Valparaiso Up Next for Buckeyes
William Buford

Nov. 24, 2011

Nov. 25, 2011
No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0) vs. Valparaiso Crusaders (5-1)
Site:                    Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time:         6:31 p.m. ET
Television:            BTN
Talent:                Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play)
                          Jimmy Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio:                OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio:    Sirius 134
Local Radio:        WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:       Paul Keels (play-by-play)
                         Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

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Buford 17th to Reach 1,500 Career pts.
With 23 points against VMI Wednesday, senior William Buford surpassed 1,500 career points to become the 17th Buckeye in history to reach that mark. Over 111 career games, Buford has averaged 13.6 points for a total of 1,505. He also is eight rebounds short of the 500 mark for his career. Just 15 previous Ohio State players have accomplished that feat.

Sullinger On Double-Double Streak
Sophomore Jared Sullinger has recorded at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in each of his last three games for a career total of 21. He tied the Ohio State freshman record with 18 double-doubles a season ago. His career total ranks 15th all-time behind Craig Taylor (1973-76) with 23. Evan Turner was the most recent Buckeye to reach 20 or more career double-doubles with 27 from 2008-10. That total is tied for No. 11 all-time with John Havlicek (1960-62). After five games, Sullinger is averaging 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. He tallied 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds a game as a freshman.

Buckeyes Open with Eight at Home
The Buckeyes play their first eight games at home, the longest streak of home games to start a season since the 1909-10 team began the campaign with 10-consecutive games in Columbus. The current run is the longest to open a season since the opening of Value City Arena for the 1998-99 season. The Buckeyes opened with six at home (6-0) in 2006-07 at VCA and seven games (5-2) at St. John Arena in 1997-98. The Buckeyes make their first road trip of the season this year to Kansas Dec. 10.

In the only previous meeting between Ohio State and Valparaiso, the Buckeyes downed the Crusaders 78-58 Dec. 2, 2006 in Columbus. Ohio State is a combined 54-11 against current members of the Horizon League. Ohio State fans might recognize one of the Crusaders' assistant coaches, Jake Diebler, the older brother of Jon Diebler, who completed his career after last season as the all-time leader in Big Ten and Ohio State history with 374 made 3-pointers. Jake Diebler has worked on the Valparaiso staff as a student assistant coach (2009-10), director of basketball operations (2010-11) and now as a first-year assistant coach. Jon Diebler is currently playing professionally in Greece.

Butler                               31-10
Cleveland State                   7-1
Detroit Mercy                       2-0
Green Bay                           1-0
Illinois-Chicago                    1-0
Loyola University-Chicago     4-0
Milwaukee                          2-0
Valparaiso                          1-0
Wright State                       2-0
Youngstown State                3-0
Totals                                        54-11

Ohio State, then ranked No. 1 nationally, was led by freshman Daequan Cook with 20 points, while senior Ron Lewis had 10 for Ohio State in a 78-58 victory for the Buckeyes Dec. 2, 2006. Freshman Mike Conley Jr., added seven points and seven assists. Greg Oden made his Buckeye debut with 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in 23 minutes of game action after missing the start of the season with a wrist injury. Samuel Haanpaa had 18 points and Urule Igbavboa 10 for Valparaiso. Brandon McPherson had 11 points for the Crusaders. Valparaiso pulled even at 18 on McPherson's layup with just over 9 minutes left in the opening half but was outscored 15-4 before the break. Ohio State then opened the second half with a 14-0 run. Oden entered the game at the 16:10 mark of the first half to a standing ovation after missing the first seven games of the season. The two-time national high school player of the year received another ovation near the 16-minute mark of the second half after a pair of blocks on a single Valparaiso possession. Still not 100 percent, Oden shot left-handed from the field and foul line. His first point as a Buckeye was an off-handed free throw.

