No. 2 Ohio State Travels to South Carolina
Aaron Craft

Dec. 15, 2011

Opponent: South Carolina Gamecocks (6-4)
Site: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Date and Game Time: Saturday, Dec. 17; 12:02 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN
Talent: Mike Patrick (play-by-play); Len Elmore (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 91/XM 91
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play), Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Game Notes: Ohio StateGet Acrobat Reader | South Carolina Get Acrobat Reader

Matta Reaches 300, Going for 200 at OSU
Thad Matta has a career record of 301-89 over 12 years as a head coach, which includes a 199-58 record in eight seasons at Ohio State. Matta coached for one season at Butler and three at Xavier before taking over the Ohio State program for the 2004-05 season. In his time with the Buckeyes, Matta has four Big Ten regular season titles and three Big Ten tournament crowns. The Buckeyes have been to five NCAA tournaments with Matta at the helm. He has taken nine teams to NCAA tournament play and won the 2008 National Invitational Tournament with Ohio State.

The Third to 200 as a Buckeye
Two previous coaches have reached the 200-win plateau at Ohio State. Thad Matta is close to becoming the third. Fred Taylor recorded 297 career victories from 1959-1976 while also earning 158 Big Ten Conference regular-season victories. Harold G. Olsen tallied 259 all-time wins from 1923-46. He accumulated 154 Big Ten victories. Matta has 198 wins as a Buckeye over eight seasons with 85 wins in Big Ten regular-season play. His winning percentage of 77.3 overall and 70.8 in conference play are tops among the 13 head coaches in Ohio State history.

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 (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 and then recognized during the game vs. Lamar, where his son Pat Knight, is in his first season as head coach.

Ross Returns to Ohio State Roster
LaQuinton Ross, a 6-foot-8-inch freshman forward from Jackson, Miss., has been added to the Ohio Stare roster for the remainder of his freshman season. Ross attended classes and worked out with the Buckeyes over the summer before leaving the team just prior to the start of official practice in October to work on meeting NCAA academic qualification requirements. He met those requirements and joined the team Dec. 11. He officially became eligible Dec. 9. He dressed for the first time in his No. 10 Ohio State uniform Wednesday vs. South Carolina Upstate but did not play.

NCAA Stats Update
Ohio State rates among the Top 10 in several NCAA statistical categories after nine games. The Buckeyes are No. 2 in scoring margin (+24.8 ppg.), No. 2 in turnover margin (+8.1), No. 4 in assist/turnover ratio (+1.63) and No. 9 in assists per game (18.4).

Buford Stands Tall vs. the Ranked
In wins vs. No. 7 Florida and No. 3 Duke along with the loss at No. 13 Kansas, senior William Buford has led the Buckeyes in scoring (20.7 ppg.), minutes (39.7 mpg.) and free throw percentage (11-12, .917). Four players have averaged double figures with Jared Sullinger (18.5 ppg.), Deshaun Thomas (17.3 ppg.) and Aaron Craft (13.7 ppg.) all over single digits. Sullinger led the way on the boards with 7.0 rpg. Craft has delivered 21 assists and recorded six steals.

Ohio State Remains Ranked No. 2
Ohio State moved up to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll released Nov. 28 and remain there following the release of the Dec. 12 poll as well. The Buckeyes are 37-9 all-time as the second-ranked team in the AP poll and 34-30 when both teams are ranked in the Top 15 after the loss to No. 13 Kansas. In the most recent poll, four of the Buckeyes' opponents are among the Top 15 and eight foes are among the Top 25. Northwestern also is receiving votes for AP Top 25 consideration as is Purdue in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.

Ohio State vs. South Carolina
The Buckeyes are 2-1 all-time vs. South Carolina. The teams are completing a home-and-home series after facing off in Columbus last season (OSU W 79-57). The teams split a home-and-home series in 1988 and 1989 with Buckeyes falling in Columbia 74-68 Dec. 20, 1988 and then defeating the Gamecocks at St. John Arena in Columbus 59-46 Dec. 21, 1989. Ohio State has played a member of the SEC already this season, a victory over No. 7 Florida at Value City Arena. All-time, Ohio State is 32-27 against teams currently representing the SEC. Dave Dickerson, Ohio State associate head coach, is a native of South Carolina. He is from Olar, S.C., about an hour south of Columbia, S.C.

Ohio State vs. The Southeastern Conference
Alabama 2-2
Arkansas 1-2
Florida 7-4
Georgia 0-1
Kentucky 9-11
Louisiana State 1-1
Mississippi 1-0
Mississippi State 1-0
South Carolina 2-1
Tennessee 4-2
Vanderbilt 3-3
Totals 31-27

Buford 17th to Reach 1,500 Career Pts.
With 23 points against VMI Nov. 23, senior William Buford surpassed 1,500 career points to become the 17th Buckeye in history to reach that mark. Over 116 career games, Buford has averaged 13.7 points for a total of 1,587. He also became the 16th player all-time to reach both 1,500 points and the 500-rebound mark (513) with five boards vs. Duke Nov. 29.

Sullinger Moving up Career Double-Double Charts
Sophomore Jared Sullinger has recorded at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in five of the last six games he played for a career total of 23. He tied the Ohio State freshman record with 18 double-doubles a season ago. His career total is tied for 14th all-time with Craig Taylor (1973-76). 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). Through eight games, Sullinger is averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game. He tallied 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds a game as a freshman.

