Buckeyes Honor Coach Bob Knight, Host Lamar Tuesday
Coach Bob Knight

Dec. 19, 2011

Dec. 20, 2011
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) vs. Lamar Cardinals (8-3)
Site:                      Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time:      8:36 p.m. ET
Television:        Big Ten Network
Talent:             Gus Johnson (play-by-play)
                       Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio:              OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio:  Sirius 93  
Local Radio:       WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:      Paul Keels (play-by-play)
                         Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

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Honoring Coach Bob Knight
Over the course of 41 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech, Bob Knight amassed an astonishing 902 wins, three national championships, an Olympic Gold Medal and a 98 percent student-athlete graduation rate, among many other extraordinary accomplishments. His career wins total is second only to Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, a protégé of Coach Knight who just this year became the NCAA career wins leader. Inducted in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1991 and to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame last month, Coach Knight, who helped the Buckeyes as a student-athlete under legendary coach Fred Taylor to the NCAA title in 1960 and NCAA title game appearances in both 1961 and 1962, is being recognized tonight for his lifetime achievements and contributions to college basketball.

Thomas Named Big Ten Player of Week
Ohio State sophomore Deshaun Thomas has made 17-consecutive shots from inside the 3-point line. He made his last six attempts against South Carolina Upstate Dec. 14 and then all 11 2-pointers in the road win at South Carolina Dec. 17. For the season he is shooting 65 percent from 2-point range (55-84). Last week he was 19-21 from short range while shooting 74 percent overall (23-31), including a 13-16 shooting effort at South Carolina, where he tallied a career-high 30 points. He averaged 26.5 points in the two games last week. His efforts last week earned him the Big Ten Player of the Week honor. The last Ohio State player to earn the honor was Jon Diebler March 7, 2011. Thomas was named the league’s freshman of the week once last season.   

Matta Reaches 300, 200 at OSU
Thad Matta has a career record of 302-89 over 12 years as a head coach, which includes a 200-58 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.

Ohio State vs. Lamar
Ohio State will be facing Lamar University for the first time in program history. The Buckeyes are 4-0 against teams representing the Southland Conference with previous meetings against McNeese State (1-0), Texas-Arlington (2-0) and Texas-San Antonio. Ohio State took on UTSA in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament last March in Cleveland. The Buckeyes won that game 75-46. Lamar is coached by former Big Ten forward Pat Knight, who played for his father, Coach Bob Knight, at Indiana. Pat later coached alongside his father at Texas Tech. Pat was the head coach at TTU before taking over at Lamar for this his first season in Beaumont, Texas.  

The Third to 200 as a Buckeye
Two previous coaches have reached the 200-win plateau at Ohio State. Thad Matta became the third with the 74-66 win at South Carolina Dec. 17. 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 200 wins as a Buckeye over eight seasons with 85 wins in Big Ten regular-season play. His winning percentage of 77.5 overall and 70.8 in conference play are tops among the 13 head coaches in Ohio State history.

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 vs. South Carolina Upstate but has yet to see game action.

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 (+23.2 ppg.), No. 2 in turnover margin (+8.0), No. 5 in assist/turnover ratio (+1.58), No. 7 in assists per game (18.6) and No. 10 in field goal percentage (.503). The Buckeyes have the third longest home win streak in the country at 31. Duke and Kentucky are tied at 40.  

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 has remained there in the three polls since. The Buckeyes are 38-9 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.

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 117 career games, Buford has averaged 13.7 points for a total of 1,604. He also became the 16th player all-time to reach both 1,500 points and the 500-rebound mark (518) 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 S. Carolina Game (Dec. 17)
•    The Buckeyes move to 3-1 vs. South Carolina all-time and 33-27 all-time vs. members of the SEC.
As a ranked team, Ohio State is 405-109 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 284-60.
•    When ranked in the Top 3 of the Associated Press, Ohio State is 141-21.
•    As the AP No. 2 ranked team in the nation, Ohio State improves to 38-9 overall.
•    In their last 64 games, the Scarlet and Gray are 58-6.
•    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).
•    The win vs. South Carolina was Coach Thad Matta’s 200th career win at Ohio State.
•    Matta’s career record moves to 302-89 overall and 200-58 at Ohio State.
•    Ohio State is 46-7 in December under Coach Matta.
•    Matta is now 167-20 overall vs. unranked teams and 112-2 in Columbus.
•    Matta is 102-19 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State.
•    Ohio State is 185-5 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play.
•    When shooting a better percentage than the opponent, Ohio State improves to 177-18 under Matta, including 10-0 this season.
•    When shooting better than 50 percent from the field Ohio State improves to 99-7 overall and 5-0 this season under Matta.
•    The Buckeyes improve to 169-45 when limiting themselves to under 15 total turnovers (Ohio State had 13 turnovers vs. South Carolina).
•    Deshaun Thomas had a career-high 30 points. It is the 21st time in his career he has scored in double figures.
•    Thomas made all 11 shots he took inside the 3-point line and has made 17-consecutive 2-point field goals. In the last two games he has made 19 of 21 2-point shots.
•    It is also the 10th-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 had almost 50 percent of the made field goals for the Buckeyes, connecting on 13 of Ohio State’s 27 made.
•    The start was William Buford’s 109th donning the Scarlet and Gray.
•    Buford scored 17 points for the Buckeyes, improving his career total to 1,604, passing Robin Freeman (1,597) for 10th place in Ohio State career scoring. He is nine points behind Perry Carter (1,613) for ninth all time.
•    It was the 10th time this season Buford has scored in double figures.
•    Buford had five rebounds to push his career total to 518. He is one of 16 former Buckeyes in the prestigious 1,500 point and 500 rebound club.
•    Buford had five assists. He now has 295 for his career.
•    With four points, Aaron Craft now has 355 for his career.
•    Craft had two steals. He has 104 for his career. He has had at least one steal in all 11 games this season.
Craft had five assists to push his career total to 236. He has had at least three in every game this season. He has 42 in his last seven games.
•    Thomas’ 13 made field goals are a career high (previous high was 7 vs. Kansas, 12/10/11).
•    Lenzelle Smith, Jr. had a career high nine rebounds.

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.

400 And 4,000 Club   
Senior William Buford has scored 604 career field goals and logged 3,765 career minutes in 117 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 1,604 points, 518 rebounds and 295 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 (W 85-63, 11/29/11), No. 8 Florida (W 81-74, 11/15/11), No. 13 Kansas (L 78-67, 12/10/11), 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 (W 74-66, 12/17/11). 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 Working on 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 1,604 career points over 117 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. 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.