Noting the VMI Game (Nov. 23)
•    The win was the 27th-consecutive victory at home for Ohio State, dating back to a 66-55 win over Michigan Feb. 27, 2010. It is the fourth-longest streak in Buckeye history. Ohio State is one win away from tying the 2006-07 Buckeyes for the third-longest streak in history.
•    The Buckeyes move to 3-0 all-time vs. VMI. The Buckeyes improve to 13-0 all-time vs. members of the Big South Conference.
•    As a ranked team Ohio State is 400-108 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 279-59.
•    When ranked in the Top 3 of the Associated Press, Ohio State is 136-20.
•    As the AP No. 3 ranked team in the nation, Ohio State improved to 31-6 overall.
•    Since the 2009-10 season, the Buckeyes are 42-1 at Value City Arena.
•    The win vs. VMI was the 103rd win vs. an unranked opponent at Value City Arena.
•    The Buckeyes own a 109-2 record vs. unranked opponents at home since 2004-05.
•    Ohio State has won 100 of its last 101 games against unranked teams in Columbus.
•    Against non-conference opponents, Ohio State is 85-5 (.942) at Value City Arena and 147-23 overall.
•    In their last 58 games, the Scarlet and Gray are 53-5.
•    The game vs. VMI was the 72nd time in Ohio State history the Buckeyes have scored more than 100 points and 52nd time at home. The Scarlet and Gray are 71-1 in those contests, including a perfect 52-0 at home.
•    The 30 assists are tied for the second most in a game in Ohio State history and most since Chicago State (30) 12/8/90. The Ohio State record is 31 vs. Michigan State, 1/6/75.
•    This is the 267th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
•    Ohio State has now had a player record a double-double in 827 games. The Buckeyes are 568-259 in those contests. Jared Sullinger had his 21st career double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) vs. VMI.
•    The 57 points in the first half were a season high (46 vs. Jackson State).
•    Ohio State shot an impressive 69.7 percent from the field in the first half and 67.6 percent for the game.
•    Nine players scored for Ohio State in the first half.
•    Ohio State began the second half on a 21-4 run to pull ahead 78-48.
•    The 107 points scored by Ohio State is a season high (85 vs. North Florida, 11/21/11).
•    The 46 made field goals are a season high (34 vs. Jackson St., 11/18/11).
•    Thad Matta improved his career record to 297-88 overall and 195-57 at Ohio State.
•    With the win, Ohio State is 37-5 in November under Coach Matta.
•    Matta is now 3-0 vs. VMI and 10-0 vs. members of the Big South.
•    Matta is now 163-20 overall vs. unranked opponents and 109-2 in Columbus.
•    Matta is now 97-18 all-time in games against non-conference opponents at Ohio State.
•    Ohio State is now 128-23 (.843) overall at Value City Arena and 124-10 under Matta.
•    Ohio State improves to 115-17 under Matta when grabbing more rebounds than its opponent. The Buckeyes outrebounded VMI 47-24.
•    The Buckeyes are 163-20 under Matta when leading at the half.
•    Ohio State is 180-5 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play.
•    When shooting better than the opponent, Ohio State improves to 172-18 under Matta.
•    When shooting 50 percent or better from the field, the Buckeyes are 95-7 under Matta.
•    With 107 points, the Buckeyes are 133-11 under Matta when scoring more than 70 total points in a game.
•    The start was William Buford's 103rd donning the Scarlet and Gray.
•    Buford passed the 1,500 mark for career points with 23.
•    Buford scored a season and game high 23 points for the Buckeyes, improving his career total to 1,505, passing Jerry Francis (1,486) for 18th-place and Troy Taylor (1,497) for 17th all-time in Ohio State career scoring. He is 12 behind Evan Turner (1,517) for 16th.
•    Buford had three rebounds, eight shy of reaching the 1,500 point and 500 rebound club. Only 15 other Buckeyes have achieved this feat.
•    Buford had a season-high six assists. He now has 275 for his career.
•    Jared Sullinger had 17 points for the Buckeyes. It is the 39th time he has scored in double figures in his career.
•    With 17 points and 12 rebounds, Sullinger earned his 21st career double-double. It was his third-consecutive double-double of the season.
•    Sullinger had 12 rebounds. He now has 428 as a Buckeye.
•    Sullinger's fourth-made field goal was his 250th as a Buckeye.
•    Aaron Craft had three steals. He has 89 for his career. It is the 16th time in his career he has had at least three in a game.
•    It is the sixth game in a row he has had at least three steals.
•    Craft had eight assists to push his career total to 202. He had seven in the first half.
•    With 13 points, Craft now has 296 as a Buckeye. It's the 12th time in his career he has scored double figures.
•    Deshaun Thomas had 11 points. It is the 15th time in his career he has scored in double figures.
•    Thomas was 3-4 from behind the arc for a career high in makes.
•    Lenzelle Smith, Jr. tied a career high with seven seven rebounds (seven vs. Wright State).
•    Jordan Sibert's three steals tied a career high (3, vs. UT Martin, 11/20/11).
•    J.D. Weatherspoon's 10 points are a season and career high (8, vs. Jackson St., 11/18/11).
•    Sam Thompson's eight points tied a season high (Jackson State, 11/18/11).
•    Shannon Scott's eight points were a season high (5, vs. North Florida, 11/21/11).
•    Evan Ravenel's tied a career high with eight points (8, three times).

