• Follow us on Twitter @buckeyeplanet and @bp_recruiting, like us on Facebook! Enjoy a post or article, recommend it to others! BP is only as strong as its community, and we only promote by word of mouth, so share away!
  • Consider registering! Fewer and higher quality ads, no emails you don't want, access to all the forums, download game torrents, private messages, polls, Sportsbook, etc. Even if you just want to lurk, there are a lot of good reasons to register!

tOSU vs Indiana (Game Preview)


Never Forget 31-0


Thad Matta

Buckeyes, Hoosiers To Battle in Columbus
By Dave Biddle Assistant Editor
Date: Feb 14, 2005

Ohio State and Indiana have engaged in some heated battles over the years. Tuesday, the teams will face off in Columbus with fourth place in the Big Ten on the line. Indiana guard Bracey Wright's status is still questionable (ankle sprain). Here is a preview.

Ohio State will host Indiana Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN) with fourth place in the Big Ten standings on the line.

The Buckeyes (17-8, 6-5) are coming off a 66-56 win at Penn State Saturday, just their second road victory of the season.

The Hoosiers (11-10, 6-4) recorded a big 71-56 victory over visiting Minnesota Saturday, despite playing without star guard Bracey Wright.

Wright, a 6-3 junior guard, leads Indiana in scoring at 18.5 points per game. He has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain and it is not clear if he will play against OSU.

D.J. White, a 6-9 freshman forward, has picked up the slack recently. Overall, he is averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and could be the top freshman in the conference.

The rest of IU's starting lineup includes: 6-5 freshman G/F Robert Vaden (10.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg), 6-2 junior guard Marshall Strickland (7.1 ppg, 3.0 assists per game), 6-2 freshman guard A.J. Ratliff (6.1 ppg) and 6-8 sophomore forward Pat Ewing (4.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

Indiana defeated the Buckeyes 67-60 in Bloomington on Jan. 22. Ohio State's Thad Matta has never been swept in a two-game regular season series during his four years as a head coach.

"This is obviously a team that has already beaten us once," Matta said of Indiana. "As you go to game two of a conference series, you look back at why you lost the first game and try and get yourself prepared. I think the records are pretty similar, so it's a meaningful game."

Matta is not sure if Wright will play. He tried to give it a go against Minnesota, but had to shut it down following a pregame workout. He looked good shooting, but could not run without a serious limp.

"I don't know," Matta said of Wright's status. "They won without him Saturday and obviously he's a tremendous player. I saw the ankle sprain, but I don't know a whole lot about if he's going to play or not, but we'll prepare as though he is."

Indiana has arguably the best freshman class in the Big Ten.

"They have a tremendous foundation," Matta said. "I think D.J. White is probably one of the best post guys we've gone against this year. Ratliff and Vaden are two guys I've seen play since they were in eighth grade and both guys are really doing well for them. So, I think their foundation is really strong."

Matta and the Buckeyes are closing in on a 20-win season. Since they are not playing for the NCAA Tournament, reaching 20 wins would be a good achievement. But Matta said the team did not set any specific goals, as far as number of wins, heading into the season.

"No," he said. "I honestly didn't know what to expect through the Big Ten, and I didn't know what to expect from our guys. And that's honestly why we probably chose the path of one day at a time. Because we still... Saturday's game at Penn State was another lesson for us. We're going into a place where we hadn't played very well last year and how are we going to respond? How are we going to play on the road? We now have two road wins -- at Northwestern, at Penn State -- and I thought it was an interesting challenge for us. I was happy with the ways the guys played."

Over the years, Ohio State-Indiana basketball has been a rivalry game. Obviously nothing like OSU-Michigan in football, but if you ask the average OSU basketball fan, they will most likely tell you the Hoosiers are OSU's rival. But Matta says every team in the Big Ten could be considered a rival.

"What I've found is that the games are so much more important because of the Big Ten," he said. "I view every (conference) game that we play as a huge rivalry game."

Ohio State's 6-9 junior center Terence Dials is averaging 15.5 points and eight rebounds per game. He is the unquestioned leader of the team, but the Buckeyes have proven lately that they can survive without Dials on the floor. He tends to get in foul trouble, and early in the season, that might have meant an automatic loss for OSU. But against the Nittany Lions, the Bucks did most of their damage in the second half with Dials on the bench.

"I think you go to the Northwestern game where he was in foul trouble and we made a big run when he wasn't in there," Matta said. "And the other day (against Penn State) we're up two and he picks up his fourth foul and we get it to 11. You hope that guys have more of an appreciation of what they're capable of. But I don't ever want them to lose sight of how important Terence is to us, because we need him playing his best basketball."

The Buckeyes miss Dials' scoring when he's out of the game, but it goes beyond that.

