Ohio State notebook: An usual double-double
You don’t see this double-double stat line too often.
Ten rebounds, 11 assists and 0 points?
That is what Ohio State’s Jamar Butler had in Sunday’s 62-51 victory over Northwestern at Value City Arena. The senior point guard’s scoreless game came just three days after he poured in a career-high 32 points in the Buckeyes’ win at Illinois.
The Buckeyes did not need Butler to be a scoring threat against the Wildcats. His passes helped set up the freshman trio of Kosta Koufos, Evan Turner and Jon Diebler, who combined for 48 of Ohio State’s 62 points.
“Butler put on his own performance a few days ago and (today) he was content to help other guys out,” Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody said.
Eleven assists from Butler certainly is no surprise. He ranks third on the Buckeyes’ all-time list with 445.
The 10 rebounds was a career-high for the 6-foot-1 Butler.
“That just proves how great a player he is,” Koufos said. “He doesn’t have to score to be successful. An assist-rebound double-double, that’s tremendous on his part.
“Jamar Butler is a great leader and we’re fortunate to have such a great point guard on the team.”
Make no mistake, though. Head Coach Thad Matta wants this scoreless stat line to be the exception.
“He needs to score for us,” Matta said. “But he had a pretty good command of what was going on. ... He got the ball where it needed to be.”
Butler did not go to the line Sunday, so he was able to keep his consecutive free throws made streak intact. He has hit 21 straight over the last seven games, the Buckeyes’ longest streak since the 2000-01 season when Sean Connolly made 25 in a row.
On the rise
Butler and Matt Terwilliger are just six victories away from tying Richard Reasbeck and Douglas McDonald for the most wins by a single class in Ohio State history. Reasbeck and McDonald won 98 games from 1960-63. Othello Hunter is also a senior but he began his career at Hillsborough Community College.
It’s finally here
On the eve of the BCS national championship football game between Ohio State and LSU, Matta’s opening comment at his postgame news conference had nothing to do with basketball.
“I think tomorrow we have to be able to run the football,” he said. Matta spoke with Head Coach Jim Tressel and the football players last week before they left for New Orleans.
Reach Repository sports writer Mike Popovich at (330) 580-8341 or e-mail email@example.com