Buckeyes Opened with Eight at Home
The Buckeyes played the last of 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, vs. UTPA Dec. 3. That run was the longest to start 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 made their first road trip of the season this year to Kansas Dec. 10.

Noting the USC Upstate Game (Dec. 14)
• The win vs. USC Upstate was the 31st-consecutive victory at home for Ohio State dating back Michigan Feb. 27, 2010.
• The Buckeyes move to 1-0 vs. USC Upstate all-time and 13-0 all-time vs. members of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
• As a ranked team, Ohio State is 404-109 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 283-60.
• When ranked in the Top 3 of the Associated Press, Ohio State is 140-21.
• As the AP No. 2 ranked team in the nation, Ohio State improves to 37-9 overall.
• Against non-conference opponents, Ohio State is 89-5 (.945) at Value City Arena and 151-24 overall.
• In the last 63 games, the Scarlet and Gray are 57-6.
• The win vs. Upstate was the 106th win vs. an unranked opponent at Value City Arena.
• Ohio State has won 103 of its last 104 games against unranked opponents in Columbus.
• The Buckeyes own a 112-2 record vs. unranked opponents at home since 2004-05.
• Since the 2009-10 season, the Buckeyes are 46-1 at Value City Arena.
• This is the 271st-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).
Thad Matta's career record moves to 301-89 overall and 199-58 at Ohio State.
• Ohio State is 45-7 in December under Coach Matta.
• Ohio State is now 132-23 overall at Value City Arena and 128-10 under Matta.
• Matta is now 166-20 overall vs. unranked teams and 112-2 in Columbus.
• Matta is 101-19 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State.
• The Buckeyes are 167-20 under Matta when leading at the half.
• Ohio State is 184-5 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play.
• When shooting a better percentage than the opponent, Ohio State improves to 176-18 under Matta.
• The Buckeyes improve to 168-45 when limiting themselves to under 15 total turnovers (Ohio State had 13 turnovers vs. Upstate).
• The start was William Buford's 108th donning the Scarlet and Gray.
• Buford scored 14 points for the Buckeyes, improving his career total to 1,587. He is 11th place in Ohio State career scoring. He is 10 behind Robin Freeman (1,597) for 10th place in Ohio State career scoring.
• It was the ninth time this season Buford has scored in double figures.
• Buford had one rebound to push his career total to 513. He is one of 16 former Buckeyes in the prestigious 1,500 point and 500 rebound club.
• Buford had three assists. He now has 290 for his career.
• With six points, Aaron Craft now has 351 for his career. It's the sixth time this season and 15th time in his career he has scored in double figures.
• Craft had five steals. He has 102 for his career. He has had at least one steal in all 10 games this season.
• Craft had four assists to push his career total to 231. He has had at least three in every game this season. He has 37 in his last six games.
Deshaun Thomas had a season high 23 points. It is the 20th time in his career he has scored in double figures.
• It is also the ninth-consecutive game Thomas has scored in double figures.
• Besides the season opener, Thomas has scored double figures in every game this season.
• Thomas' three assists tied a career high.
• Thomas' 10 made field goals are a career high (previous high was 7 vs. Kansas, 12/10/11).
• The game vs. Upstate was the first game Jared Sullinger has come off the bench in his career.
• Sullinger finished the contest with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It was the eighth time this season he has scored in double figures.
• It was the 23rd time in Sullinger's career he has recorded a double-double, including five this season.
Sam Thompson's eight points tied a career high (vs. VMI, 11/23/11)
• Thompson's 21 minutes played are a career high (19 vs. Jackson State, 11/18/11)
Evan Ravenel made his third-consecutive start and finished with nine points.

Buckeyes win Global Sports Event
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.

Matta Looks for Another 20-Win Season
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.

Buckeyes Set Record for Home Wins
Ohio State finished 20-0 at home after its win vs. Wisconsin March 6, 2011. The win total set the school record for home wins and a Value City Arena record with a 19-0 record. The 2006-07 squad previously set the VCA record with 18 wins in a season. The Buckeyes played one game last year at St. John Arena. Ohio State currently is on a 31-game home win streak, tied for the second-longest home win streak in school history. The Buckeyes again have 20 scheduled home games in 2011-12 with 19 played at VCA and one at Nationwide Arena (Dec. 22 vs. Miami (Ohio)). The game at Nationwide satisfies an NCAA requirement for the host school of the NCAA Second and Third Rounds (March 16, 18, 2012) to play at least one game at the NCAA tournament site.

400 And 4,000 Club
Senior William Buford has scored 599 career field goals and logged 3,725 career minutes in 116 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.

Buford On Pace to Join Turner, Jackson, Lighty in OSU Record Book
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 1,587 points, 513 rebounds and 290 assists.

Double Digit 3s
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.

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 have garnered national attention this season there is more to come in the always rugged Big Ten slate of 18 regular-season contests. Ohio State faced Florida (W 81-74, 11/15/11) and Duke (W 85-63, 11/29/11) at Value City Arena with key non-league games at Kansas (L 78-67, 12/10/11) 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 1,587 career points over 116 career games (13.7 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. 13 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.

Scott, Williams Add to Ohio State's 17-Player McDonald's List
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.

Five Mr. Basketball Honorees on Ohio State Roster
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.