The first four games of the regular season made up the Global Sports Shootout on the Ohio State schedule. Home games vs. Wright State (W 73-43, Nov. 11), Florida (W 81-74, Nov. 15), Jackson State (W 85-41, Nov. 15) and North Florida (W 85-50, Nov. 21) made up the event. Ohio State won a similar event a year ago with a 4-0 record beating North Carolina A&T, Florida on the road, UNC Wilmington and Morehead State in the Global Sports Invitational.

For each of the last 11 seasons, all as a head coach, Thad Matta has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Only Mark Few, among active coaches, has more consecutive 20-win seasons to start a career (12). Matta set the Ohio State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2008-09 with a 22-11 record and extended it with a 34-3 campaign in 2010-11, the seventh-consecutive Ohio State season with 20+ victories. The previous record was four held by the 1960-63 teams under legendary head coach Fred Taylor. Matta also has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last six seasons. That effort eclipsed Taylor's mark of 10+ league wins in each of the seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta's first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last four (10, 10, 14, 16). Ohio State also is the two-time defending Big Ten regular-season champion. The last time the Buckeyes won three or more consecutive titles was from 1960-64, a string of five-consecutive conference crowns.

400 AND 4,000 CLUB    
Senior William Buford has scored 569 career field goals and logged 3,549 career minutes in 111 games. He is on pace to join a small group of former Buckeyes with more than 400 field goals and 4,000 minutes played. David Lighty was added to an exclusive club following the game vs. Illinois Jan. 22, 2011. The former Buckeye reached 4,000 minutes played with more than 400 field goals in the Illinois win in Champaign. Lighty made 516 career field goals and logged 4,582 career minutes during his 157-game career. Lighty's classmate Jon Diebler had 473 made baskets (374 of which are 3s) while playing a total of 4,687 minutes in 144 games. He reached 400/4,000 with a triple and 36 minutes vs. Iowa Jan. 19.
    Herb Williams and Jamar Butler also logged 4,000+ minutes at Ohio State. Williams made 834 career field goals over 114 games and 4,216 minutes. Butler connected on 420 FGs (242 3FGs) over 139 games and 4,213 minutes played.

Evan Turner (1,517 pts., 682 rebs., 414 asts.) became just the second player in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists with eight helpers vs. Northwestern Jan. 19, 2010. Jim Jackson was the only other Buckeye to do so with 1,785 career points, 552 career rebounds and 372 career assists from 1990-92. David Lighty joined the duo last season. He finished with 1,458 points, 577 rebounds and 374 assists to his credit. Only 22 players in Ohio State history have scored more than 1,000 points and collected 500+ rebounds. Lighty was added to the list with five rebounds vs. Iowa Jan. 19. William Buford currently has 1,505 points, 492 rebounds and 275 assists.

Ohio State has made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 78 times since the shot was instituted for the 1986-87 season. The Buckeyes are 67-11 in those games after knocking down 16-of-26 treys vs. George Mason March 20. Opponents have made double-digit 3s 91 times and are 36-55 in those games vs. the Buckeyes. Matta's Ohio State teams are 52-9 when making 10 or more 3s in a game. Opponents are 8-29 against Matta-coached teams when making 10 or more treys.

