Two-Minute Drill: Basketball Buckeyes Prepare for Florida
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thad Matta did not shy away from the significance of Tuesday night’s matchup between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 8 Florida (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
The Buckeyes face an early test at home in just their second game of the season, but Matta said he wants to see fire and emotion from his guys. He wants them looking forward to this game and said he made them earn the right to take the court tomorrow night with tough practices.
Here is a two-minute rundown of what Matta and two of his players, Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft, had to say on Monday.
The Florida Gators
- Matta called Florida “one of the best teams” he has seen this year.
- Matta said they have experience and their guard play is tremendous. Half their shots are threes and they look to strike quick in transition.
- Matta called Billy Donovan "One of the good guys." Said they talk frequently, except when playing each other.
- Sullinger said this team is going to find out what kind of toughness they have tomorrow night and what kind of defense we have.
- Sullinger: “This determines what type of team we are. Are we strong enough to handle back-to-back transition threes or are we going to crumble.”
- Craft said with a team like Florida, it’s imperative for him to get back as quickly as possible on defense.
Youth and Inexperience
- Matta said he likes playing a tough game like this early in the season because it gives him a better idea of his team.
- Matta said one of the hard parts of coaching a young team is making excuses for them. He told this group he wouldn’t do that. Going to hold them to the same standard.
- Matta said, “I think you could poll our team and they know we have a lot of work to do.”
- Matta said Craft was poised and stoic in the Florida game last year. Showed no signs of being a freshman.
- Matta said Craft always says, ‘what do I need to do to help this team win, not what do I need to do to play.’ He’s always won. Not a guy who makes excuses. How you see him in the games is exactly how he practices.
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