Postgame Quotes: Ohio State vs. Michigan

Jan. 13, 2013

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Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On importance of victory over No. 2 ranked team
“I hope we get confidence from this victory moving forward. This game signifies the halfway point of the season, but we’ve still got a lot of games left and we have to continue to improve.”

On winning a close game
“Defensively we made stops and we also got big rebounds when we needed them. Those were the biggest difference in this game.”

On team composure
“At times we lost our composure tonight and during a timeout I had to remind them of Will Ferrell’s  [quote:] ‘ELE – everybody love everybody,’ but we pulled out the victory and I’m proud of them.”

On Aaron Craft’s defense
“He had a unique way about him today before the game. I didn’t say anything to him because I knew he was going to play at the level we needed him to in order to win. During a timeout he even said, ‘stop helping, I’ll do the job.’“

On Deshaun Thomas
“I thought Deshaun played harder on defense tonight than he ever had. That is the type of defensive play we need from him to be a successful team.”

Deshaun Thomas, junior forward 
On the overall game
“We showed toughness and composure today. They hit some big shots but we had key rebounds that helped us keep our composure and win the game.”

On Ohio State’s performance
“We made shots and executed really well. Most importantly we forced them to play defense, which is what we really didn’t do against Illinois. We held the ball and we were patient with the play.”

On what won the game
“Team defense. We came out with juice and we knew how we needed to execute. Our big men helped us so much by staying active and taking the screens.

Aaron Craft, junior guard
On playing against Trey Burke
“Anytime you get to play against a great guy like him you have some incentive to go out and see what you can do. Our defense did was it needed to do today and that really helped.”

On Michigan’s ranking
“Regardless of what their record is they are a great team and we knew what they could do with the ball and how tough today would be.”

On Ohio State’s record
“Being 17-3 is awesome. Thad Matta is an awesome coach and he does a phenomenal job of getting us ready through practice and especially on game day. That is why he is one of the best coaches in the country.”

Evan Ravenel, senior forward
On the rest of the season
“To win games, we need to stay strong, stay physical and keep to our game, which is strong defense all the way.”

On Michigan
“Their transition is amazing. Our game plan was to not give up any easy buckets. We challenged the perimeter and made it difficult for them to shoot from the field. They are a great team though.”

John Beilein, Michigan head coach
On the matchup with Ohio State
"If you check your minutes, you’ll see that we had five freshman play almost double-digit minutes and they did not have a freshman see the floor. It’s adversity. At this time of the year we’re seeing our first top-level teams on the road.”

On missing opportunities in transition
“They are a very good defensive team and we’ve got to finish some plays, but it would have been nice [to make some of those]. We probably tried to make plays that we don’t always make. We’ll learn from a lot of those things.”

On recovering from a 21-point deficit
“We said there’s only one way we’re going to do this: stop-by-stop; possession-by-possession. We thought we had to be more efficient offensively.”

Trey Burke, sophomore guard
On Michigan’s slow start
"We came out too slow in the first half and missed [opportunities]. In the second half we came out like we should have come out in the first half.”

On preparing to play Ohio State
“We were ready. It’s a long game. We just had too many turnovers and missed shots.”

Tim Hardaway, Jr., junior guard
On struggling offensively
"You could tell on some plays we had some great looks and some were forced. You can’t worry about that; you have to move on to the next play.”

On defensive pressure by Ohio State
“It wasn’t the pressure. They came out and beat us up a bit, but we have to know how to control the pressure and play better.”