"We have to do a better job of rebounding when he is out of the game," Matta said. "That's one of the things that we may talk about at timeouts is that we've got to have all five guys rebounding the ball because he's not in there."

Sophomore forward Ivan Harris pulled down a game-high eight rebounds against PSU. It was a good sign for the future.

"It was huge, because we had challenged him to rebound the ball," Matta said. "I think he has the skills to do it and it was good to see he responded to the challenge we asked him to do. It was huge for us because we need rebounding at that four spot."

* Freshman point guard Jamar Butler seems to play a little better each time out. He's not being asked to score this year, but he is playing good defense and distributing the ball.

"I feel like I'm a lot more comfortable," he said. "I'm trying to take care of the ball and help my team. Coming in as a freshman and playing the point guard, it's difficult because you have to be verbal, run your team, make sure everybody is where they're supposed to be at. So it's hard being a freshman and playing with upperclassmen and doing that."

Butler gave the scouting report on the Hoosiers.

"They're very athletic," he said. "Three athletic freshmen in the starting lineup and Bracey Wright, one of the best players in the nation. They have a great team."

When asked how much it will hurt Indiana if Wright cannot play, Butler responded: "I don't know because I haven't really seen them play without him. But they've been winning without him, so they must be doing fine."

With three freshman in IU's lineup, this could be a good game for Butler to prove that OSU has some good newcomers as well. But he's not concerned with the individual battles.

"I don't really want to show what I've got, I just want to play within our system and play with my team and try and get a win," Butler said.

* As for junior forward J.J. Sullinger, he took some proper ribbing for the technical foul he picked up late in the game against Penn State, following a Matt Sylvester 3-pointer. Sullinger is a good guy, so the T took everyone by surprise. But his teammates have been kind enough to remind him of it the last couple days.

"I just got excited and said, 'Yeah,' real loud, and at the same time I was in someone's face," Sullinger explained.

Sullinger says he and his teammates are not trying to downplay the Indiana game. They know the season is winding down and this is a big game.

"It's huge," he said. "I think the game (Tuesday) is for lone fourth place, which if we were playing the Big Ten Tournament would lead us into the second day, instead of playing the first day. So that's big.

"Also, Indiana got us the first time, so you don't want to get swept or anything like that. So, it's huge for us."

But like Matta said, the Buckeyes do not view Indiana as their rival. They think every team in the conference is a rival (hey, tell that to Jimmy Jackson and Damon Bailey, right?).

"Every Big Ten game is huge for us," Sullinger said. "We don't like to make one more special than the other. Indiana has great tradition, so does Ohio State, so it's going to be a good battle."


* Matta is 66-7 in his career in home games as a head coach.

* OSU is 89-21 all-time in VCA and 13-1 at home this year (one game was at St. John Arena).

* Indiana head coach Mike Davis is 92-63 overall in six years.

* Indiana leads the all-time series with Ohio State 98-69, but OSU holds a 3-2 advantage at Value City Arena.

* The victory over Penn State last Saturday gave the Buckeyes 17 wins in Matta's first season. Gary Williams, who coached at Ohio State from 1987-89, owns the record with 20 wins for a first year coach at Ohio State. Matta, the 13th head coach in Ohio State history, is a win away from taking sole possession of second place for wins by a first year coach at OSU. He is currently tied for the No. 2 spot with George M. Trautman (1920-22) and Randy Ayers (1990-1997), each with 17 wins in their first season at Ohio State.
I think this will be a great game for the Bucks. We play well at home and it looks like Wright will not play. I hope the place is sold out.


Bourbon, Bow Ties and Baseball Hats
Staff member
BP Recruiting Team

Feb. 14, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Date Feb. 15, 2005
Opponent Indiana (11-10, 6-4)
Site Value City Arena (19,200)
Game Time 7 p.m.
Local TV None
TV Talent Brent Musburger, (P-by-P), Steve Lavin, Expert Analysis, Erin Andrews, Sideline
Radio OSU Radio Network (59 stations)
Local Radio WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Expert Analysis)

Matta Among Best 1st-Year OSU Coaches
The victory over Penn State last Saturday gave the Buckeyes 17 on the season, the first for rookie head coach Thad Matta. Gary Williams, who coached at Ohio State from 1987-89, owns the record with 20 wins for a first year coach at Ohio State. Matta, the 13th head coach in Ohio State history, is a win away from taking sole possession of second place for wins by a first year coach at OSU. He is currently tied for the No. 2 spot with George M. Trautman (1920-22) and Randy Ayers (1990-1997), each with 17 wins in their first season at Ohio State.

