In it, he asked for the seventh-ranked Buckeyes to take it easy on his son, UNC Asheville guard Keith Hornsby, when the teams met on Saturday.
The Buckeyes obliged _ Hornsby lit up the Buckeyes for a career-best 26 points _ but Ohio State still had the last laugh.
Sam Thompson scored a career-high 18 points and Ohio State (8-1) relished the chance to get out and run in coasting to a 90-72 victory over the Bulldogs (3-7).
Deshaun Thomas had 17 points, Lenzelle Smith Jr. 16 and Evan Ravenel tied a career best with 12 points in the first half for the Buckeyes (8-1), who tuned up for a big showdown next Saturday against No. 9 Kansas in the fourth game in an eight-game homestand.
After playing a series of teams content to slow it down against a lean and fast team, the Buckeyes were like horses let out of a corral.
“We watched film a lot on them the past couple of days and we noticed that they didn’t stop the ball particularly well,” said Thompson, who electrified the crowd with a breakaway, windmill dunk after the game was long decided. “We knew that if we could get stops, we knew we could push the ball up the floor and could get to the rim and create for ourselves and other people. We definitely tried to capitalize on that.”
They outscored the Bulldogs (3-7) 26-2 in fastbreak points and continually got behind them for easy baskets and rim-rattling dunks.
“The part I was most disappointed in from our standpoint is we didn’t get back on defense all night long and we let them penetrate,” Asheville coach Eddie Beidenbach said. “We didn’t get down and play defense like we can. I know Ohio State’s really good, but they shouldn’t have been able to do that.”
The Buckeyes scored on 14 of 19 possessions during one span in the first half and took a 50-35 lead at the break.
They would have been up even more if not for Hornsby, who had 18 points in the opening half while hitting all but one of his eight shots from the field _ including 4 of 5 3-pointers.
Everyone at Ohio State was impressed with the shooting display he put on.
“Honestly, he’s a good player,” said Smith, who was victimized for several long-range buckets despite playing solid defense. “He came in here rolling. You’ve got a guy like that with a hot hand, you don’t contain him early in the game it’s always going to be tougher.”
The Buckeyes had three in double figures as they hurried the ball down the floor and frequently scored in transition.