Two Minute Drill
By Rob Ogden
Ohio State shot 3-for-20 from 3-point range and was out-rebounded 39-27 in a 70-60 loss to Michigan Tuesday night. It was the first home loss to the Wolverines for the Buckeyes since 2003. After the game, coach Thad Matta and a few players spoke to the media. Here are the highlights.
Thad Matta Updates
* Matta said the Buckeyes weren't in "attack mode" tonight. He said execution was poor for the final 25 minutes of the game.
* He said the offensive rebound disparity had a lot to do with the game's final score. He said they tired out as they were forced to "defend again and again" after giving up loose-ball rebounds in the game's closing minutes. "When that ball's bouncing, 50/50 ball, you've got to come up with it," Matta said.
* Matta said every night in the Big Ten is a "war". He added that three or four poor minutes, as the Buckeyes had at the end of the first half, can cost you a game. He noted that the Buckeyes have led in the second half in five of their six losses this season. With Ohio State's loss, the longest winning streak in the Big Ten now belongs to Wisconsin at two games.
* Matta said they weren't sharp, and added that going 3-for-20 from 3 makes it really hard to beat anyone in the Big Ten.
* He said this team has to work harder for wins than past teams have. Without a go-to guy, he said they have to rely on each other, and have three guys making shots in order to be playing well.
* We attributed some of the rebounding struggles to being too aggressive and going for blocks instead. He called it a risk-reward scenario, but said he liked the aggressiveness.
Aaron Craft Updates
* Asked what is more troubling, the rebounding disparity or the 3-point struggles, Craft said it's definitely the rebounds. "We've done a pretty good job of that the last few games and for some reason we didn't do it tonight," he said. He added that Michigan got all the offensive rebounds when they needed to.
* Craft said Tuesday night's loss doesn't hurt any more than any of the others did. "Every loss hurts," he said. He added that they have to keep moving forward and find a way to get better. "There's still a lot to play for."
* As he has said after just about every loss this season, Craft said they weren't the tougher basketball team tonight. "That's what hurts about this one," he said.
LaQuinton Ross Updates
* On his success in the paint, Ross said Michigan didn't do a great job of clogging up the lane in the first half, so he made it a point to get in there. He added that he should be that aggressive more often.
* Regarding the rebounding disparity, Ross said at the end of the day, Michigan wanted it more. He added that they knew coming in that the Wolverines would make that a priority, but said they missed a lot of box outs.
* Ross said he expects the team will be able to bounce back quickly. "We're a tough group of guys," he said.
Michigan Coach John Beilein Updates
* Beilein opened his remarks by saying that the atmosphere inside the Schott was tremendous. He compared it to a Final Four atmosphere, and said it was a great representation of Big Ten basketball.
* Beilein commented on the unordinary amount of road wins in the Big Ten, and said it's really unusual. He added that road wins are great confidence builders for a team.
* He said that they focused on taking Craft out of the game by isolating him with Nik Stauskas and basically playing four-on-four. But he said that's not easy to do. "Craft disrupts everything," he said.
* He said they knew after the first half that they needed to be more physical in the paint. He said at one point, he felt as if they were going to have to double team Ross because of the success he was having inside.
* Beilein said Ohio State is easier to defend this season compared to last because the Buckeyes have one fewer guy (referring to Deshaun Thomas) that can stretch the floor this year.
* After losing two top players to the NBA and one to injury, Beilein said he didn't expect the success the Wolverines are having this year.
Caris LeVert Updates
* Pickerington-native Caris LeVert said it was a big win for himself and the team. He noted how the Wolverines hadn't won in Columbus in 11 years.
* LeVert said Ohio State only recruited him after he decommitted from Ohio following John Groce's departure to Illinois.
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