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Posts Tagged ‘Thad Matta.’

Ohio State blows out Minnesota to win Big Ten Tournament title

Indianapolis, IN- The Ohio State Buckeyes, who proved to their fans, the opposition and college basketball, that a team doesn’t necessarily need a bench to win, beat Minnesota Sunday in the Big Ten Conference Tournament Finals. 90-61. This time, Ohio State didn’t need any last minute heroics from Evan Turner to bail them out.

The score is surprising, if you consider that the Gophers are tall in the frontcourt with 6’11 Ralph Sampson, III and 6’10 Colton Iverson. Minnesota was making its first appearance in tournament championship game.  Their march to the title game was remarkable. As a sixth seed, they were expected to beat Penn State, but they upset Michigan State and Purdue.

Ohio State celebrates title (Mega Sports

The championship game in the beginning didn’t look like the best teams in the tournament were playing. The play was sloppy, with several turnovers and bad shot selection probably due to the fact that Minnesota was playing its fourth game in 4 days and the Buckeyes were play their third game in 3 days.

Minnesota knew they didn’t want to get into a run-and-gun affair with Ohio State so they worked the shot clock down and would shoot inside of 7 seconds. They tried to get the ball inside to Sampson, III and Iverson but all the Buckeyes did was double-team those two and forced outside shooting with Lawrence Westbrook keeping them in the game.

With the score 18-18, Ohio State started to take off. William Buford score a fast break layup, Evan Turner and Jon Diebler each hit 3-point goals causing Minnesota to call a timeout with 4:58 remaining.

After the timeout, the Buckeyes kept it going, Jon Diebler scored on a fast break dunk and a 3-point goal to make it 33-25. However, Devoe Joseph made a 3-point goal at the buzzer for the Gophers and the halftime score was 33-30 Ohio State. The old saying is that when a team score on a buzzer-shot before halftime, usually has the most momentum for the second half.

Evan Turner & David Lighty address the media (mega

However, Ohio State came out of the locker room and was the aggressor. Turner scored a basket, Jon Diebler made a 3-point goal off the left wing and William Buford canned a 3-pointer off a fast break, an 8-0 run made the score 41-30 with Minnesota calling a timeout.

Minnesota came out of the timeout and made a run of their own, 7-0 to cut the deficit to four, 41-37 at the 15:47 media timeout.

There was another media timeout at the 11:59 mark and afterwards Ohio State got down to business to put the game away. With David Lighty and Jon Diebler leading the way. Turner scored on a 3-pointer, David Lighty scored on a layup and a fast break drive and the lead was 11 at 51-40 with Minnesota calling a timeout.

For an eight minute stretch Dave Lighty just kept scoring at will helping the Buckeyes push the lead to 20, 65-45 and the rout was on.

The Buckeyes would win another tournament championship, their second. They defeated Wisconsin in 2007 and their record is 2-3 in the title game.

14, 598 at Conseco Fieldhouse saw the Buckeyes put on a good shooting display, 48.1% in the first half,  65.6% in the second half and 57% for the game. They shot 54.5% from 3-point land (12-22).

Ohio State outrebounded the taller Gophers, 37-23 with Evan Turner grabbing 11.

The Buckeyes had balanced scoring with Evan Turner leading the way with 31 points followed by David Lighty with 20, Jon Diebler 19 and William Buford with 13.

Ohio State defensively shut down Minnesota’s twin towers, Ralph Sampson, III and Colton Iverson who scored only 6 points apiece. But had trouble containing their two jump shooters in Lawrence Westbrook who scored 17 and Devoe Joseph with 14.

The All-Tournament Team has three Buckeyes: William Buford, David Lighty and Evan Turner as your most outstanding player. Also on the team. Illinois’ Demetri McCamey and Devoe Joseph of Minnesota.

Both teams will now focus their attention on the NCAA tournament as Ohio State will play California-Santa Barbara  and Minnesota will take on the Xavier Musketeers.

