Two Minute Drill - Buckeyes Drill Walsh
By Rob Ogden
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State opened the 2013-14 season on Saturday with a 93-63 win over Walsh in an exhibition game inside Value City Arena. After the game, coach Thad Matta and a few players spoke to the media. Here are the highlights.
Thad Matta Updates
* Asked about the play of his starting lineup, Matta said he liked how they performed in the first half, but not in the second half. Ohio State allowed 37 second-half points compared to 26 in the first half.
* Matta said he was happy with the team's balanced offensive production. Five Buckeyes scored in double figures.
* Overall, Matta wasn't pleased with the way his team played defensively. He called their ability to guard the basketball down the stretch "horrendous." Matta added that they looked surprised when Walsh would drive the ball.
* Matta said he was happy that freshman forward Marc Loving finished with nine rebounds. He added that Loving had an off day offensively, but said he knows he'll be better in that aspect.
* Matta said the reason he went with Shannon Scott in the starting lineup over Sam Thompson was because Scott had a phenomenal week of practice.
* He said the lineup could change from game to game, and added that he doesn't like that the lights go out and they shoot off fireworks when the starting lineup is announced. He said he doesn't think it's that big of a deal to be a starter.
* Matta said he wants more consistency out of center Amir Williams, who finished with 8 points.
* He said the same for Trey McDonald, and added that he thought McDonald did a good job playing with the two early fouls.
* Matta said the team needs to do a better job of finishing around the rim, but thought shot selection was pretty good.
* He said they did a great job of playing without fouling today, and said they have had to alter the way they call fouls in practice because of the new hand-check rule.
* Matta said Amedeo Della Valle started to become a more complete player at the end of last season, and said it has carried over to this year.
* Matta said freshman Kam Williams, who missed a month of practice with mononucleosis, is doing more and more in the gym, and said they hope he will be able to return to practice this week. Matta said Williams is behind because of all the time he missed.
* He said he thought LaQuinton Ross played "okay." Matta said Ross needs to be more locked in defensively, but said he played well offensively.
* Matta said Ross had his right hand in a cast for the past week because of inflammation. Ross had been shooting with his left hand in practice. Matta joked that Ross' hand got well quickly when he told Ross that he would have to play all-time defense in practice.
Marc Loving Updates
* Loving said he was surprised that he got as much playing time as he did in his first game.
* Loving said the team needs to become dominant rebounders and said he thought there were plenty of opportunities for him to grab rebounds Sunday.
* He said he was nervous before tipoff but calmed down once the game began.
* He said it doesn't matter whether he plays the three or four position, because they are interchangeable in Ohio State's offense. He added that all the defensive switches they make make the positions relatively similar.
Amedeo Della Valle Updates
* Della Valle said the player that only shoots 3-pointers is gone. He said he's a much more complete player now.
* He said he tries to provide energy off the bench and focuses first and foremost on getting defensive stops. He added that he must convert on any opportunities he gets on offense.
* Della Valle said he was disappointed with the 18 turnovers for the team, and added that that's a problem that needs fixed.
Amir Williams Updates
* Williams said the Buckeyes have used different lineups in practice every week
* He said he is a faster player than he was a year ago, and added that the team is as well. He said a point of emphasis has been playing faster defensively.
* Asked if he had any personal goals, he said "to be better than I was last year."
* Williams said he didn't get down on himself after struggling early in the game. He said that is something he needs to maintain for the rest of the season.
* He said the team came out flat. Williams said they were allowing too many dribble drives early on.
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