigan State Spartans (23-7, 12-5)
|Site:||Value City Arena (18,809)|
|Game Time:||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Talent:|| Ian Eagle (play-by-play)
Greg Anthony(expert analysis)
Tracy Wolfson (Sideline)
|Radio:||OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)|
|Satellite Radio:||Sirius 91/XM 91|
|Local Radio:||WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460 Radio|
|Radio Talent:||Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Craft, Smith Jr., Student Assistants
Celebrate Ohio State Careers Sunday
Seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., along with five senior student assistants with the men's basketball program will be recognized for their contributions to the Ohio State program during pregame ceremonies.
Aaron Craft will leave Ohio State as it's all-time leader in both steals and assists. He also owns the Big Ten record for career steals with 324. His 666 career assists rank No. 7 all-time among Big Ten players. Craft has guided the Buckeyes to 116 victories and is the only Buckeye in history to reach 1,000 points, 600 assists, 300 steals and 450 rebounds in a career.
Lenzelle Smith Jr., is on pace to become just the 26th player in Ohio State history to score 1,000 points (984) and record 500+ rebounds (527). Over the first 119 games as a Buckeye, he and Craft recorded 100 victories, an Ohio State record for a senior class for fewest number of career games to reach 100 wins.
Basketball managers Kyle Davis, Leroy Robinson Jr., Mitch Flowers and Jimmy Staley along with senior equipment manager Cody Anthony also will be recognized.
Matta's Senior Day Record
Thad Matta has finished off the home season with a win in eight of nine previous seasons in Columbus. Three times the Buckeyes have defeated ranked teams, two of those were No. 1 at the time. This is the second time Ohio State has ended the home campaign against Michigan State with Matta as the Buckeyes' head coach. The unranked Buckeyes defeated the No. 17 Spartans 63-54 in the 2008 finale.
Date W/L Final Score
3/6/2005 W OSU 65, No. 1 Illinois 64
3/5/2006 W No. 9 OSU 79, Purdue 57
2/25/2007 W No. 2 OSU 49, No. 1 Wisconsin 48
3/9/2008 W OSU 63, No. 17 Michigan State 54
3/8/2009 W OSU 52, Northwestern 47
3/2/2010 W No. 6 OSU 73, Illinois 57
3/6/2011 W No. 1 OSU 93, No. 10 Wisconsin 65
2/26/2012 L No. 16 Wisconsin 63, No. 8 OSU 60
3/10/2013 W No. 14 OSU 68, Illinois 55
3/9/2014 OSU vs. No. 22 Michigan State
Maryland, Rutgers Added to 2015 Big Ten Slate
Ohio State's 2015 Big Ten Conference regular-season men's basketball opponents were announced Feb. 28 by the league office. With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the league in 2014-15, the men's basketball schedule will remain at 18 games. Each conference school will play five teams both home and away, four teams only at home and four teams only away. Ohio State will face Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State and Purdue both on the road and in Columbus. Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and Wisconsin will only travel to Columbus in 2015. The Buckeyes will travel to Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Rutgers. Game times, dates and television designation will be annnounced at later dates.
Season Tickets Went on Sale March 3
Season tickets for new account holders went on sale March 3. Contact The Ohio State Athletic Ticket Sales Department at 1-800-GOBUCKS or AthleticSales@osu.edu to learn more about seating options or schedule a tour to select seats.
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
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 (662) in Big Ten history while also taking over the No. 1 spot in career steals (321) 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
Head coach Thad Matta advanced to the "Final Four" of the third annual Coaches' Charity Challenge. Voting in the final round began Monday March 3 and will continue through March 16. Matta currently is in first place with 41 percent of the votes. With 48 coaches participating at the start, the field is now set at four and votes have been reset to zero. For the remainder of the contest, fans can vote once a day at VoteCoachMatta.com to help Matta win 100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Central Ohio. The Coaches' Charity Challenge is a fan-vote contest modeled 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 each year.
The Michigan State Series
Michigan State leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 62-54. Ohio State is 34-22 in Columbus. The Spartans, currently No. 22 in the Associated Press Poll, are 19-9 as a ranked team vs. the Buckeyes. Thad Matta, since taking over the Ohio State program in 2004-05, is 10-10 in the Michigan State series. The Buckeyes are 4-3 in Columbus vs. MSU in Matta's tenure. Aaron Craft leads Ohio State offensively with an average of 12.0 points per game in the MSU series. In eight previous meetings, Craft has scored 96 points. He is shooting 81 percent from the foul line (29-36) in the series. Freshman Marc Loving scored 10 points in Ohio State's previous meeting with the Spartans this year in East Lansing. Senior Lenzelle Smith Jr. averages a team-high 4.3 rebounds vs. MSU in seven career meetings.
A Look at the Spartans
Michigan State enters the game with the Buckeyes with a 23-7 record and a 12-5 record in Big Ten Conference play. Before a home win over Iowa last Thursday, the Spartans had suffered a two-game losing streak with defeats at Michigan and at home vs. Illinois. Sophomore Gary Harris leads the team in scoring with 17.7 points per game. Adreian Payne (15.8 ppg.) and Keith Appling (13.2 ppg.) also contribute double figures on the offensive end. Branden Dawson is the team leader in rebounds per game with 8.6 a contest.
For more on the Buckeyes click the Ohio State Notes link above.
WATCH: Thad Matta Press Conference
Buckeyes on the Blacktop Highlights