Ohio State vs. Northwestern Postgame Quotes

Dec. 28, 2011

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Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On his team’s performance
“I felt we executed the things we felt were important coming into the game. We’ve had some very good practices this week and we played the way we practiced. We got a great lift off the bench from everyone who came into the game, and it really ignited us.”

On William Buford’s improvements as a senior
“He was working out after practice yesterday and he had a great intensity and focus about him. I stopped him and said, ‘William, this is how you have to play every possession of every game.’ The big thing with him is continuing to improve every time he hits the floor.”

On the team’s improved 3-point shooting
“We were saving it [laughs]. We’ve shot the ball more with this team than any other, and we’ve been hard on them in practice, getting them to understand what is and is not a good shot. We are starting to value shots and possessions more.”

William Buford, senior guard
On scoring tonight
“I was just shooting the ball. I was fortunate to be knocking them down and my teammates just kept telling me to shoot.”

On filling in the role of last year’s seniors
“I don’t feel like we can replace the seniors we lost last year. I just try to do what I can do this year. I just want to try to bring the intensity and be a leader, that’s about it. I just try to do whatever I can to help my team.”

On Jared Sullinger
“He’s the best big man in the country. When he draws so much attention it makes it so much easier on us.”

On having a good game
“I just let the game come to me, but stay on top of it at the same time. I didn’t want to take too many bad shots, which I have a tendency to do, but just let the game come to me.”

Jordan Sibert, sophomore guard
On practicing extra shots
“I have been coming in later and shooting with one of my managers, making sure I get up shots. In the nonconference games I didn’t shoot as well as I wanted to. Just taking the extra time to make sure I get up shots instead of being complacent. I kind of got complacent having a good spring and summer shooting. I didn’t work as hard on my shot as I needed to. Being able to come in and contact the managers and shooting 400 to 500 shots is what I needed.”

On Jared Sullinger
“He can always find the open man on the court. As long as we can find the open area in the court he can get the ball to us.”

On William Buford
“Last year we could always depend on Dave (Lighty) or Jon (Diebler) when something was going wrong. This year is the same way when we can’t find a rhythm and things are going wrong, we can count on Will (Buford) now. He’s going to be scoring or rebounding, mostly going to be scoring, but he finds a way to get things going.”

Jared Sullinger, sophomore forward
On the team’s good game
“You practice how you play and the last couple of days we’ve been having some pretty intense practices. It showed tonight.”

On getting better
“It’s just doing constant rehab. I’m trying to get everything right and iced. I’m taking care of my body and I feel a lot better.”

On getting his endurance back
“Everything is starting to get back. The timing is back and playing as a team is the most important. I’m trying to get my legs under me and get ready for this Big Ten battle.”

On William Buford
“Will is doing a great job. He’s more vocal. According to Coach Matta his freshman and sophomore years he didn’t say much. His junior year he came out a little bit more. This year he’s taken a little bit of leadership upon himself because he’s been through it all. He’s doing a great job.”

Bill Carmody, Northwestern head coach
On Ohio State’s play
“They shot very well. I know [William] Buford’s a very good player. [Jordan] Sibert hit us with 3s in that stretch In the first half and that really hurt us.” 

On the play of Drew Crawford and John Shurna
“I thought Crawford played better in the second half; he was aggressive. Shurna just didn’t have a good game. He looked tired and he wasn’t doing things decisively. We haven’t practiced that hard in the past couple days. He wasn’t doing anything as hard as he can and should.” 

On William Buford
“He’s playing a ‘swing’ kind of position and he looks as good as anyone to me. He can dribble the ball. He gets into the lane. He gets fouled and makes his foul shots. He’s stepped up because they lost a couple good players from last year. He’s a senior so he’s doing things decisively and [John] Shurna wasn’t. He’s a senior and he’s doing those things because he can.”