Yr. 1 BigCoach Yrs. Rcd. TenGary Williams 1987-89 20-13 9-9Thad Matta 2005- 17-8 6-5Randy Ayers 1990-97 17-13 10-8G.M. Trautman 1920-22 17-10 3-9Fred R. Taylor 1959-76 11-11 7-7Thomas Kibler 1909-10 11-1 NAJim O'Brien 1998-2004 8-22 1-15Eldon Miller 1977-86 8-18 4-14W.H.H. Dye 1047-50 7-13 5-7L. W. St. John 1912-19 7-5 NAFloyd S. Stahl 1951-58 6-16 3-11D.C. Huddleson 1903-04 5-2 NAHarold G. Olsen 1923-46 4-11 1-11

Season Finale vs. Illinois Set for CBS
No. 1 Illinois and Ohio State will square off in the regular-season finale for both teams at 2 p.m. March 6 on CBS. Ohio State is 13-1 at home this season and 12-1 in Value City Arena. Ohio State is 3-1 at VCA vs. the Illini, including a pair of victories over ranked Illini squads. The Buckeyes are 8-0 against ranked Big Ten teams at VCA when the facility is a sellout. In all games, the Buckeyes are 13-3 against ranked Big Ten teams at VCA, including a 2-1 record vs. Illinois.

Ohio State Ties 2004 Big Ten Win Total
Ohio State's road win over Penn State last weekend gave Ohio State a 6-5 record in Big Ten Conference play. Ohio State finished the 2004 Big Ten season with a 6-10 record after a 7-9 finish in 2003. Ohio State has five Big Ten regular-season games remaining in 2005.

Buckeyes Drive Toward 20th 20-Win Season
Ohio State last had a 20-win season in 2001-02 with a 24-8 mark. The Buckeyes recorded 17 and 14 wins the following two seasons, respectively, and are 17-8 to date this year. The Buckeyes have had 19 seasons with 20 or more wins in the history of the program. Thad Matta could become just the second head coach in Ohio State history to record a 20-win campaign in his first season on the job. Current Maryland head coach Gary Williams was 20-13 in his first year at Ohio State in 1987.

Dials Closing on 1,000 Career Points, Stockman on 1,500
Ohio State junior center Terence Dials passed the 900 career point plateau with 11 points against Purdue Feb. 2. He has 957 points for his career with at least six games remaining in the 2004-05 season. He is on pace to reach 1,000 at home against Wisconsin Feb. 27. He would become the 42nd player in Ohio State history to score 1,000 career points in an OSU uniform. The last player to reach 1,000 points was Brent Darby during the 2002-03 campaign. He finished his career with 1,368 career points, good for the No. 20 spot in OSU career scoring history. Tony Stockman has scored 1,438 career points during two seasons at Clemson (716) and Ohio State (722). He is on pace to reach 1,500 points at home against Illinois March 6.

Ohio State Rated 12th Best Program in College Basketball by Street & Smith's
In a recent special edition of Street & Smith's, the magazine rates Ohio State as the 12th best NCAA college basketball program of all-time. Several categories were used to rate programs across the country. The Buckeyes' NCAA tournament appearances (22), Final Four appearances (9), NCAA tournament wins (37), conference championships (17, 10 outright) and NBA first round draft picks (14) were all factored in, among other criteria. Ohio State was second only to Indiana (rated No. 6) among the eight Big Ten teams among the Top 100 programs. None of the listed league schools was rated lower than No. 55 by the magazine.

TD Doing a Double Take
Ohio State opponents have watched junior Terence Dials score in double figures in 17 of the last 19 games this season and in 19 of 25 games on the year. The 6-foot-9-inch center from Youngstown, Ohio, also has eight games with 10 or more rebounds on the year. In his career, Dials has 10 career games with 10 or more points and rebounds, with seven of the double-doubles recorded this season. Dials is the first player since Shaun Stonerook (eight in 1996-97) to record seven double-doubles in the same season. Dials also is the first since Stonerook to post eight or more career double-doubles. Stonerook had 11 career double-doubles.

Buckeyes Stay in the Game, Avoid DQs
Five Ohio State players have fouled out of the 25 games to date this season and none more than once. A year ago, a total of 22 players were disqualified with five fouls in a game. J.J. Sullinger was DQ'd eight times as a sophomore while Terence Dials found himself on the bench four times. Both have reached the maximum of five fouls in a game just once this year to date. As a team, Ohio State averages 16.8 fouls a game this year. The squad was whistled for an average of 19.6 fouls a contest in 2003-04.