SOUNDS FROM THE POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE (to listen to the audio file, click on the number)

44 576 Tubby Smith Minnesota coach On expanding the field to 96 teams

44 577 Tubby Smith The problems thar David Lighty presents to opponents

44 581 Tubby Smith On Devoe Joseph what he has to do to be All-Big 10 guard

44 586 David Lighty OSU guard On his unconcious play for eight minutes.

44 588 Evan Turner OSU guard On playing in Milwaukee Wisconsin

44 589 B Evan Turner On David Lighty being on the SI all glue team

44 596 Thad Matta Ohio State coach Expanding to 96 teams for NCAA Tourney

44 597 Thad Matta On David Lighty’s offensive game improving.


Ohio State:

* Ohio State played in its fourth championship game in the last five years.

* Ohio State’s four Big Ten Tournament championship game appearances are the second-most by any conference school.

* Coach Thad Matta is 11-4 all-time in tournament play.

* Evan Turner tied for the third-most points in a Big Ten Tournament game after scoring 31 against Illinois and Minnesota.

* Ohio State is 5-0 in tournament semi-finals matchups.

* The Buckeyes are 76-55 all-time vs. Minnesota.

* Coach Matta is 28-8 overall during March Madness at Ohio State.

* The Buckeyes are 14-8 all-time in Tournament action, 8-2 as the number 1 seed.


* Head Coach Tubby Smith is 6-3 in Tournament games.

* The Gophers are 54-5 under Smith when leading at halftime.

* Minnesota was the second number 6 seed to play in the championship game, Iowa won the Tournament in 2001 as the number 6 seed.

* Are 12-13 in all Tournament games.

* Leads the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots (188, 5.5 bpg), steals (269, 8.0 apg), assists (569, 16.8), and scoring offense (73.3 ppg).

* Al Nolen is out for the rest of the year after being declared academically ineligible by the NCAA.

* Finished 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference for the second year in a row, its first back-to-back .500 of better seasons since 2001-02 & 2002-03.

* Has posted three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.

* The 63 combined wins in Tubby Smith’s first three seasons are the most in a three-year span in Gopher history.

* Reached 20 total wins for just the 10th time in school history.

* Senior co-captain Lawrence Westbrook against Michigan State on January 23, became the school’s 35th member of the 1,000-point club.

Big Ten Conference

* The Big Ten Conference Tournament drew 81,625 fans in attendance at the four-day event.

* The conference has once again surpassed the two-million mark in total attendance and the one-million mark in conference games. The conference has welcomed 2,334,825 fans in 187 home contests. This is the 18th season in which Big Ten has seen more than two million spectators pass through the turnstiles. For the 33rd season, attendance at Big Ten contests has eclipsed the one-million mark as 1,331,185 fans have attended 99 games.  The Big Ten is on pace to once again lead the nation in average attendance.

Ohio Bobcats wins the MAC; advances to “The Big Dance”

The Ohio Bobcats made an unbelievable run through the First Energy Mid-American Conference Tournament by stunning defending champion Akron in overtime, 81-75 on Saturday at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Thus, earning the automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Freshman D.J. Cooper scored 23 points and came up with three clutch plays  in overtime to help Ohio beat all of the odds of winning the tournament.

Ohio Bobcats celebrate (ohio photo)

The ninth-seeded Bobcats (21-14) became the lowest seed to win the MAC title. They advanced by upsetting number 1 Kent State, fourth-seeded Miami (Ohio) and the number 3 team, the Akron Zips (24-10).

This wasn’t suppose to be Ohio’s year, but led by head coach John Groce, a Thad Matta disciple, they kept believing in their talents, overcame numerous injuries, player suspensions and several close defeats, to capture their first title since 2005.

D.J. Cooper leads the Bobcats (ohio photo)

Ohio’s Armon Bassett scored 25 points to earn the tournament MVP trophy.

The Akron Zips were led by Jimmy Conyers with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Ohio State Basketball team honored for Big Ten Championship

Evan Turner Big Ten Player of the Year (espn)

No surprise to anyone that covers Big Ten Conference as members of the media or fans that follow the league. Evan Turner was named the Player of the Year on Monday by both the league coaches and media while Thad Matta was selected as the conference coach of the year by league media.

