Two-Minute Drill: Buckeyes Talk Iona, Tournament
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes have won eight games in a row, but they have a tough matchup with high-scoring Iona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
They will leave for Dayton later today so they can get in a practice tomorrow at UD Arena before the opening round game on Friday night. Here’s a look at what Matta had to say on Wednesday, along with comments from Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas.
Tank Finding His Shot
* Thomas: "I'm feeling locked in. I'm just going to be ready." Said he feels his shots have been good looks, just haven't gone in.
* Thomas: "Coach is right, I do shoot my way out (of a slump). I just keep shooting. I want one to go down so bad."
* Craft almost burst out laughing when Deshaun said the shots he was taking the tournament were questionable.
* Thomas: "It was pretty easy to score last year because everyone was focused on (Jared). It's a little harder to be patient this year."
* Thomas has been watching tape of his B1G Tournament with Chris Jent, who told him the bad shots are killing his percentage.
* Matta told his players last year's Final Four run doesn't score them a point or grab them a rebound, but it does give them experience.
* Matta, tongue-in-cheek, on Ohio State's 2011 bracket: "That was a tough bracket. It's a good thing Gene was in charge that year."
* Thomas on his favorite NCAA Tournament game: "When Ohio State played Florida in 2007. That was a great game."
* Thomas said watching Greg Oden and Mike Conley in the 2007 title game opened his eyes to Ohio State. He said it kind of "got me coming here."
Matta on Buckeyes
* Matta adamant about Craft being best defensive player in the country: "He is. Not might, he is."
* Craft when he was told President Barack Obama likes his defense: "He's got great taste, what can I say."
* Matta said Urban Meyer texted him about Craft after the game the other night. Matta's response: "Don't even try it."
* Matta said the key with LaQuinton Ross is going to be consistency. Can he stay dialed in for more than one or two possessions.
* Matta's main concern with Ross is ball security. Said he has ability but he gets careless with it at times.
* Matta said it's by design they run Craft and Shannon Scott against each other. Has made both of them better.
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