Ohio State vs. Duke Postgame Quotes
Nov. 30, 2011
Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the performance of Deshaun Thomas
"Everything kind of fell into place for him (Thomas). He had a couple of nice drives and open threes, which got him into a rhythm. The last play of the first half, the out of bounds play, was huge - we literally put that in at practice today and it gave us all the momentum going into the break. He just has a knack for finding shots."
On the Buckeyes' perimeter defense
"That was a huge difference in the game. To their credit, they still managed to mix it up on the perimeter and get the ball to (Mason) Plumlee. I told our team that they would make some threes, but you can't give up and have to keep going at them. To our guys' credit, they did."
On if he had worries about the magnitude of the game with a young team
"I wouldn't say I was worried, but this team is still so young at times I don't know what to expect from them. There's a lot of uncertainty going into games like this, so I'm always excited to see how we respond. Our guys played to their strengths tonight which is a credit to them."
Aaron Craft, sophomore point guard
On if he felt Duke was tired following their trip to Maui
"Maybe a little bit. Anytime you come from where they did there will be a little jet leg. Our team had a lot to do with it though. We played well."
On the team playing with more intensity in a big game
"Any time you play a big-time program you have to come out and play hard. It was a great measuring stick to see where we are as a team"
Deshaun Thomas, sophomore forward
On his performance
"I wanted to have a big game for my teammates. I was kind of the `x factor today'. It was fun."
On defensive play leading to offensive momentum
"Defense brings you offense. I made sure I came out with defense first to get good shots. It worked, because I had eight in a row there for awhile. I felt great all night."
On if he saw the various NBA players in attendance
"Yes, I saw them. It was great motivation to show off for them because they show off for us all the time on TV."
Jared Sullinger, sophomore forward/center
On the team's performance
"What can I say, this basketball team is something special. We really took them out of their sets, pressed the ball and got easy shots. We played a great game."
On what the performance tells him about the team
"This basketball team is tough. That's pretty much our motto, mental toughness and physical toughness, and we showed that today. They made runs at us, but we fought back every time."
On the possibility of the Buckeyes being ranked No.1
"Honestly, we don't care about that spot. We are focused on playing Ohio State basketball and winning basketball games. Everything else will fall into place."
On where the crowd ranked in his time at Ohio State
"No. 1. Duke is Duke, and they are always going to be good and a team to beat with Coach K and all of his accomplishments. Buckeye Nation showed up today, and we loved it."
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke head coach
On the game tonight
"I thought Ohio State played a great game against us. They were a fresher team; I thought our team played tired. They are very athletic, together and they played with a great verve. Obviously they are deserving of the win, but they were a lot fresher than we were. We could never get into the ballgame."
On the big runs by Ohio State
"We couldn't hit a shot. Their defense was outstanding and then they got hot. They can score from a number of different positions. They had a great crowd, they had a lot going for them and they took advantage of everything. Congratulations to them. We can be good too, we just weren't good tonight and they had a lot to do with that. "
On Aaron Craft
"He is a terrific competitor and a really good basketball player. Part of being a good point guard is having people that you can point guard for. He has the best player in the country and (William) Buford. He is really good but they (the team) are really good too. He busts his butt and he is a terrific player on a team that is very talented. "
On Jared Sullinger
"He is a man inside. He is always an option and you can always get the ball to him. You can run the offense through him or have him be the offense. That is a big thing for a team."