James Madison at Ohio State 11-12-09

November 12, 2009

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Evan Turner wasn’t named preseason Big Ten player of the year, but he certainly looked like the best in the conference in Ohio State’s season opener. After notching the second triple-double in school history, Turner will try to help No. 16 Buckeyes to a second straight victory Thursday night against James Madison in the 2K Sports Classic. Turner was a preseason all-conference selection, with Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas earning player of the year honors. The Buckeyes swingman, though, had quite a season debut Monday with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in a 100-60 victory over Alcorn State.

The Buckeyes have more than just Turner. Jon Diebler led Ohio State with 22 points while William Buford added 19 and reserve Jeremie Simmons had 15.

James Madison is playing its 2009-10 opener after going 21-15 last season – its first under coach Matt Brady. The Dukes finished with their highest win total since 1992-93. The Dukes have four players with Ohio ties, although only two will play Thursday. Devon Moore, a Columbus native and their fourth-leading scorer last season at 10.6 points per game, is out with a torn left ACL suffered Sunday. Forward Eric Beard – a Reynoldsburg, Ohio native – has not been cleared to play due to an irregular heartbeat. Sophomore forward Julius Wells, a Toledo native, averaged 11.6 points last season and will be in the starting lineup. Freshman center Trevon Flores, who started in high school as a sophomore and junior at Eastmoor Academy in Columbus, is expected to make his debut.

James Madison won the lone previous meeting with Ohio State, 55-48 in the first round of the 1982 NCAA tournament. Ohio State has a strong starting lineup, they over match James Madison in this one. The home crowd will be loud tonight.

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