Aug. 21, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Thad Matta, now in his 11th season as head coach of the Ohio State men's basketball team, announced the complete 2014-15 schedule Thursday.
The Buckeyes will enter the season with a blend of seasoned veterans along with a crop of six newcomers, including four true freshmen, a redshirt freshman and a fifth-year graduate transfer.
"The roster this year is one I'm anxious to see blend together over the course of the season," Matta said. "We have leadership and experience in a senior class that has continued to improve over the years and a freshman class that has proven itself at the high school level. I believe our fans will enjoy watching this team compete."
Followers of the Buckeyes had a peek at the future earlier this summer when Ohio State traveled to the Bahamas for two games as part of a foreign trip. NCAA Division I teams are permitted to travel outside the United States once every four years.
Ohio State won both games on the tour, 88-66 vs. the Bahamas All-Stars and 115-63 vs. the Providence Storm.
Rookie forward Keita Bates-Diop led the team in scoring off the bench with 17.0 points per game. Senior Sam Thompson was next with 14.0 ppg. In the two contests, Ohio State's returning players scored 104 points and averaged 10.4 ppg. Newcomers tallied 99 points and 9.0 ppg.
The Buckeyes open the 2014-15 season vs. Massachusetts-Lowell Nov. 14 at Value City Arena. The Big Ten campaign, the 103rd for Ohio State as a league member, opens Dec. 30 at home vs. Iowa. An exhibition game vs. Walsh is scheduled for Nov. 9 at Value City Arena.
Also highlighting the non-conference schedule will be a home game vs. Marquette Nov. 18, a road game at Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Dec. 2 (9:30 p.m./ESPN) and a neutral site game vs. North Carolina Dec. 20 at the United Center in Chicago.
The Buckeyes will host four games in the Buckeye Classic. Sacred Heart (Nov. 23), Campbell (Nov. 26), James Madison (Nov. 28 and Colgate (Dec. 6), make up the event.
Because Ohio State is the host school for 2015 NCAA Tournament Second and Third Round games at Nationwide Arena (March 20 and 22), the Buckeyes are required by the NCAA to play at least one game at Nationwide this year. A Dec. 17 game at the downtown Columbus venue vs. North Carolina A&T will satisfy the obligation.
Ohio State will play at least nine games this season vs. seven teams that played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament with five of those games taking place away from Columbus against Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Louisville and North Carolina. Ohio Stae takes on Wisconsin and Nebraska at home only.
In addition to the 2014 NCAA Tournament foes, the 2014-15 schedule has three games against 2014 National Invitation Tournament participants, including a road matchup vs. Minnesota Jan. 6 (9 p.m./ESPN). The Golden Gophers claimed the 2014 NIT Title a year ago. Illinois and High Point also qualified for the 2014 NIT. The Buckeyes face High Point Dec. 10 and the Illini Jan. 3, both in Columbus.
Ohio State begins its quest for a sixth regular-season league crown under Matta's direction when it opens Big Ten regular-season competition at home vs. Iowa Dec. 30. The Buckeyes will play three of the first five games at home in league play before ending the season with three of four games in Columbus. Wisconsin, a 2014 Final Four participant, will travel to Columbus for the regular-season finale March 8.
The Big Ten Conference returned to the lengthier conference schedule in 2008 after playing a 16-game schedule from 1998-2007. With Maryland and Rutgers joining the league this year, Ohio State will face five teams both in Columbus and on the road (Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Penn State). Four conference opponents will travel to Ohio State only (Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and Wisconsin). The Buckeyes face Minnesota, Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan State only on the road this year.
A LOOK AT THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State qualified for the 2014 NCAA Tournament, its eighth appearance with Thad Matta as head coach.
Ohio State returns three starters and six letterwinners from the 2013-14 season. The Buckeyes finished 25-10 overall and 10-8 in Big Ten Conference play (5th).
Seniors Sam Thompson, Amir Williams, Shannon Scott and Trey McDonald will be joined by graduate transfer (Temple) Anthony Lee.
Sophomore Marc Loving is the only underclassman with previous experience. He scored 24 points in two games in the Bahamas this summer on Ohio State's foreign tour.
Redshirt freshman Kameron Williams, a 6-2 guard from Baltimore, Md., is eligible after sitting out as a rookie last year. He scored 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting in the Bahamas.
Newcomers D'Angelo Russell, Jae'Sean Tate, David Bell and Keita Bates-Diop made significant contributions in the Bahamas and look to do the same in the regular season.
Season tickets for 2014-15 are on sale now. Eight- and four-game packages as well as group ticket information will be posted shortly after the release of the full schedule. For more information, click HERE or contact the Ohio State Athletic Ticket Sales Department by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS (select option 2) or e-mail AthleticSales@osu.edu. Fans will be directed to a sales representative who can discuss seating options over the phone or schedule a time to tour the Jerome Schottenstein Center to pick out seats.