Jody Victor®: No.2 Ohio State vs. South Carolina-Upstate

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No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) vs. South Carolina-Upstate (6-4)
Site:                      Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time:       7:36 p.m. ET, December 14, 2011
Television:        Big Ten Network
Talent:             Tom Hart (play-by-play)
                       Jim Jackson (expert analysis)
Radio:              OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio:  OSU-Sirius 92/XM 190
Local Radio:       WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:     Paul Keels (play-by-play)
                        Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Ross Returns to Ohio State Roster – LaQuinton Ross, a 6-foot-8-inch freshman forward from Jackson, Miss., has been added to the Ohio State 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.

Matta Reaches 300, Going for 200 at OSU – Thad Matta has a career record of 300-89 over 12 years as a head coach, which includes a 198-58 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.

NCAA Stats Update – Ohio State rates among the Top 10 in several NCAA statistical categories after eight games. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in scoring margin (+29.3 ppg.), No. 1 in turnover margin (+8.8), tied for No. 1 with Northwestern  in assist/turnover ratio (+1.77), No. 3 in assists per game (19.3), No. 5 in rebound margin (+10.3), No. 8 in field goal percentage (.509), No. 9 in scoring defense allowing 53.3 points per game and No. 10 in fouls per game (14.6). Individually, Aaron Craft if No. 7 nationally in steals (2.9 spg.).

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 Bufford 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 36-9 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.

Jody Victor