Time off suited Buckeyes

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Last updated: 01/28/2014 5:56 PM
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Men's Basketball
Buckeyes Say Gap in Schedule Came at Right Time
By Rob Ogden

After playing through a stretch of four games in 11 days, the Buckeyes finally got some time off before they face Penn State at home on Wednesday night.

The five-day layoff is the most time off Ohio State has had since Christmas, and coach Thad Matta said it was valuable.

"We were able to get a little bit of rest, with I guess our bye week, which was well needed for our team in terms of the schedule we've been on," Matta said. "Letting guys get some rest and time away from the gym, was, I think good for us."

Upcoming for the Buckeyes is an 11-day stretch in which they will play five games, including three against top-15 opponents.

At this point in the Big Ten, Matta said, every game is like a one-game season.

"The one thing I've learned in this league is there's no game more important than the one you're getting ready to play," he said. "We've played seven games so far and before every jump ball I've said, 'Wow, this one's important.' It will be no different Wednesday night."

A couple of snow days on Ohio State's campus has also helped the team get some extra shots up in the morning when they would regularly have been in class, Amir Williams said.

The cold weather wasn't enough to cancel practice, though.

 "We still come in and practice, we've got to do what we got to do," Williams said. "We've still got a game tomorrow. Just regular practice as usual."

The extended rest over the past week has given a few Buckeyes time to nurse some nagging injuries back to health.

Freshman Marc Loving had been dealing with a "minor wrist tweak," but said he's 100 percent healthy now.

"The time off gave us an opportunity to recover a little," he said. "It helps with the nags and injuries that we've had in the past couple games, but I feel like we're ready to play."

Matta said he's noticed the whole team looking a little more refreshed in the past couple days of practice. 

"We're physically a little better than we were going into Thursday night's game, in terms of the aches and pains," he said. "I think we're a little bit fresher in terms of our bodies and where we need to be.

"That was a pretty tough stretch, and now we're getting ready to do anther one."

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