Buford on Preseason List for 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior William Buford follows David Lighty (2011) as a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in 2012. Lighty was among the Top 10 finalists a year ago. Buford is one of 30 senior men's college basketball student-athletes on the 2012 preseason list. The field will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the 2011-12 regular season. The finalists, recognized for excellence in community, classroom, character and competition, will travel to the 2012 Final Four in New Orleans, where the winner will be announced.

Sullinger Earns All-America Honors
The Associated Press is the latest (Oct. 31) to select Ohio State sophomore Jared Sullinger as a 2011-12 preseason first team All-American. The Columbus, Ohio, native was a 2011 All-American as well after averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds as a rookie. Those numbers helped earn Sullinger the 2011 National Freshman of the Year award following Ohio State's 34-3 overall record a year ago.

Big Ten Media Pick Buckeyes, Sullinger
Ohio State was picked as the preseason favorite to win the league regular-season title by a vote of the conference media (Oct. 27). Sophomore Jared Sullinger also was tabbed as the favorite to earn conference player-of-the-year accolades. He also was selected to represent Ohio State on the preseason all-conference squad. Ohio State has won back-to-back league titles and is in position to win a third-consecutive title for the first time since the Buckeyes won five-consecutive titles from 1960-64. The last Buckeye to enter the season as the player of the year selection was guard Scoonie Penn before the 1999-2000 campaign.  

Buckeyes Touted Among Top 5
Ohio State entered the 2011-12 season ranked among the Top 5 nationally and as high as No. 3 in the both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll (Oct. 20) and the Associated Press Poll (Oct. 28). The Buckeyes will face several teams this year among the preseason AP Top 25 including No. 6 Duke, No. 8 Florida (W 81-74, 11-15-11), No. 13 Kansas, No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 18 Michigan. Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota also received Top 25 consideration.

100 Years in Big Ten
Ohio State will celebrate 100 years as a member of the Big Ten Conference in men's basketball in 2012. The Buckeyes finished in the No. 6 spot in the 1913 conference standings, the first season of league play. Over the 99 previous seasons, Ohio State has earned 19 Big Ten regular-season titles with 23 NCAA tournament appearance and one national championship (1960) and nine trips to the Final Four. Eight former coaches and players are members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame while nearly 50 student-athletes have been drafted by National Basketball Association teams, including 22 in the first round.

Honoring Bob Knight
The Ohio State men's basketball program will pay tribute to Bob Knight, a 1962 graduate of Ohio State, throughout the day Dec. 20 when the Buckeyes play host to Lamar University (8:30 p.m. tip). Coach Knight, who accumulated 902 all-time collegiate victories during his career at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech, will be honored at a luncheon at the Ohio Union and then recognized during the game vs. Lamar, where his son Pat Knight, is in his first season as head coach. For more information on the luncheon event go to, email Cindy Plummer at or call 614-688-3249.  
Jent Returns to Ohio State Sideline
Chris Jent left the professional ranks to return to his alma mater as an assistant basketball coach. Jent, who played and coached at the NBA level, played for the Buckeyes from 1988-92 and coached most recently for the Cleveland Cavaliers. As an Ohio State player, he helped the Buckeyes to back-to-back Big Ten titles and three-consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament. He spent 10 seasons in the professional ranks overseas, in the CBA and NBA. He was an assistant and interim head coach with the Orlando Magic before most recently coaching with the Cavaliers.

2011-12 Schedule among Best Nationally
Several Ohio State non-conference games will garner national attention this season in addition to the always rugged Big Ten slate of 18 regular-season contests. Ohio State will face Florida (W 81-74, 11/15/11) and Duke at Value City Arena with key non-league games at Kansas and South Carolina. With the addition of Nebraska to the conference schedule, league teams will play seven foes twice and four teams once during regular-season play. Ohio State plays host to Penn State and Purdue and will travel to Iowa and Minnesota. The rest of the league will compete against the Buckeyes both home and away.

Buford Set for Record Season
William Buford is the lone senior on the Ohio State roster this season. In fact, he is just one of two upperclassmen and the only player with more than a year of experience in an Ohio State uniform. After transfer Evan Ravenel, who transferred to Ohio State from Boston College and sat out the 2010-11 campaign, there are 11 freshmen (5) and sophomores (6) on the Ohio State roster. Buford has 1,505 career points over 111 career games (13.6 ppg.). Dennis Hopson (1984-87) is the all-time leading scorer in Ohio State history with 2,096 points over 125 career games played (16.8 ppg.). Buford is currently tied at the No. 19 spot on the Ohio State all-time scoring list.  

