Two-Minute Drill: Matta, Self talk Final Four Matchup
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and Kansas coach Bill Self both appeared on a teleconference Monday to preview their upcoming Final Four bout in New Orleans.
Here is a two-minute rundown of what both coaches had to say coming off big victories over No. 1 seeds in the Elite Eight over the weekend.
ON REMATCH OF EARLY SEASON GAME
* Self said it could be an advantage that OSU has played them at full strength, but they haven't seen Sullinger yet.
* Self believes there is often an advantage in the rematch for the team which lost...but that game felt like a century ago.
* Matta said it helps they've played Kansas, but agreed with Self that it was a long, long time ago.
* Self thinks both Ohio State and Kansas are much different teams than they were when they faced each other the first time.
* Self said he knows they caught a break playing OSU without Sullinger. Called it a smart move by Matta to sit him.
* Matta felt confident after Kansas game that he did the right thing in holding Sullinger out.
* Self thinks Thomas Robinson will be excited to face Jared Sullinger, thinks a lot of him.
* Matta said Kansas is playing at a high level right now and Thomas Robinson is the key.
* Self thought Robinson could be a 1st team All-Big 12 this year, but proud of how far he's come from last year when he played 14 minute per game.
MORE FROM MATTA
* Matta thought people were trying to set them up by putting them in top 5. "Knew this team had a long, long way to go."
* Matta on playing Cincinnati: "The name on the front of the jersey meant absolutely nothing to me."
* Matta said he thought he could fix things after the Wisconsin loss because "we have great kids."
* Matta said one thing he wants to do differently this trip to Final Four is take five minutes to look around and enjoy it.
* Matta said they saw a few variations of triangle and 2 early in the year. "A couple teams junked it up on us."
* Matta called Sullinger "one of the best players I've ever coached." Said "there's nobody in the gym who wants to win more than him."
* Matta has shown his team tape of Duke and Florida wins throughout the year as example of how they have to play.
MORE FROM SELF
* Self said Craft is terrific offensively and defensively. "He's got as good of hands as I've seen. Strong hands and quick."
* Self said Craft is not only a great on-ball defender, but also excellent in help defense. Gets his hands on everything.
* Self said Kansas hasn't practiced the triangle and 2 much. They felt they needed to use it vs. UNC because he didn't like their defense.
*Self plans to guard William Buford with multiple guys. Primary responsibility goes to Travis Releford.
* Self said Buford has made more big shots from the perimeter in his career than any other player in the tournament.
* Self joked about doing a great job against Deshaun Thomas the first time. "I think we held him to 19 in the first half."
* Self said they focused a lot of attention on Thomas with Sullinger out the first time, and he still burned them.
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