Turner was the unanimous selection by the media for the top honor and was picked on all ballots by coaches and media as a 2010 First Team All-Big Ten honoree. He is the fifth Ohio State player to earn the award and the sixth all-time. Dennis Hopson was the 1987 recipient. Jim Jackson won it twice (1991, 1992) followed by Scoonie Penn (1999) and Terrence Dials (2006).

Matta was selected as the league’s top coach for the third time in his sixth season in Columbus. He is the fourth Ohio State coach to earn the honor, won eight times previously: Eldon Miller (1983), Randy Ayers (1991, 1992), Jim O’Brien (1999, 2001) and Matta (2006, 2007, 2010).

Thad Matta wins Coach of the Year (espn)

All five Ohio State starters were honored in the annual voting for the Big Ten’s best.

The League’s media selected David Lighty and William Buford, Third Team All-Big Ten while selecting Jon Diebler to the Honorable Mention squad.

Big Ten coaches put Buford on the Third Team. Lighty and Diebler were selected Honorable Mention. Dallas Lauderdale was elected to the Big Ten’s All-Defensive Team.

Ohio State shared the Big Ten regular-season title with Purdue and Michigan State, all with 14-4 conference records.  The Buckeyes started the conference season 0-2 and 1-3 but took Thad Matta’s coaching  direction to win 13 of their final 14 conference games, including a streak of six-consecutive road games.

Evan Turner led the conference in scoring (19.5 ppg), rebounding (9.4 rpg) and was second in assists (5.8 apg). No player in the history of the Big Ten has finished among the Top 2 in those three categories in a given year. Turner also was second in steals with (1.8 apg).

Ohio State men’s Basketball clinch Big Ten Conference Title

When Ohio State was 0-2 and 1-3 to start the Big Ten Conference earlier in the season, everybody thought, no way was this team going even be in the hunt for a championship. Then when Evan Turner was out due to the back injury, it was a very uneasy feeling of an accident waiting to happen. But the weathered all of those obstacles including the guard Walter Offutt quitting the team because of a lack of playing time.

The Buckeyes are the Big Ten Conference Champions after a convincing 73-57 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini, last night before a raucous crowd of 16,177 at Value City Arena.

Ohio State is the first Big Ten school since the 1957 Wisconsin Badgers to overcome a 1-3 start in conference play and win the championship. The Buckeyes closed the conference schedule winning 13 of 14 games. It is their 18th Big Ten title in the programs history.

Senior night at the Value City Arena under Thad Matta have been truly amazing and phenomenal. All of the games have been exciting culminating in Ohio State winning the conference Championship three of those six seasons.

Tuesday night’s game was the home finale for five seniors, Kyle Madsen, P.J. Hill, Jeremie Simmons, Danny Peters and Mark Titus. Peters and Titus are not stars on the team but they’re very popular with the fans and media because of their hard work on and off the court and their interaction with the fans and community. They have been a part of a record-tying 105 victories during their four years in uniform. One more win and they will be the winningest players in program history. So goes to show that you don’t have to be a star athlete to be a part of a record or to be recognized.

The Buckeyes (24-7, 14-4) had hold off a highly motivated Illinois team who was still seething from losing on their home court on February 14, 72-53 to the champions.

Early in the game, Ohio State tried to play a man-to-man defense against the Illini and at times it wasn’t working. The Buckeyes were guilty of too much ‘ball watching”, allowing too many open shots especially 3-pointers and not being able to contain Evan Turner’s former high school teammate, Demetri McCamey who scored 12 points in the first half.

Ohio State junior Jon Diebler kept his team in the game because Illinois had trouble containing him from the 3-point line as he scored 15 points on  5 of 8 shooting, all 3′s.

With the Illini leading 19-13, the Buckeyes suddenly kicked it into high-gear going on a 15-2 run. David Lighty scored on a 3-pointer; William Buford stole a pass and sprinted down the court in time for an alley-oop dunk off a pass from David Lighty; Jon Diebler tied it at 21 with a 3-point goal;  William Buford had another slam dunk off the fast break; another 3-point goal from Jon Diebler and a layup from Evan Turner made it 28-21 Ohio State.