Sylvester Paces Buckeyes with 15 at PSU
Ohio State shot 57 percent in the second half and needed 20 fewer shot attempts in the game to hold off Penn State 66-56 for the Buckeyes' 17 victory of the season. The Buckeye bench scored 28 points, led by Matt Sylvester's game-high 15 points in the win. Je'Kel Foster contributed 13 points and Terence Dials 12 for Ohio State. Freshman Jamar Butler handed out a career-best six assists in the win. Penn State outrebounded Ohio State 42-40, which included a 20-7 advantage on the offensive end, but the Nittany Lions struggled with their shots, making 21 of 70 attempts (.300), while Ohio State made 23 of 50 shots from the field (.460) and 11 of 27 3-pointers. Ohio State set a school record with 219 made long range shots in just 25 games this year. The 1998-99 team made 218 in 36 games.

Noting the Penn State Game The win gives Ohio State 17 victories on the season. That total is tied for the second most by a first-year coach in Ohio State history. Gary Williams (1987-89) owns the record with 20 victories in 1987. George M. Trautman (1920-22) and Randy Ayers (1990-97) each reached 17 in their first seasons.
Ohio State connected on 11 of 27 3-point shots for the game. The effort gave the 2004-05 Buckeyes 219 made treys on the year, setting an Ohio State single-season record for made 3-pointers.
Ohio State's bench contributed 28 points in the win. The Buckeye reserves have scored 20 or more points in each of the last six games. OSU is 5-1 in those contests.
Freshman guard Jamar Butler handed out a career-high six assists.
Sophomore Ivan Harris grabbed a career-best eight rebounds.
Je'Kel Foster connected on 3 of 5 shots from beyond the arc, marking the 12th time he has made three or more treys in a game. OSU is 10-2 in those games.
Foster reached double digits for the ninth time this season with 13 in the win over the Nittany Lions. Ohio State is 8-1 when Foster scores 10 or more points.
Matt Sylvester was the game's top scorer with 15 points. It's the first time on the season he has led his teammates in scoring. His three 3-pointers made are a career single-game high.
<LI>The Buckeyes improved to 17-13 all-time vs. the Nittany Lions and 6-7 in games played in State College, Pa. Ohio State has won six of the last seven vs. PSU, sweeping a two-game season series from Penn State for the fourth time.

Buckeyes Excel on Home Court
Ohio State is 13-1 in Columbus this season and 12-1 at Value City Arena. The other victory was against Chattanooga at St. John Arena, the former home of the Buckeyes, earlier this year. Ohio State's only home loss was in overtime (60-56) to Minnesota. Ohio State has won 11 or more games at Value City Arena in six of the seven seasons since the facility opened for the 1998-99 campaign.

Dials Leads Team With 11 Career Games with 20 or More Points
Tony Stockman's 22 points in the win against No. 14 Iowa (1/8/05) gave him 10 games with 20 or more points as a Buckeye. He trails Terence Dials, who scored 22 points at Michigan State (2/9/05) for his 11th career 20-point game. Dials has scored 20 or more points in nine games this season to lead the team.

Ohio State vs. Ranked Foes
Overall, Ohio State is 130-211 all-time against ranked opponents and 54-106 against Top 10 teams after facing No. 1 Illinois (1/5/05). The Buckeyes fell to 6-9 vs. No. 1 teams following the loss to the Illini, breaking a four-game win streak vs. top-ranked teams. No. 14 Iowa fell in Columbus at Value City Arena Jan. 8 (81-69) and the Buckeyes fell to No. 13 Michigan State (Feb. 9).

Ohio State Wins No. 1,400 in Program History
In 106 years of basketball since 1898, the men's basketball program at Ohio State has an overall record of 1,408-982 with a 17-8 record this season.

Ohio State to Retire Havlicek's No. 5 Feb. 27 vs. Wisconsin
John Havlicek, who lettered from 1960-62 for the Ohio State men's basketball team and later starred for the NBA's Boston Celtics, will be back on campus Feb. 27, 2005 to celebrate the retirement of his No. 5 jersey. Havlicek helped the Buckeyes to three-consecutive trips to the NCAA Final Four and three national championship games during his career. The Buckeyes won the 1960 NCAA title and were runners-up in 1961 and 1962. As a Buckeye, Havlicek scored 1,223 points (14.6 ppg.) and grabbed 720 rebounds (8.6 rpg). He ranks 25th all-time in career scoring at Ohio State and is one of just 41 players all-time to score more than 1,000 points. The Buckeyes were 78-6 during his career. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and a first-team All-American as a senior in 1962. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., Havlicek made nearly 51 percent of his shots from the field and 73 percent of his free throws. As a senior, he averaged 17.0 points and almost 10 rebounds a game. Havlicek is the fourth Ohio State men's basketball player to have his number retired. He joins No. 11 Jerry Lucas (Feb. 23, 2000), No. 35 Gary Bradds (Jan. 27, 2001) and No. 22 Jim Jackson (Feb. 10, 2001).

