Two-Minute Drill: Inside Ohio State’s Locker Room
By Brandon Castel
PITTSBURGH — It was a 19-point win for the Buckeyes in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament, but that is not what if felt like in the locker room.
Ohio State players were unanimous in feeling like they performed poorly against Loyola-Maryland Friday night and they agreed another performance like that will likely mean the end of their season.
Here is a look at what else was said in OSU’s postgame locker room.
Not Ready to Play
- Lenzelle Smith and William Buford both said they felt like the Buckeyes needed to treat this game like a loss.
- Smith and Shannon Scott both though some of the guys took Loyola lightly.
- Smith could tell during warmups that some of the guys were not focused the way they needed to be.
- Aaron Craft doesn't know why this team struggles to get its mind right every game. Some of it is youth, but not all.
- Craft said the turnovers are what really bothered him. Showed their heads weren't right.
- Jared Sullinger said whenever the Buckeyes play well, they have a tendency to step back and admire themselves.
Getting Their Minds Right
- Craft said he, Sullinger and Buford have to do a better job getting everyone else ready to play.
- As much as people want to hate on Buford, he seems to be one of the guys keeping his mind in the moment.
- Buford said his biggest concern is that they weren't communicating on defense like they did last weekend.
- Buford is also very concerned that some guys don't understand “if you lose, you go home.” He said he is going to everything he can to leave Ohio State without regrets.
- Sullinger said Thad Matta was “pissed off” after the game. Doesn't care about wins and losses, just wants them to play like a team and play together.
Sullinger and Thomas Lead the Way
- Sullinger said he didn't change his mindset after scoring the first six points. Just played within the flow.
- Craft said he thinks Sullinger is looking forward to matchup with Gonzaga big man Robert Sacre. Wants to play well at both ends of the floor.
- Matta dropped a "Jared will be Jared" during postgame. Said he knows Sullinger will be ready Saturday.
- Sullinger said the ball slipped out of his hand on the missed dunk. "That's why I don't dunk a lot, now you know."
- Sullinger credited Thomas with carrying the team against Loyola. "When he's hot, just keep feeding him." Also said he doesn’t think Ohio State would have won the game without Thomas.
- Thomas said he wanted to have a big game Friday night, but also do what’s best for the team. Takes pride in his defense and rebounding.
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