Two-Minute Drill: Matta, Buckeyes Preview Northwestern
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Thad Matta met with the media Wednesday to discuss his team’s upcoming home bout with Northwestern. Most of the talk focused on the Buckeyes, who are coming off back-to-back losses to Michigan Aand Indiana.
Matta compared the last week to playing in a Final Four, but Aaron Craft and Amir Williams also had some interesting things to say. Here’s a breakdown.
* Craft said coach Matta has established himself as one of the best coaches in the country and one of the best programs in the country.
* Craft: "There are nights when other teams are better than you, and Sunday was definitely one of those."
* Matta and Craft both said the expectation for this team is to get them playing the best basketball they can in March.
* Matta: "We are in a great league. There's a lot of great basketball, but this year is about getting knocked down and getting back up."
* Matta said playing Michigan and Indiana last week was like going to a Final Four, other than the lack of a neutral site.
* Matta said he remembers back in 2007 when they drew Xavier in the 2nd round. Couldn't have imagined a worse matchup.
Craft More Relaxed
* Craft said he has found a good rhythm and a good flow to his game the last few times out. Said he's more relaxed.
* Craft said the coaches haven't been stressing the need for him to score more than they did early in the year. Just gelling as a team.
* Craft mentioned he has four classes on Wednesdays. "It's a good day."
* Matta said they haven't told Craft he needs to score more, but they've told him "if it's there, take it."
Growing Up Amir
* Amir Williams said he actually should have been less aggressive and more patient with Cody Zeller on Sunday.
* Williams said he has always loved basketball. First time he was out there looking around because he didn't know what to do.
* Williams said he was 6-foot in 5th grade and 6-8 by the time he was in 8th grade. Was 6-10 his freshman year.
* Matta said he's happy with the progression Amir has made, especially for a guy who hardly played last year.
* Matta said they are trying to work with Amir on core strength and also on keeping the ball tighter to his body.
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