Two-Minute Drill: Buckeyes Ready for B1G Tourney
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeyes didn’t win the regular season championship in the Big Ten for the first time in four years.
They could have landed a share of the conference crown if Michigan had held off Indiana on Sunday, but OSU point guard Aaron Craft said the Buckeyes only have themselves to blame.
Ohio State will go to Chicago as the No. 2 seed in the B1G Tournament, with a matchup against either Purdue or Nebraska on Friday (6:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network). Here’s a look at what Thad Matta and his top two players had to say on Wednesday.
Aaron Craft steals the ball.
Photo by Jim Davidson
*Craft on B1G Tournament: "You go into any tournament trying to win. That goes back to when you first started playing basketball."
*Craft on finishing 2nd in B1G standings: "As much as you would love to blame Michigan, we have to blame ourselves as well."
*Matta said he thinks the B1G has "the best coaches in the country" locking heads every night.
Defensive Player of the Year
Craft on Oladipo winning Defensive POY: "I don’t think it’s a knock on me, he did what he needed to do and they won the championship."
*Matta said he was OK with the B1G Awards except that Aaron Craft didn't win Defensive POY...
*Matta: "No disrespect to Oladipo, he's a tremendous player, but Craft should be national defensive player of the year."
*Matta called Oladipo "one of the best" defenders he's ever seen, but "Aaron Craft is in a whole other world when it comes to defense."
*Matta: "Aaron doesn't fly through the air and pin shots off glass (like Oladipo), he takes the ball out of the player's hand on the floor."
*Matta has raved about Craft as a defender, leader and person: "He's the greatest kid I've ever coached."
*Craft and Thomas were asked who the MVP of the team was this year. Thomas picked Craft, and vice versa.
*Craft picked Thomas for team MVP: "Our offense runs through him and it would all kind of fall apart without him out there."
*Craft said DT probably takes more questionable shots than anyone he's played with but they go in, "so I guess it’s OK. He’s DT."
*Matta said he can always tell if Deshaun is ready to go by whether he's sweating before tipoff. "Just a few beads on his forehead."
*Matta said they figured out late last year Deshaun would take first 4 minutes of the game to warm up, instead of doing that pregame.
*Thomas: "I would like to have the same March I had last year because it helps my teammates. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again."
*Craft was disappointed he came up short against Joakim Noah in "Most Hated Players" bracket. "I thought I had a chance because he's older."
*Craft was quick to let OSU assistant coach Greg Paulus know he was the higher seed between the two.
*Craft said he didn't know Paulus as a player, but "I wasn’t the fondest of Gregory when he played. I assume it’s similar to what’s going on with me.”
*Matta was flabbergasted to hear Craft was mentioned as one of "Most Hated Players" in college basketball. Called it the highest form of flattery.
*When we told him Greg Paulus was also on the list, Matta responded: "Oh, he probably deserved it."
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