Buckeyes Host 11-10 IU Squad
Indiana improved to 11-10 overall and 6-4 in the Big Ten with a 71-56 win at home over Minnesota last Saturday. The Hoosiers dropped three of four league games prior to their clash with the Golden Gophers. Junior Bracey Wright leads the team in scoring with 18.5 points a game. He is followed by freshman D.J. White's 13.4 ppg. White is the team leader with 5.2 rebounds a game.

Davis in 5th Year at IU
Indiana head coach Mike Davis is 92-63 as a collegiate head coach in his six seasons at Indiana.

Dials, Sullinger Lead Ohio State vs. IU
Junior Terence Dials leads Ohio State with an average of 15.2 points a game against the Hoosiers in six career meetings against IU. Junior J.J. Sullinger is the second leading scorer vs. Indiana with a 9.5 ppg. Dials connects on 56 percent of his shots (36-64) in the IU series. Dials also is the top rebounder with an average of 8.3 a contest vs Indiana.

The Indiana Series
Indiana leads the all-time series with Ohio State 98-69, including a 59-22 record in Bloomington. The Buckeyes have won six of the last 12 games in the series. Ohio State fell earlier this year on the road, 67-60, to the Hoosiers Jan. 22.

Ohio State vs. The Big TenIllinois 59-100Indiana 69-98Iowa 66-71Michigan 83-70Michigan State 46-58Minnesota 74-52Northwestern 105-44Penn State 17-13Purdue 73-78Wisconsin 80-59Totals 672-643

Buckeyes 3-2 vs. Indiana in VCA
Ohio State is 3-2 all-time against Indiana at Value City Arena since the facility opened for the 1998-99 season. The Buckeyes are 38-15 (.717) all-time vs. Big Ten opponents at VCA. Ohio State is undefeated in VCA games vs. Purdue (5-0) and Northwestern (6-0). Ohio State is 5-1 vs. Minnesota and Penn State, 4-1 vs. Michigan and 3-1 vs. Illinois. The Buckeyes own 3-2 records vs. both Wisconsin and Indiana, are 2-3 vs. Michigan State and 2-4 against Iowa. Northwestern and Michigan State do not travel to Columbus this year. Ohio State is 13-1 at home, 4-1 vs. the Big Ten this year and has just one losing season vs. Big Ten opponents to date, a 3-5 record a year ago.

Matta Coaching 3rd Game vs. IU
First-year Buckeye head coach Thad Matta is coaching in his first Big Ten Conference season and is 6-5 to date. He has competed against Wisconsin (2-1), Purdue (2-1), Illinois (0-1), Indiana (0-2), Iowa (1-0), Minnesota (0-1), Penn State (2-0), Northwestern (1-0), Michigan (1-0) and Michigan State (0-1) during his years at Butler, Xavier and Ohio State.

Buckeyes Look to Break Streak in Feb. 15 Games
Ohio State enjoyed a 13-game winning streak in Feb. 15 games from 1936-1992 but have fallen in the last four outings on this date. Overall, the Buckeyes are 14-8 on this date in history.

2/15/07 L @Western Reserve, 22-312/15/13 L Wisconsin, 22-272/15/16 W @Ohio Wesleyan, 30-262/15/19 L Indiana, 31-372/15/30 L Purdue(ot), 25-272/15/36 W Indiana, 43-342/15/37 W Northwestern, 33-302/15/41 W Purdue, 57-382/15/47 W @Michigan State, 58-462/15/54 W Iowa, 77-692/15/58 W Michigan, 85-762/15/60 W @Illinois, 109(4)-81(20)2/15/64 W Wisconsin, 92-742/15/69 W Minnesota, 58(16)-412/15/75 W Wisconsin, 76-702/15/79 W @Minnesota, 74(17)-682/15/90 W @Wisconsin, 68-582/15/92 W @Wisconsin, 67(8)-632/15/94 L @Illinois, 68-802/15/96 L Purdue, 55-63(11)2/15/00 L @Michigan State, 72(7)-83(5)2/15/03 L @Michigan, 54-70

Buckeyes Establish 3-point Records
Ohio State has set several 3-point shooting records to date this season in 25 games played. The 2004-05 squad owns the top three spots in single game 3-pointers made after a school record 18 makes from long range at LSU (1/15/05). The effort at LSU also is a Big Ten record for made 3s in a single game. The 17 makes at St. John Arena earlier this year (11/27/04) is second ahead of the 15 made at Clemson (12/1/04). The current squad also tied the No. 7 spot with 12 made vs. Iowa (1/8/05) and the No. 9 position with 11 made vs. Penn State (2/12/05) and Morehead State (12/19/04). The 35 attempted vs. Chattanooga is a school record and the 34 tries at LSU is second. In all, the current roster of Buckeyes owns eight of the Top 10 single game spots in attempted 3-pointers in school history.

