Two-Minute Drill: Kansas Postgame
By Brandon Castel
LAWRENCE, Kan. — It wasn’t the outcome Ohio State was hoping for, and they aren’t much interested in morale victories, but the Buckeyes played tough in their 78-67 loss at Kansas on Saturday.
Without preseason All-American Jared Sullinger, who missed his second game with back spasms, Ohio State hung around with the No. 13-ranked Jayhawks before Thomas Robinson ended their hopes of a comeback in the final minutes.
Robinson scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, including a run of 10-straight points to put the game on ice while Sullinger watched from the bench.
Here is a look at what the players and coaches were saying after the game at “Phog” Allen Fieldhouse.
Back to Jared Sullinger
· Aaron Craft said they pretty much knew early in the week that Sullinger wasn't going to play.
· Thad Matta insisted they didn't know until this morning that Sullinger wasn't going to play. Said he tried to convince them he was OK.
· Matta said he is always going to look out for his players and for the program ahead of winning one basketball game.
· Kansas coach Bill Self said decision to sit Sullinger was smart because "they have a chance to win it all down the road."
· Self on Sullinger: "We know he didn't play and they're a better team with him. We wanted him to play."
· Self called Sullinger top candidate for National POY, but said OSU still a top 10 team without him.
· William Buford said having Sullinger in the lineup makes things easier on everyone, but Evan Ravenel and Amir Williams did a good job.
Buford’s Tale of Two Halves
· Buford said he was getting good looks in the first half, but his shots just weren’t going in.
· Buford said Kansas did not do anything differently defensively, he just wasn’t shooting well in the first half. Said he made it a point to get closer to the basket in the second half to get his rhythm back
· Buford said the only thing he kept telling himself is "you're a better player than this. Don't be one-dimensional."
· Buford also said he wasn't putting more pressure on himself because Sullinger was out. Shots just weren't falling. Had to find his groove.
· Self said the best thing they did on Buford today was make him an inefficient scorer. Usually gets 21pts on 12 shots not 23 shots.
· Buford said he never thought about the Kentucky game once today. "That's way in the past now."
Deshaun’s Big Day
· Self said they wanted to make force Deshaun Thomas to make shots in the first half and he burned them.
· Buford credited Thomas with carrying them in the first half while he was struggling to find his rhythm.
· Thomas said he has matured a lot as a player. Learned to pass up tough shots if he can get his teammate an easier one.
· Thomas said he felt like he did a decent job against Robinson in the first half. In the second half he rotated on Robinson with Ravenel and Williams.
· Self said they put freshman Kevin Young on Thomas in the second half and he did a much better job.
· Matta said Kevin Young (14pts, 4reb) was probably the biggest difference in the game.
· Buford said he thinks they can work LaQuinton Ross into the rotation because he is a great scorer and has great length.
· Asked Buford if he taught LaQuinton Ross any of his moves, "Not yet, I don't think he's ready for that yet."
· Deshaun Thomas said Ross reminds him of himself last year. Said he told Ross if things don't go your way, stay positive. Time will come.
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