June 28, 2012
Thad Matta has been at Ohio State for eight seasons and in that time, eight Buckeyes have been drafted by the National Basketball Association. Seven players heard their names called in the opening round and three have been among the Top 4 picks overall.
Jared Sullinger, the No. 21 pick in Round 1 of the draft Thursday by the Boston Celtics is the latest Buckeye to realize an opportunity to play professionally in the NBA.
Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Portland Trailblazers, was the first Buckeye drafted in the Matta era.
The 2007 class of NBA draft picks featured three Ohio State players, all freshmen, to go in Round 1. All three were taken among the first 21 picks with Mike Conley Jr. going with the No. 4 pick to Memphis and Daequan Cook at No. 21 to the Philadelphia 76ers. Cook was later traded to Miami.
First round picks followed in each of the next three years with Kosta Koufos going to Utah with the 23rd pick in Round 1 of the 2008 draft, Byron Mullens in 2009 to Dallas with the 24th pick and Evan Turner going to Philadelphia with the overall No. 2 pick in 2010. Turner was the collegiate 2010 National Player of the Year.
Jon Diebler was taken in Round 2 in 2011 by Portland.
Michael Redd, a second round pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, said Matta has the ability to recruit talented players but makes them better upon arrival in Columbus.
“Thad does a great job of developing his players,” Redd said. “He gets them NBA ready. His players have been highly touted coming out of high school but that does not mean anything. Once they get to college they have to perform. Thad gets the best out of his players and it shows on NBA Draft night every year.”
The 2012 NBA Draft marks the sixth-consecutive season at least one Buckeye has been drafted and the fifth time at least one Ohio State player was been taken in the Top 24 picks of Round 1.
Along with the individual achievements, Ohio State has put together one of the best steaks of overall team success in school history.
Matta’s teams have been to one NCAA title game, two Final Fours, three-consecutive NCAA “Sweet Sixteens,” and six total NCAA tournaments. The 2009 squad won the National Invitation Tournament.
The Buckeyes have won five regular-season Big Ten titles in the Matta Era, including at least a share of the last three championships. Matta-coached teams also have advanced to play in six Big Ten tournament title games, including each of the last four. Three teams have won both the Big Ten regular-season and postseason tournament titles in the same year.
Matta’s overall record is among the all-time best in Big Ten history as well. His Ohio State teams have won 221 total games. In league regular-season play, the Buckeyes have won 98 games, placing Matta at No. 19 on the all-time Big Ten list.
Thad Matta set out to build a solid foundation in which to build a nationally-recognized men’s basketball program. With numerous accomplishments and records already accomplished, the future of the program has the sturdy building blocks in place for long term growth.
Credit: Wall Street Journal
Big Ten alums with Most NBA minutes in 2011-12
Ohio State: 6 players; 7,903 minutes (Mike Conley Jr., Evan Turner, Byron Mullens, Michael Redd, Daequan Cook, Kosta Koufos)
Michigan State: 4; 4,187 (Zach Randolph, Jason Richardson, Shannon Brown, Alan Anderson)
Wisconsin: 3; 3,062 (Devin Harris, Jon Leuer, Greg Stiemsma)
Minnesota: 2; 2,611 (Kris Humphries, Joel Przybilla)
Michigan: 4; 2,428 (Jamal Crawford, Manny Harris, Juwan Howard, Darius Morris)
Illinois: 2; 2,275 (Deron Williams, Brian Cook)
Indiana: 3; 2,137 (Eric Gordon, D.J. White, Jared Jeffries)
Purdue: 5; 2,051 (Carl Landry, Brad Miller, Brian Cardinal, JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore)
Iowa: 1; 771 (Reggie Evans)
Nebraska: 1; 118 (Mikki Moore)*
* — Moore played at Nebraska when the Huskers were a member of the Big 12.