Men's Basketball

No. 5 Seed Buckeyes Open BTT with No. 12 Purdue

Aaron Craft
Ohio State defeated the Boilermakers in both meetings this year by a combined 27 points.
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Date: March 13, 2014
No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes (23-8) vs. the Purdue Boilermakers (15-16)
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (18,165)
Game Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Television: BTN
Talent: Kevin Kugler (play-by-play)
Stephen Bardo (expert analysis)
Stephanie White (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 Earns 2nd B1G Defensive Player of the Year Honor
Aaron Craft, the all-time Big Ten leader in career steals (328), was named the 2014 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as selected by the league coaches. Craft also won the honor as a sophomore in 2012. Craft has been a member of the league's all-defensive team every year of his career (2011-14). He is the second Big Ten player to make the team four times (Chris Kramer, Purdue, 2007-10)Shannon Scott also was recognized as a league all-defensive team member this year for the second-consecutive season (2013, 2014). Scott was second in the league this year behind Craft (80) in total steals (64). Thad Matta has coached six players who have combined to earn 10 spots on the league's all-defensive team. His players have won three league defensive players of the year. Greg Oden won the honor in 2007.

Ross, Craft Named to All-Big Ten Teams
Media covering the Big Ten selected Aaron Craft as a second team All-Big Ten honoree while placing LaQuinton Ross on the honorable mention list. The league coaches named both Craft and Ross to the All-Big Ten third team. Lenzelle Smith Jr. was named Ohio State's 2014 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

OSU Big Ten Tournament History
The No. 5-seed Buckeyes are 22-9 all-time in Big Ten Tournament play since the event began in 1998. Ohio State was the No. 2 seed in 2013 and has won 18 of its last 22 league tournament games, including 11 of the last 12. By seed, Ohio State is 11-2 as No. 1, 3-0 as No. 2, 2-1 as No. 3, 2-2 as No. 5, 1-1 as No. 6, 3-1 as No. 8, 0-1 as No. 9 and 0-1 as No. 11. Ohio State has entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed five times (2000, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011). Thad Matta is 19-5 in league tournament play with four titles (2007, 2010, 2011, 2013) and six title game appearances (2006, 2009). The Buckeyes have been seeded higher in 19 BTT games all-time and are  17-2 in those games. As the lower seed, the Buckeyes are 5-7 all-time.

The Purdue Series
Purdue leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 83-81. Ohio State is 2-1 in neutral-site games vs. the Boilermakers. The Buckeyes won both meetings with Purdue during the 2014 Big Ten regular season. The Buckeyes opened league play in West Lafayette with a 78-69 victory Dec. 31, 2013. Ohio State claimed a 67-49 win in Columbus Feb. 8. Three Buckeyes averaged in double figures vs. Purdue this season with LaQuinton Ross leading the way with 21.0 ppg. Lenzelle Smith Jr. contributed 15.0 ppg. while Shannon Scott contributed 13.5 ppg. Aaron Craft averaged 7.0 points, while handing out 14 assists and recording seven steals in the two wins vs. the Boilermakers. Overall in the series with Purdue, Ross leads Ohio State with 12.0 points a game over four career meetings. Craft adds 10.4 ppg. in seven games vs. Purdue. Ross also is Ohio State's top rebounder in the series with 5.3 rpg. Thad Matta is 15-5 vs. Purdue as the coach of the Buckeyes. Ohio State has won the last five games in the series. As a ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25, Ohio State is 26-4 vs. Purdue. In the last 14 games in which Ohio State has been ranked vs. the Boilermakers, the Buckeyes are 12-2.

A Look at the Boilermakers
Purdue enters the 2014 Big Ten Tournament on a six-game losing streak and as the No. 12 seed. Purdue is 15-16 overall and 5-13 in regular-season conference play. Terone Johnson leads the squad in scoring with 12.0 points per game. Ronnie Johnson adds 10.8 ppg. while A.J. Hammons contributes 10.7 ppg. and a team-leading 7.4 rpg.        

Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament
Aaron Craft: In nine career league tournament games, Craft has averaged 10.5 points with a total of 41 assists, 15 steals and five blocks ... shooting 57 percent overall (39-69) while averaging 35 minutes a game. Lenzelle Smith Jr.: Has played in six BTT games, all starts ... averages 5.7 points and 4.2 rebounds ... owns 10 assists, six steals and a block ... shooting 75 percent from the foul line (6-8) in 26 minutes a game. Sam Thompson: Has three starts and six appearances in BTT play ... averages 6.2 points on 15 of 24 shooting (.625) ...has made 5 of 9 from 3-point range (.555). Amir Williams: Averages 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 points over six BTT appearances and three starts. Shannon Scott: In six career BTT games, Scott averages 14.5 minutes per game, has 13 assists and seven steals in conference tournament play while shooting 5 of 11 (.454). LaQuinton Ross: In five BTT games, Ross has averaged 5.8 points on 11 of 20 shooting (.550) ... makes 67 percent of his 3-pointers (.667) ... will be making first career postseason start in the 2014 BTT.

Matta's Big Ten Tenure
Thad Matta took over the head coaching duties at Ohio State in July of 2004. His 10 years in Columbus has been a successful stint, both nationally and in the Big Ten Conference.
Matta vs. the Big Ten: Matta's Buckeyes have played in more games (354) with more victories (273) than any other Big Ten program in the last 10 years. Michigan is next in games played (336) while Michigan State is No. 2 in victories (232).
Matta In the B1G Regular Season: The Buckeyes have won 121 Big Ten regular season games, with nine-consecutive years winning at least 10 conference games. The Buckeyes have won 80 percent of league games decided by 10 or more points (70-17) in the Matta era. In games decided by less than 10 points, Ohio State is 51-36 (.586).
B1G Titles in the Matta Era: Ohio State has the most overall conference titles (9) than any other league school over the last 10 years. Five of those are regular-season titles while four are conference tournament crowns. Michigan State is the next closest with four titles, three in the regular season and one conference tournament title.

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