Postgame Quotes: Ohio State vs. Savannah State

Dec. 12, 2012

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Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On tonight’s performance
“You always go into a game with certain things you want to do well. One of the things we didn’t do well was take care of the basketball. We had some turnovers, and I don’t want to say they were unforced. We just had to keep an edge and keep challenging shots.”

On the improvement and growth of his team
“We’re still a relatively young basketball team. We have one freshman and one senior. The thing that we have been harping on these guys the most is that we have to get better. We don’t go back to tomorrow. Hopefully these things are in order and we can continue to progress forward, which is what we needed to do [tonight]. We played with energy and enthusiasm. Our intensity level has been pretty good in these past few games.”

On the play of the centers
“Those guys did a pretty decent job tonight in terms of the defensive end. Evan [Ravenel] had that tip-dunk – those are the types of plays we need in that position, as well as rebounding in your area. They did a couple things that really forced the rotation.”

On the play of senior center Evan Ravenel
“I thought [Evan] got off to a good start. He gets a little tired but I told him that’s a good thing because he’s playing extremely hard. That’s ultimately what you relay in terms of being a senior – he assesses the situation and says ‘what do I have to do in order to help this basketball team?’ The more he understands that mode, the better this basketball team will be.”

On competition during finals week
“This is all new in terms of going for 15 weeks instead of 10. I think we did a good job of getting our guys coming in early and working out. Hopefully we continue to build on that.”

Deshaun Thomas, junior forward
On the team’s mentality
“We learned that we need to stay together. We have a great pace on offense and things will go well when we have a passion for the game. This is what coach preached to us before the game – passion. We came out passionate tonight.”

On being productive beyond the arc
“In the past couple games, the 3’s weren’t going in. It feels good to get in the rhythm, hit those open shots, and knock them down to help my team.”

On preparing for Kansas
“Teams come in here and don’t take us lightly. We prepare for this game like we would prepare for Duke or Kansas. Every game we play hard. It’s going to be the same way when we play Kansas and it starts in practice. We need to play with passion.”

On the senior leadership of Ravenel
“Evan plays his role when he’s at his best. He doesn’t force anything; he listens to the coaches. When he is energized, grabbing rebounds, taking charges, he ignites our team.”

Evan Ravenel, senior center
On energizing his play
“I sat down with Coach Matta and the other coaches and talked about my performance before the game. I told them what I wanted and they told me what I needed to do to make this happen. It’s playing hard. I felt the energy today. If I play hard and play with energy, good things happen. “

On shifting his focus
“In previous games, my focus was off. I was thinking about what I wanted for myself – my own personal goals. When I stop thinking about myself and start thinking about the team, that’s when good things happen.”

On his ability to draw the charge
“I have not been a shot-blocker since I came to college. One thing my coaches told me was that I am good at being able to see the defense. I can take charges pretty well – it’s one thing I can do to my help team out. It’s a momentum builder for our team when we go on the offensive end.”

Shannon Scott, sophomore guard
On his offensive performance
“The coaches want me to be more aggressive and be ready to make shots. Every day, I practice making those shots and it feels nice to be able to produce during the game.”

On opening up the offense
“Once I start making shots, the defense tries to take it away. This opens the lane for drives and to find open players who can make plays. This lets us spread the floor and attack their defense.”

Horace Broadnax, Savannah State head coach 
On what you can get out of a game like this against Ohio State
We want to do what we are capable of doing on our end. We have to keep the ball at the sideline and force the ball to the base line. We should’ve played better on the defensive end and that is where I am going to grade my team.”

On playing faster than normal
We can’t get into a shooting match with a team like Ohio State. We had 54 looks at the hoop, but a lot of them didn’t go in. Playing a team like Ohio State is a lot of pressure. We have to prepare and not let the pressure get to use.”

On Savannah State’s rebounding
“I like how the referees kept the fouls low in the first half. We were in position some of the time, but Ohio State is more athletic. Weight training and conditioning is at a higher level here. We weight train as well but it’s not the level of this university.”