Thad Matta wins third Big Ten title (AP)

After a TV timeout at the 7:16 mark, Illinois went on a run of their own to tie the game at 30 with Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale leading the charge and Ohio State trying too much jump shooting instead of working the offense and shot clock to their advantage. But the Buckeyes gathered themselves and were able to go into halftime leading 37-33.

The halftime stats showed both shooting the ball well from 3-point land well: Illinois 6 of 13 for 46.2% and Ohio State 6 of 12 for 50%. The Buckeyes were dominating the backboards, 22-15, 7-1 on the offensive glass which led to them having a 9-0 advantage on second chance points. The Illini’s bench is far better than the Buckeyes and it showed with a 9-0 advantage.

Illinois stayed right with Ohio State early in the second half. It was 48-45 Ohio State with 13:09 to go and the Buckeyes showed why they are 17-1 at home this season. After two David Lighty free throws, the Buckeyes put on a fullcourt press which rattled Illinois. It was the Buford and Lighty show leading OSU to increase the from 51-45 and expanding it  to 65-51 and the Big Ten title was secured.

Each of the starters came out of the game late in the second half to get well-deserved applause as Coach Matta cleared the bench.

The Buckeyes had a nice distribution in scoring led by Jon Diebler with 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting, all threes; William Buford 17 points, 9 of 11 free throws, 7 rebounds and 6 assists; Evan Turner 16 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and David Lighty 15 points, 6 of 8 free throws, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. The Buckeyes dominated Illinois on second chance points, 17-5.

Illinois (18-12,10-7) was led by Demetri McCamey with 18 points, Brandon Paul scored 11 followed by Mike Tisdale with 10. Mike Davis led the way with 11 rebounds.

Ohio State will go into the Big Ten tournament in nine days with the #1 seed and a first round bye.

SOUNDS FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE (to listen to audio file, click the number)

44 374 David Lighty Ohio State guard he took over game when it was 48-45…..44 375 Jon Diebler Ohio State His hot shooting fueled the team in the first half…..44 376 Evan Turner Ohio State G Celebrating with the OSU….. 44 378 David Lighty OSU G Looking back over season did they think Big 10 title…..44 379 Evan Turner Ohio State G Fans chanting One more year as a Buckeye…..44 381 Thad Matta Ohio State Coach 3rd title in 6 years does it get any better…..44 382 Thad Matta His team wasn’t suppose to be Big Ten champs starting at 1-3…..44 384 Thad Matta Ohio State Coach Did he think that win at Purdue would be a key…..44 394 Thad Matta Ohio State Coach On senior night being special with 3 tiles won…..44 398 Thad Matta Football 5 titles Women’s BKB 6 titles and Men’s BKB 3 titles in 6 years.


* Ohio State has won conference championships in football and men’s and women’s basketball the same year in three of the past five years. They are the only Big Ten school to accomplish this feat even once.

* Ohio State’s starting lineup of Evan Turner, David Lighty, Jon Diebler, William Buford and Dallas Lauderdale is 19-3 this season.

* The Buckeyes went 17-1 in Value City Arena this season. The winning percentage of 94 percent is the second-highest since Ohio State has been playing in the arena. It is also the second-most wins in a season in Value City Arena (2006-2007, 1.000 percent, 18-0).

* The Big Ten championship is the sixth conference title for Thad Matta in his 10 seasons as a head coach.

* Coach Matta’s .740 winning percentage is tops in Ohio State history with Fred Taylor being second at .653.

* Thad Matta is 151-53 in his sixth season at Ohio State.

* Coach Matta is 69-33 (.676) in Big Ten games, also the highest percentage all-time at OSU.

* At home against unranked opponents under Matta, Ohio State is 87-2 overalll and 15-0 for the 2009-2010 campaign.


Remaining regular season games.

* Wednesday March 3

Indiana at Purdue

Chicago State at Northwestern

Iowa at Wisconsin

* Thursday March 4

Penn State at Michigan State

* Saturday March 6

Northwestern at Indiana

Purdue at Penn State

Sunday March 7

Wisconsin at Illinois

Michigan at Michigan State

* First Round Byes

Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin are the only teams to clinch a first-round bye for the 2010 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. Illinois and Minnesota are vying for the remaining spot.

