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#10 Buckeyes Men’s Basketball hosts Kent State at historic St. John Arena


St. John Arena from above the court (courtesy OSU Athletics)

Ohio State Men’s Basketball Gameday Nov. 25, 2019
Opponent Kent State (5-0)
Site St. John Arena (13,276)
Time 6:30 p.m. ET
Television BTN | BTN Plus
Talent Chris Vosters (Play-By-Play)
Stephen Bardo (Expert Analysis)

Starting Five

  • The Buckeyes are 1,153-415 all-time when playing in the state of Ohio (.735) … against Ohio teams, Ohio State is 236-79 (.749) all-time, regardless of location. The Buckeyes face a pair of intrastate foes this season. Ohio State defeated Cincinnati Nov. 6 at Value City Arena (64-56) and plays Kent State Monday at St. John Arena (6:30 p.m./BTN). Ohio State is 178-30 vs. Ohio teams in Columbus (.856).
  • Three current Buckeyes were named Mr. Basketball in their respective states. Junior Kaleb Wesson was named Ohio Mr. Basketball as a senior at Westerville South High School … freshman D.J. Carton was named Mr. Basketball in Iowa in 2019 as a senior at Bettendorf High School and freshman E.J. Liddell was named Illinois Mr. Basketball in both 2018 and 2019 after leading Belleville High School to back-to-back state titles.
  • Andre and Kaleb Wesson are one of 16 sets of brothers playing in NCAA Division I this season and one of three sets in the Big Ten. Iowa (McCaffery) and Maryland (Mitchell) also have siblings on the roster.
  • Ohio State has 58 players all-time with 1,000 or more career points, the ninth most nationally and the most of any Big Ten school (research credit: Duke). Kaleb Wesson is the next Buckeye on schedule to reach the milestone with 865 career points over his career.
  • There were a couple support staff changes during the offseason for the Buckeyes with the departure of Scoonie Penn, director of player development, and Jeff Deits, men’s basketball athletic trainer. Both Penn and Deits left for the National Basketball Association’s Memphis Grizzlies. Penn accepted an assistant coach position and Deits will be the head athletic trainer. Terence Dials will be the director of professional development in place of Penn. Brad Watson is the new athletic trainer for men’s basketball. His first game was the Purdue Fort Wayne contest last Friday.

The Kent State Series
Ohio State is 5-0 in the all-time series with the Golden Flashes, which dates back to the 1981-82 season when Kent State fell 74-54 at St. John Arena in the first meeting. All five meetings have been in Columbus, with four contest at St. John Arena, site of the matchup this year. The last time the schools tipped off against one another was Nov. 12, 2006 in the BCA Classic at Value City Arena, an 81-67 win for the then No. 7 Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes vs. The MAC
Ohio State is 57-13 all-time vs. current members of the Mid-American Conference, which includes a 5-0 record vs. Kent State. Ohio State last played a MAC school Dec. 30, 2017 vs. Miami (Ohio) at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes won that game 72-59. Ohio State has played each MAC school at least twice with the exception of Buffalo, who has yet to face the Buckeyes.

Throwback Game at St. John Arena
Ohio State plays Kent State as part of the 2019 Ohio State Classic at historic St. John Arena Nov. 25.

A few notes on the venue:

  • Ohio State first played at St. John Arena during the 1956-57 season. The last season the Buckeyes called SJA their home was 1997-98. Ohio State began playing at its current home, Value City Arena, in 1998-99.
  • Ohio State has an overall record of 432-151 (.741) at SJA, which includes a 6-0 record in games played at SJA since the end of the 1998 season.
  • The Buckeyes had last played at SJA in 2010, an 85-60 win over Western Carolina (12/12/2010).
  • The facility is named after former Ohio State director of athletics and men’s basketball coach L.W. St. John.
  • The first game played at SJA was against Butler (12/1/1956), a 98-82 win for the Buckeyes.
  • Capacity is 13,276. The CSU game was a sellout.
  • Since the Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball teams moved to Value City Arena, St. John has been the competition home for the men’s and women’s volleyball, wrestling, fencing and men’s and women’s gymnastics teams. Those team moved out of SJA and into the Covelli Center on Ohio State’s campus following the 2018-19 season.
  • SJA also is filled to capacity prior to each home football game during “Skull Session” where the Ohio State Marching Band practices and briefly welcomes the football Buckeyes on their way to Ohio Stadium.
  • Between 1960 and 1964, the Buckeyes won 50-consecutive games on their home floor.

Noting Ohio State vs. Ohio teams

  • Ohio State improved its record to 236-79 versus teams from Ohio with the 64-56 win over Cincinnati Nov. 6 in Columbus.
  • Chris Holtmann has a 10-5 career record versus teams from Ohio.
  • Ohio State is 28-1 vs. Ohio teams since the 1995-96 season. The loss was to Dayton in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes fell 60-59 (3/20/2014) to the No. 22 Flyers.
  • Ohio State is 178-30 in Columbus vs. Ohio teams, 50-41 in road games and 8-8 at neutral sites all-time.
  • The Buckeyes played three teams from the state of Ohio last year. In addition to the road game at Cincinnati, Ohio State hosted Cleveland State Nov. 23 and Youngstown State Dec. 18 in Columbus.

Kaleb Wesson Earns Big Ten Honor
Kaleb Wesson was named the Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference office announced Nov. 18. Wesson helped the Buckeyes to a 76-51 win over No. 10 Villanova in Columbus with 10 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and a steal. The double-double was his second of the season and eighth of his career. The conference honor was his second as a Buckeye.





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