More From Long Range
As a team, the Buckeyes have taken 570 3-pointers this season, making 219. The number of attempts is No. 2 in season attempts by a team. The 219 makes rates No. 1 all-time by an OSU squad. The 1998-99 Ohio State team made 218 in 36 games. The record was set with an 11 of 27 effort at Penn State Feb. 12 from long range. The Buckeyes are on pace to make 272 3-pointers this season, which would rank No. 2 in Big Ten history for a single season. Penn State owns the single season team record for made 3-pointers with 278 in 2000-01. Ohio State is on pace for 706 attempts as well, which would also take over the No. 1 spot held by the 1998-99 squad's 611. The Big Ten Record is 757 held by Penn State in 2000-01.

Buckeyes in the Big Ten
Terence Dials is the No. 2 rebounder in the Big Ten with an average of 8.0 rebounds a game. He is No. 3 in defensive rebounds (5.32) and No. 5 in offensive rebounds (2.68). Tony Stockman is No. 6 in 3-pointers made per game (2.32) and No. 8 in steals (1.60). Brandon Fuss-Cheatham is No. 2 in assist to turnover ratio (2.65) and No. 8 in assists (3.60). Dials is No. 7 in scoring (15.5 ppg.) and No. 4 in field goal shooting by percentage (.574). Je'Kel Foster rates as the No. 3 3-point shooter by percentage (.450).

Matta Era Underway
The 13th head coach in Ohio State history, Thad Matta took over the Ohio State men's basketball program July 7. The new staff begins with a roster of 13 players for the 2004-05 campaign, nine of which are returning letterwinners from a 14-16 squad in 2003-04. That Buckeyes team finished ninth in the Big Ten with a 6-10 league mark and a first round exit in the Big Ten tournament.

Noting the Buckeyes
Junior J.J. Sullinger has connected on 56 percent of his shots from the field (93-167) in 25 games this season. He has scored in double figures in 12 games. The Buckeyes are 10-2 when Sullinger scores 10 or more points this season. He trails Terence Dials (8.0 rpg.) for the team rebounding lead with 5.3 rpg. Sullinger's 16 blocks leads the team. He has upped his career scoring average to 9.9 points a game with 828 career points in 84 career games. Against Chattanooga Nov. 27, Sullinger tied a career high with four made 3-pointers in five attempts. Sullinger has at least one assist in 21 games this year and at least one steal in 17 outings. In two seasons in Columbus, Sullinger has scored 555 points with 269 rebounds. Sullinger has fouled out of a game just once this season after being disqualified eight times as a sophomore. With 11 rebounds vs. Minnesota (1/19), he recorded his third career game with 10 or more boards. In the first 13 games of the season, Sullinger connected on 23 of 43 foul shots (.534) but has upped his shooting percentage from the line to .644 after going 24 of 30 from the stripe in the last 12 games (.800).

Senior Brandon Fuss-Cheatham owns the team lead with 90 assists, a single-season high, against just 34 turnovers from the point guard position. His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.6/1 is the best of his career and rates No. 2 in the Big Ten. In 588 minutes, he has averaged one turnover in 17.3 minutes played. He is playing 23.5 minutes a contest to date. He set a career high with four made 3-pointers at Clemson while scoring 14 points against the Tigers. His 15 points vs. Penn State (1/26) is a season high. He reached 300 career points (380) as a Buckeye with five vs. Mercer (12/22). He reached 200 career assists (226) with seven at LSU (1/15/05). He reached 100 career games played as a Buckeye at Indiana (1/22).

Sophomore Ivan Harris has started 25 games this year after making two all of his freshman season. He scored a career-high 20 points in the double overtime game at LSU (1/15/05), including 15 first-half points. He tallied 19 points in the semifinals of the Guardians Classic against Houston and then added 11 points in the overtime loss to Creighton, earning a spot on the all-tournament team alongside teammate J.J. Sullinger. Harris is connecting on 49 percent of his shots (82-168) from the field as a sophomore. He scored five 3-pointers in seven attempts against Chattanooga and then made 5 of 9 treys at Clemson. He made all five attempts in the second half from long range vs. Chattanooga and 4 of 7 in the final 20 minutes at Clemson. He has reached 10 or more points 12 times in his career. He connected on 5 of 8 shots and 4 of 5 3-pointers at Illinois (Jan. 5) and made 4 of 8 treys at LSU. Against Penn State Feb. 12, he grabbed a career high eight rebounds, including a career best seven on the defensive end.