*Scoring Title Chase

With the last week of the Big Ten play upon us, Ohio State’s Evan Turner remains in first place among the conference’s scoring leaders with 20.4 points per game in Big Ten contests only. Following Turner is Northwestern’s John Shurna (19.5ppg) and Penn State’s Talor Battle (19.1 ppg). If the Buckeyes sharpshooter closes out the 2009-2010 season leading the pack, he would become the first player to pace the conference in scoring in back-to-back seasons since Purdue’s Glen Robinson (1993-94) and the first Buckeye to garner the honor since Gary Bradds (1963-1964).

David Lighty kisses the Big Ten trophy (AP)

Purdue deals Buckeyes key Big Ten loss


When Ohio State looks back on their most recent loss, 60-57 to number 4 Purdue, several elements of the game will stick out: down 7-0 early, only nine field goals in the first half, 23 total points, 1 assist, 10 turnovers and most of all, a poorly played first 10 minutes of the game.

A sellout crowd of 19,049 knew that if it weren’t for Evan Turner’s 13 first half points, the halftime score would’ve been 36-10 instead of the actual 36-23.

The game started at an usual time of 6:30 pm, not the usual 7:00 start and it showed as Purdue dominated the first half, shooting 60 percent and were led by JaJuan Johnson with 15 points and reserve Keaton Grant scoring 11. Nowhere to be found was star forward Robbie Hummel, who blistered the Buckeyes in West Lafayette on January 12 for 35 points; he had O points and was in foul trouble with two.

Anyone who follows the Big Ten, knows that Purdue is very strong defensively. They hold opponents to 61.3 ppg and have forced several teams into long field goal droughts: Central Michigan into three droughts of 5 minutes each; held Alabama without a field goal the final 8:45 of regulation; Tennessee 7:58 of the second half; Penn State for a span of seven minutes and Wisconsin 6:51 of the second half. Ohio State felt the defensive pressure last night as well because they didn’t score a basket the first 3:19 of the game. The Buckeyes had three turnovers in a row and four of the first seven possessions.

In the second half, it was evident that Ohio State head coach Thad Matta had made key adjustments on offense as Evan Turner took control of the game and the defense employed a fullcourt press which made the Boilermakers very uncomfortable. Turner during the second scored on almost every possession and in the process, passed up Clark Kellogg on the OSU all-time scoring list and into 24th place.

William Buford, who took only two shots and scored no points in the first half, came out in the second and got open enough to score 5 straight points to cut the Purdue lead to 48-46 at the 9:44 mark.

After a Purdue time out at the 9:44 mark, the Buckeyes got too anxious and kept shooting threes the next four trips down the floor ended with no points. Purdue on the other hand, ran their offense and upped the lead to 60-52. They had a chance to tie the game at 60, but John Diebler’s 21-foot three-point shot hit high off the back of the rim and the Buckeyes lost their chance to take a half game lead on Michigan State and full game over Purdue. Instead, they’re trailing Purdue and Michigan State who are 10-3.

Purdue was led by center JaJuan Johnson with 24 points followed by E’twaum Moore with 15 and Keaton Grant adding 13. Ohio State was led by NBA prospect Evan Turner with a game-high 29.

Purdue now leads the series 82-81 and with the win, their first ever at Value City Arena (1-9) and the first in Columbus since February 7, 1998. The Boilermakers have won eight games in a row.




Purdue’s Junior class trio of E’twaum Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel are all 1,000 point scorers for the first time in a decade at the school. The trio are also team captains.

This is Purdue’s fourth straight 20-win season. In the Big Ten, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin join them in that group.

The senior tandem of Keaton Grant and Chris Kramer have the potential to rank among Purdue’s all-time leaders in terms of playing in Boilermaker victories. Currently they’ve won 96. The 1996 and 1997 classes lead the way with 98 wins.

Now in its 43rd year as the home of the Boilermakers, Mackey Arena has provided Purdue with one of the top home-court advantages in all of college basketball. Purdue won their 500th game there on January 5, beating Minnesota. The all-time record at Mackey is 504-115 (.814).

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