No. 3 Ohio State will welcome in Missouri-Kansas City tonight at Value City Arena (6 p.m., Big Ten Network).
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The Buckeyes (3-0) will have their final tune-up before next Wednesday’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge game at No. 5 Duke. (We have videos with OSU coach Thad Matta above and players Evan Ravenel and Deshaun Thomas below.)
OSU football coach Urban Meyer and his team will make an appearance at VCA in advance of Saturday’s game against Michigan at Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State won a pair of games last weekend in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at Uncasville, Conn. OSU defeated Rhode Island 69-58 in the semifinals of the major conference bracket and then downed Washington 77-66 in the championship game.
OSU’s Deshaun Thomas was named the Big Ten player of the week. He had 25 points and 10 rebounds in the win over URI and then had 31 points and eight rebounds in the victory over Washington.
UMKC, nicknamed the Kangaroos, comes in with a record of 2-2. The Kangaroos have wins over Lincoln (99-64) and Norfolk State (63-57) and losses to Seton Hall (75-36) and Albany (62-59). OSU defeated Albany 82-60 on Nov. 11 in Columbus.
The Kangaroos are led by 6-7 forward Kirk Korver (averaging 12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and 6-1 guard Estan Tyler (11.8 ppg, 4.8 apg, 3.0 rpg).
OSU has three players averaging in double figures, led by Thomas at 25 points (and seven rebounds per game). Guards Aaron Craft (17.0 ppg, 5.0 apg) and Lenzelle Smith Jr. (11.0 ppg) are also averaging 10 or better on the young season.
Thomas and Craft both could join Ohio State's 1,000-point club this season. Thomas needs just 28 points while Craft is 348 points away. Thomas averages 12.3 points over his career after contributing 15.9 points a game as a sophomore. Craft has averaged just over eight points a game over 79 career outings. He averaged 8.8 ppg. as a sophomore. Jared Sullinger was the last Buckeye, the 48th all-time, to reach 1,000 career points. He finished his two-year career with 1,282 points, good for the No. 29 spot all-time in Ohio State history.
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Ohio State and the Kangaroos of UMKC are meeting for the first time in the men's basketball. Ohio State has a 5-0 record vs. members of the Summit League. The Buckeyes own wins against Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (1-0), Oakland (2-0) and South Dakota 2-0).
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