Two-Minute Drill: Matta Previews Cincinnati
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State coach Thad Matta decided on his bus ride home that he was going to give the players a break this week coming off finals and the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
That includes media responsibilities, as the players were not made available Tuesday before Ohio State’s final practice in Columbus. The Buckeyes leave for Boston Wednesday, and they will hold media availability in Bean Town tomorrow.
Matta had plenty to say, however, about Ohio State’s Sweet 16 matchup with Cincinnati.
- Matta said it's pretty unlikely Ohio State will schedule a home-and-home with Cincinnati any time soon.
- Matta asked if there's anywhere OSU and Cincinnati can meet in the middle: "Jeffersonville Outlets?"
- Matta knows Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, but doesn't know him well. Only coached against him once (in 2006).
- Matta reminding us he was born 6 years after Ohio State's loss to Cincy in the '62 title game. Said the players have talked about it.
- Matta said, “this is more about the NCAA Tournament, not Ohio State and UC. It's about trying to get to the Elite 8."
Previewing the Bearcats
- Matta thinks Cincinnati is quicker across the board than anyone OSU played in the B1G, because they play 4 guards. Said he’s interested to see how they defend Deshaun Thomas.
- Matta said Florida's guards were extremely quick. Called them "one of the best teams we've played this year."
- Matta said Craft's big game was largely because of Gonzaga's defense, but he loves the way Aaron is playing right now.
- Matta said Craft's jump shot has been great over the past few weeks and there should be more opportunities for him to score.
- Matta said he has always had a great appreciation for basketball in the state of Ohio.
- Matta said the best thing Groce has done at Ohio is getting his guys to play well in March.
- Matta said Groce as has built the Ohio program the right way. Also said he feels good seeing Walter Offutt have success. Offutt has credited David Lighty for a lot of what he has become at Ohio.
- Matta on Groce being a hot commodity: "I'm probably not the guy to talk to because I've never made a call for a job."
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