Paulus Leaves Navy to Work for Matta
Greg Paulus, who served as an assistant coach at Navy during the 2010-11 season, joined the Buckeyes last May to handle the program's video needs. He replaced Kevin Kuwik, who left Thad Matta's staff to become an assistant coach at Dayton. Paulus played basketball at Duke from 2006-09 and then a year of football at Syracuse.

Titles Mounting for Matta, Buckeyes
Thad Matta's teams have won four Big Ten regular-season titles and three league tournament crowns during his seven-year tenure at Ohio State. Ohio State has won each of the last two regular-season and tournament titles. The Buckeyes have not posted three-consecutive Big Ten Conference crowns since winning a conference record five-consecutive titles from 1960-64 under the direction of head coach Fred Taylor. Taylor led Ohio State to seven league championships from 1959-76. Harold G. Olson win five Big Ten titles as coach between 1923-46.

Buckeyes Return Plenty
Despite the loss of three senior starters, the Buckeyes return the majority of the offensive production from a year ago. Seven 2010-11 letterwinners return nearly 63 percent of the team's points (1,783 of 2,854), rebounds (805 of 1,277), assists 370 of 587 and steals (169 of 263) entering this season. Five incoming freshmen along with increased roles of the returning Buckeyes will attempt to make up for the losses of David Lighty (12.1 ppg.), Jon Diebler (12.6 ppg.) and Dallas Lauderdale (4.2 ppg, 54 total blocks). Four of the top six offensive players return in Jared Sullinger (17.2 ppg.), William Buford (14.4 ppg.), Deshaun Thomas (7.5 ppg.) and Aaron Craft (6.9 ppg.). Sullinger added 10.2 rebounds a game while Buford tallied 61 3-pointers while making 84 percent of his foul shots (59-70). Craft led the team in assists (177) and steals (73). Thomas was solid off the bench a year ago and is expected to have an increased role both offensively and defensively this year.

Ohio State incoming freshmen Shannon Scott and Amir Williams were selected Feb. 10, 2011 to represent the East (Scott) and West (Williams) teams in the 2011 McDonald's All-America game. The game was played March 30 at the United Center in Chicago. Scott led both teams with five steals. The East won the game 111-96. Scott also had four points, two rebounds and two assists over 12 minutes. Williams had six points, three rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes for the West squad. The Buckeyes will have five All-America game participants on their roster in 2011-12 in Jared Sullinger (2010), Deshaun Thomas (2010), William Buford (2008), Scott and Williams. Four McDonald's All-Americans were a part of Ohio State's 2006-07 squad that finished 35-4 overall, 15-1 in Big Ten Conference play, won the league regular-season title outright and played for the NCAA national title vs. Florida in April of 2007. Ivan Harris (2003), Greg Oden (2006), Mike Conley Jr. (2006) and Daequan Cook (2006), all former McDonald's All-Americans, played for the Buckeyes in 2006-07. Previously, B.J. Mullens (2008), Kosta Koufos (2007), Clark Kellogg (1979), Perry Carter (1987), Treg Lee (1987), Jim Jackson (1989), Charles Macon (1992) and Greg Simpson (1992) all played for Ohio State after playing in the McDonald's All-America game before joining the Ohio State program, a total of 17 all-time.

Ohio State's contains four players who have combined to win five Mr. Basketball awards in their respective home states. Jared Sullinger leads the team with two Mr. Ohio Basketball accolades, achieving the distinction both in 2009 and 2010, while playing at Northland High School. Deshaun Thomas, a native Fort Wayne, Ind., and Bishop Luers High School, captured Mr. Indiana Basketball in 2010. Senior William Buford claimed 2008 Mr. Ohio Basketball with his performance at now-closed Libbey High School in Toledo. Freshman Shannon Scott brings the recognition of being named 2011 Mr. Georgia Basketball to Columbus after starring at Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga. Freshman Amir Williams finished third in the 2011 Mr. Michigan Basketball voting.