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December 19, 2009

Previewing Delaware State

Game Information:
Opponent: Delaware State (4-4)
Date: Saturday Dec. 19, 2009
Game Time: 4:02 p.m. ET
Site: Value City Arena (19,049)
Television: ESPNU
TV Talent: Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Mark Adams (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 and AM-1460 The Fan
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play) and Ron Stokes (expert analysis)


Delaware State had started off the season the way they had hoped to: with a 4-1 start.

However, after a loss to MD Eastern Shore on Dec. 5 to start off their 5-game road trip, things are looking completely different for the Hornets.

That's because the team now is in the midst of the toughest part of their schedule - and all games come on the road.

The most recent time out for Delaware State marked the team's third consecutive loss after getting blown out by Arizona State in Tempe. The Sun Devils didn't waste any time putting Delaware State away, using a 23-0 first half run to cruise to a 76-34 win over the Hornets.

Now, DSU has their next test: a game in Value City Arena against the No. 18 Buckeyes Saturday, who will be without star point guard Evan Turner for the third consecutive game. And, after the Buckeyes, the Hornets have a game at UCLA waiting for them next.

The team is lead in scoring by Marcus Neal, who averages 14 points and Frisco Sandidge leads the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.

Game Notes:

- When Ohio State invites Delaware State into Value City Arena this afternoon it will be the third time these two programs have faced. Heading into the game it is Ohio State who holds the all-time advantage, 2-0. Last season Ohio State opened up their season in St. John Arena against Delaware State, winning 70-42.

- Ohio State is 13-0 all-time playing teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

- Despite some recent struggles, Delaware State has played solid defense all season and that can be reflected in the stats. So far this year, DSU has only allowed opposing teams to score 58.8 points per game, which is the nation's 26th best scoring defense. The Hornets also rank pretty high in turnover margin (22nd with +4.8) and steals (15th 10.0).

- Delaware State has typically played very well in the 10 years current head coach Greg Jackson has been the head coach. Under Jackson, DSU has posted a 74-22 record at home in Memorial Hall. So far this season, the Hornets are 4-1 on their home court. Heading into the Ohio State game, Jackson has an overall record of 311-220 in his career.

- In the 2009-10 MEAC Preseason Poll Delaware State was selected to finish ninth this season after receiving only 134 total votes. Morgan State, South Carolina State, and Norfolk State were selected to finish in the top three, respectively. The league's head coaches and sports information directors vote in the poll.

- Delaware State starting guard Jay Threatt has been one of the best players in the country in steals this season. As of Dec. 13, Threatt was ranked No. 5 in the nation in steals with an average of four per game and had recorded 25 overall. Also, Threatt tied the school record for steals in a game Nov. 16 against Wilmington when he recorded nine.

- Redshirt senior Frisco Sandidge will make his 50th career start against the Buckeyes on Saturday. Starting guard Marcus Neal is four games away from 100 career games.

- Delaware State is 0-3 in road games this season.

Projected Starting Lineup:
G #1 Trevor Welcher (Jr.) 5'11"
G #4 Jay Threatt (So.) 5'11"
G #30 Marcus Neal (Sr.) 6'5"
F #42 Greg Smith (Sr.) 6'7"
F #55 Frisco Sandidge (R-Sr.) 6'6"


Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.


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