Two-Minute Drill: Matta, Buckeyes Break Down Duke Loss
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a tough loss at Duke on Wednesday, one these guys will remember for a while, but the Buckeyes are ready to move on to the next one.
Thad Matta and his boys face Northern Kentucky on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network) as they return home to Value City Arena for what will be a stretch of eight straight games in Columbus.
Matta spoke to the media Friday, along with sophomores Shannon Scott and Amir Williams, to break down the loss to Duke and preview the upcoming game on Saturday.
* Matta said he felt the shots they got down the stretch were good shots, but they shorted some of them. Made defensive errors.
* Matta knew their guards were going to have to have a big game in order to win. "Those were the shots they were going to make us take."
* Matta said Craft was taking the exact shots they were asking him to take. Thad told him to keep shooting. Expected them to start going in.
* Shannon Scott said he forced up a couple shots in the second half, but most of his shots were good looks.
* Matta a little flustered that LaQuinton Ross took a two when they were down 6 late in the game. Needed a three.
* Matta said they need to continue to get guys to buy in to what they can do well, and do it for the right reasons.
* Amir Williams said he doesn't get rattled by crazy environments like Duke, he was more worried about defending Mason Plumlee.
* Matta said one reason they didn't get LaQuinton in the game earlier was the fact Sulaimon was hurting them.
* Matta said Craft has had two games where he didn't get a steal this year, but "he'll get those back."
* Matta said what he saw from Craft in HS and AAU was someone who always guarded the opposing teams best player, and always won.
* Amir Williams said coach Matta talked to him about being more aggressive on both ends of the floor.
* Matta told Amir if he's going to be a big man, he has to do a better job on the boards, especially the offensive glass.
Game of Momentum
* Matta said it was a game of momentum and the home crowd gave them more momentum at the end.
* Shannon Scott doesn't think they were rattled, but they could have made better decisions.
* Matta: "I don't think by any stretch we weren't ready to play the game. I don't think that was a factor.”
On to the Next One
* Matta said Northern Kentucky has been a great -- not good, great -- Division II program. Making transition to Div. I.
* Matta said there were moments during the Duke game where he was thinking long term. Knows guys other than Deshaun Thomas will have to make plays.
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