Senior Tony Stockman averages 13.2 points a game this season in 28.6 minutes a game. He tallied 13.6 points a game a year ago in 33.5 minutes a contest. Against Delaware (11/19) he scored 26 points, his career-high effort as a Buckeye. He also knocked down six 3-pointers against the Blue Hens. Stockman has connected on six or more 3-pointers three times as a Buckeye. He led Ohio State to a win over Texas Tech in Dallas (Dec. 16) with 23 points. Stockman leads Ohio State with 40 steals. His shooting percentage of .413 (121-293) is the best of his career. He had made at least one 3-pointer in 31-consecutive games as a Buckeye before an 0-3 outing vs. Minnesota (1/15/05). He was held scoreless in that contest for the first time since facing N.C. State his freshman season at Clemson, a span of 89 games. His one made 3-pointer vs. Portland State was the 250th of his career. His five made treys vs. Texas Tech gave him 100 as a Buckeye. He has 286 for his career and 131 at OSU. He played his 100th career game vs. New Hampshire (12/28/04) and reached 1,300 career points with 19 at Illinois Jan. 5 (1,438). Stockman's average of 3.0 rebounds a game is the best season average of his career. With three steals in the Michigan game, Stockman reached 100 thefts at Ohio State. He recorded 61 as a junior and has 40 this season.

Freshman Jamar Butler made his first career start at Northwestern Jan. 31 and his first home start vs. Purdue (2/2). He tied a career high with 10 points and added a pair of steals in OSU's 65-52 victory over the Wildcats. Butler has played the most minutes of the freshman class to date (444/17.8 per game). He has just 21 turnovers to go with 58 assists for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.8-1. Butler has gone to the line 21 times and has made 18 (.857). Butler has at least one assist in 23 games, including a career-high six helpers at Penn State Feb. 12. He has played 10 or more minutes in every game this season, including a career-high 29 minutes against Michigan (2/5). He scored a career high 10 points in the win over St. Joseph's (12/31/04) and was 4 for 4 from the field in that game. Butler is the top Big Ten freshman foul shooter and is third rookie in steals (18/.072) and assists (2.32 apg.) and second in total assists (58).

Junior Je'Kel Foster has made the most of his court time off the bench and in the last five games as a starter this season. In 25 games, he has averaged 8.3 points a game in 24.2 minutes a contest. He scored a career-high 20 points, all after the first half, in the double-overtime loss at LSU (1/15/05). He made 6 of 7 3-pointers in that game, including one to send the game into the second extra session. Foster is second behind Stockman with 37 steals. He has made a 3-pointer in 21 games and as many as three in 12 contests after three makes in six attempts against Penn State (2/12). Foster has a steal in 20 games this year. He has scored 10 or more points nine times. Ohio State is 8-1 in those games.

Junior Terence Dials is shooting 57 percent from the field (151-263). Dials has made 56 percent of his shots for his career (363-653). With a 15.5 points per game scoring average, he took the team scoring lead from Tony Stockman after a 24-point outing vs. New Hampshire (12/28/04). He has scored in double digits 19 times this year, in 17 of the last 20 games and in 44 career contests. His 17 points and 10 rebounds vs. Texas Tech (12/16) gave him his fourth career double-double. His fifth came vs. Mercer (12/22) with 29 points, a career high, and 13 rebounds. No. 6 came against New Hampshire with 24 points and a career-high tying 14 rebounds. He added No. 7 with a 20 point, 12 rebound effort vs. Wisconsin (1/19/05). He recorded his third-consecutive double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds vs. St. Joseph's (12/31/04) marking the first time since 1986 (Dennis Hopson) that an OSU player has recorded a double-double in three-consecutive games. Dials has scored 20 or more points in eight of the last 15 games, nine times on the year and in 11 career games. He has been the team's leading scorer in 12 games this year. He was the squad's top rebounder for 11-consecutive games before J.J. Sullinger grabbed a team high eight boards at Northwestern Jan. 29, and in 19 on the year. Dials reached 800 career points with 22 against Iowa (1/5/05). He has 957 (10.3 ppg.) career points and 566 (6.1) career rebounds. His 18 points and 13 rebounds vs. Indiana gave him his ninth career and sixth double double this season. His 10th career and seventh double-double came against Purdue Feb. 2 with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Junior Matt Sylvester scored a career-high 17 points, including 11-consecutive OSU points during a 17-2 second half run, vs. Minnesota (1/15/05). His seven points came in succession against St. Joseph's (12/21/04) to help Ohio State hold a second-half advantage. He has at least one assist in 21 contests this year. His tip-in basket late vs. Texas Tech (12/16) broke a 71-all tie and helped the Buckeyes hold off the Red Raiders for a 77-71 win in Dallas. His six rebounds vs. Morehead State (12/19) are a season high. Against Penn State Feb. 12, Sylvester scored a team and game-high 15 points in a 66-56 Ohio State road victory.

