Postgame Quotes: Ohio State vs. Kansas

Dec. 22, 2012

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Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“At one point I turned to the bench and said, ‘Hey, let’s call a play where we score.’ Nevertheless, it was as high level of a basketball as you can find at this time of the year. The way Kansas was playing coming into the game and their experience showed on the tapes we watched. I thought we battled them, but didn’t play with the toughness and tenacity we needed to.”

On this game compared to past matchups with Kansas
“The first game we played them was hard just because we weren’t at full strength. To be honest this game was a lot like the second half of the Final Four game in New Orleans where the ball just wouldn’t go in the basket for us. The leadership they [Kansas] have - I haven’t had four seniors in about eight years. And Ben McLemore is as good as any player in the country.”

Shannon Scott, sophomore guard
On his impact during the game
“I just wanted to come in there and push the pace. I was able to create for my teammates. In the second half, Kansas started getting back on defense and it was more difficult.”

Deshaun Thomas, junior forward
On the shift of momentum in the game
“It changed when we didn’t make shots. We had great shots that weren’t falling. They started making them and executing at the other end.”

On the Jayhawk defense
“They played hard. We had wide-open looks and I trusted my teammates to knock down the shots. They had good looks and didn’t go down. I just kept telling them to keep shooting.”

Aaron Craft, junior guard
On the play of Amir Williams
“It’s in him [to play like this every game]. He is growing and just needs more experience. He needs to continue to be consistent in these big game situations. He can come in and make an impact immediately.”

On the Buckeyes’ performance
“We came out and battled. We didn’t back down. Basketball is a simple game: get stops and put in the ball through the net. We didn’t do that tonight. It comes down to getting tough, making stops when we need to and making shots when we need to.”

Bill Self, Kansas head coach
On comparing the three games between Kansas and Ohio State in the past year
“The first time we played last year, [Jared] Sullinger didn’t play. The second time we played, they controlled the game and we made some plays late in the game. Today’s probably the best we’ve played against Ohio State in three games. I thought we were really good except for a three-minute stretch in the first half, when they went on a 10-0 run, or something like that.”

On Ohio State’s run in the first half
“In the first half I don’t know if they ran off of misses; I think they ran off of turnovers. We did a miserable job taking care of the basketball. That’s one of the things we have to get a lot better at – handling the ball under pressure.”

On defending Deshaun Thomas
“He’s a hard matchup, and he was a hard matchup for us last year, when we had Robinson Thomas on him. We play two traditional bigs, and he’s not traditional, so it was probably a good matchup for us being able to put a guard on him and the doubling him on the post.”

Jeff Withey, Kansas senior center
On the Jayhawks’ defense
“Coach [Bill] Self is all about defense and we showed that today. We shut down their best scorer. When they went on their run, we have a good group of vets that have been in this situation before that could talk to the young guys and tell them to calm down and focus on defense. It all starts on defense.”

Ben McLemore, Kansas redshirt freshman guard
On stopping the Buckeye transition
“He [Scott] surprised me with his speed. He can get up the floor fast. We slowed them down in the second half in transition defense. We got easy plays, a couple of steals, stuff like that that allowed us to get ahead.”