Nov. 6, 2011
Recap | Box Score
Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the performance today
"Obviously we got to see a lot of guys play today which was good for us. I challenged the guys at halftime to defend a little bit better. I thought we did that holding them to 21 points in the second half. This team has a long way to go which I told them, but on the same token I think there are a few pieces of the puzzle that are pretty good for us already."
On the team's improvement from last week
"I think we were a little bit better in terms of the things we took and really worked on this week. I felt like guys had a sense of this. The hard part is late in the game we went away from our system defensively. We talked about it in the timeout about being sounder with what we were doing offensively. I thought we were able to execute a little bit better than we did at this time last week."
On what the team will work on
"I'd like to improve on free throw shooting. We were only shooting fifty percent today. So many areas we need to hone in on now. We've only been practicing now for three weeks. I think that is the beauty of a young basketball team, they get better and they don't even realize it."
On Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
On Shannon Scott
"Lenzelle has had a great camp to this point in terms of just his energy, his defense and rebounds. He had eight rebounds today. He's done a very good job rebounding the basketball. One of the big things is trying to get Lenzelle to understand the constant thought process of what is going on. Getting him to play forward and not hang onto things. I think he was very effective today."
"I told Shannon at halftime just to breathe he was so uptight he needed something to go right for him but I thought he was pressing a little bit. He has been tremendous in practice. I have great faith just like all the other new guys getting experience and getting the first game under their belt."
On Deshaun Thomas
"I think I've been very pleased with the progress Deshaun has made. He didn't have a great flow going having only played about 17 minutes, but I got a great feel for what he can do this year. He had a couple great defensive plays and his reaction time is getting great this year."
Evan Ravenel, junior forward
On playing in front of a crowd for the first time in more than a year
"I was very excited and anxious to get out there and play - it had been a long time. I really had a lot of fun."
On what his role will be this season
"I've got to play solid defense and rebound well. I also need to play with more consistency and at the same intensity throughout the game. I'll do whatever I need to do to help the team get a win."
On the possibility of playing on the court with Aaron Craft at the same time
"I think it is a good fit. We're both capable of playing the 2-man and running the offense. Plus, I'm already playing against the best in the Big Ten [Craft] every day in practice, so there really won't be anything in a game situation that I haven't already seen from him."
On pregame jitters
"I had a few at first but I just let the game come to me and it made things easier. I got a lot more comfortable as the game went on."
Trey McDonald, freshman center
On improvements he must make to find time in rotation
"The coaches have me working on my moves. They want me to play loose and not so mechanical. I'm learning from the older guys, which will only make me better." Sam Thompson, freshman forward On the emotions of his first game "I had some jitters at the very beginning of the game. It was our first time in front of these fans and the first time in these uniforms. As the game went on, the jitters went away and we were able to get into a better tempo and flow."
On his play today
"I've worked on not being one-dimensional. I don't want to just score, rebound or defend; I want to do a little bit of everything. I think I did a good job today and hopefully I can keep it up."
On how the coaches have helped the freshmen progress
"Obviously they do a few different things with us. We have to spend a little more time on things sometimes. The older guys have done a great job of taking us under their wing. We've had a good transition process and all of us are feeling good."
Amir Williams, freshman center
On his first-game emotions
"I got all of the jitters out in warm-ups. I was ready when I went in. The older players have been very helpful in getting us ready."
On going against Jared Sullingerin practice
"He's the best player in college basketball. He's been teaching me a lot of things, and I give it my all against him in practice. It was a lot easier today not having to go against him during the game."
On his defensive expectations
"I'm working on getting stronger. I wasn't guarding many big guys in high school, but you face long and strong guys day in and day out in college. I need to pick up my weight and get stronger in order to bang with the big bodies down in the post."