Hoops Coaches 10-3 In First Games at OSU
The 13 all-time men's basketball head coaches at Ohio State have a combined record of 10-3 in their first games as Buckeye head coaches. Thad Matta, coach No. 13 in Ohio State history, won his opener vs. Towson, 74-53, Nov. 15.

Buckeyes Win No. 115 this Decade
Ohio State's record in the first decade of the 21st century is shaping up to be one of the best in the history of the program. Ohio State is 115-65 (.639) since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season. The winning percentage is the second highest since 1910-19. The Buckeyes were 188-69 (.732) from 1960-69.

Harris, Sullinger Pace Buckeyes in Guardians Event
Ivan Harris led three players in double figures in the two games played in Kansas City in the Guardians Classic. Harris averaged 15.0 points followed by Tony Stockman (13.5 ppg.) and J.J. Sullinger (11.5 ppg.). Terence Dials grabbed 9.5 rebounds during the semifinals and finals. In the four games played in the Guardians Classic, Sullinger was the top scorer with 12.5 points a game. Dials was second with 12.3 ppg. followed by Stockman (11.5) and Harris (10.0). Dials averaged 7.3 rebounds in the four games.

Dials Earns Back-to-Back Big Ten Player of the Week Accolades
Ohio State junior Terence Dials led the Buckeyes past Mercer 102-77 by netting a career-high 29 points to go with 13 rebounds to earn his second-consecutive Big Ten Player of the Week accolade Dec. 27. He made 12 field goals, a career best, on 15 attempts (.800) from the field, while also hitting 5-of-7 free throws. Dials posted his second double-double in three games and fifth of his career, while also reaching double figures for the eighth time this season. He is now tied for the team lead in scoring (14.9 ppg.) while ranking 10th in the Big Ten Conference. Dials also ranks third in the league with a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game. The Youngstown native becomes the first conference player to earn back-to-back weekly honors since Wisconsin's Kirk Penney, who was named player of the week on Dec. 24, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2001. He is the first Buckeye to earn consecutive honors since Scoonie Penn in 1999 (2/15, 2/22).

Stockman Puts Name in Record Book
Tony Stockman made 73 3-point field goals as a junior, the third most by an OSU player in a single season. His 61 steals total for 2003-04 tied him for the No. 7 spot with Michael Redd (1998) for single season steals at OSU. Stockman also attempted 202 3-pointers a year ago, good for the No. 3 spot all-time for single season long range attempts. He leads Ohio State with 58 made 3-pointers and with 167 attempted treys this year. He also is the team leader with 40 steals.

Ohio State 89-21 at VCA
The Buckeyes began season No. 7 at Value City Arena Nov. 15 against Towson in the opening round of the Guardians Classic. The facility opened for the start of the 1998-99 season and since the Buckeyes have built a record of 89-21 in 110 home games. The Buckeyes have not had a home losing season in the VCA's existence and have 11 or more wins in five of the six years to date, including 15 victories in 1999-2000 and 2001-02 and 14 wins in both 1998-99 and 2000-01. Ohio State is 13-1 at home in 2004-05 and 12-1 at VCA. The team played Chattanooga at St. John Arena earlier this year.

2007 NCAA Tournament Returns to Columbus
The NCAA tournament will return to Columbus for the opening rounds of the 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the organization announced in July. Ohio State played host to the first and second rounds in 2004. Games were played at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, which will again be the site of the event in 2007. Ohio State will act as the host institution for the event.

Lewis to play for hometown Buckeyes
Ron Lewis, who played his first two seasons of college basketball at Bowling Green State University, transferred to his native Columbus to join Thad Matta at Ohio State. Lewis, a 2002 Brookhaven High School graduate, averaged 14.6 points and scored 877 points in his two seasons with the Falcons. He averaged 17.0 points and earned second team All-Mid American Conference honors as a sophomore before his transfer to Ohio State. Lewis started 55 of 60 career games at BGSU and was an 81 percent foul shooter (340-420) for his career. He will have two years of eligibility at Ohio State beginning with the 2005-06 campaign and becomes the first player to join the Buckeyes under Matta's direction. Six Buckeyes Spend Year in Residence
A total of six student-athletes on the 2004-05 roster have spent a year on the Ohio State campus without playing in games for the Buckeyes. Juniors Terence Dials (2002-03) and Matt Sylvester (2001-02) each sat out a season with back injuries but received medical redshirt seasons to retain four years of eligibility. Senior Matt Marinchick (2000-01) decided to redshirt his first year in Columbus to gain strength and experience. Finally, senior Tony Stockman and junior J.J. Sullinger both sat out the 2002-03 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules after leaving Clemson and Arkansas, respectively, following the 2001-02 season. Ron Lewis, a junior transfer from Bowling Green, is sitting out the 2004-05 season and will become eligible to play for the Buckeyes in 2005-06. He will have two years of eligibility.
Upvote 0