COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball team easily handled Walsh 102-56 Sunday in an exhibition game at Value City Arena. Freshman Jared Sullinger paced the Buckeyes on the court with a double-double, scoring 22 points with 10 rebounds.
Senior David Lighty contributed 19 points, while junior William Buford had 16 points and eight rebounds for Ohio State.
Freshman Aaron Craft and senior Dallas Lauderdale had 12 points apiece for the Buckeyes, who finished last season with a 29-8 record and trip to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA tournament. Craft also had 8 assists.
Leading Walsh in scoring was Terrance Saintil, with 12 points.
Ohio State will begin its season Friday at home against North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m.
The game vs. Walsh will air on the Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. Monday.
Postgame Quotes: Ohio State 102, Walsh 56 (exhibition)
Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On his team’s performance
“Overall, I was pleased with how we played. We were good offensively, but I think we got a little nervous on defense toward the end of the first half. We weren’t as active off the ball and our rotations were slow. I told the guys that we’ve got a long way to go, but we took care of business tonight.”
On freshman guard Aaron Craft
“What you saw today was what we’ve seen from Aaron every day in practice. He has a great feel on offense for where the ball needs to be. He and Jon Diebler are attached at the hip when it comes to coming in early and staying late to work on their game”
On the versatility of freshman Deshaun Thomas
“I see Deshaun playing some guard and forward for us this year. It’s interesting because he probably leads us in 3-point field goals in practice. Two days ago he probably had his best practice as an Ohio State Buckeye. I couldn’t be happier with where he is right now.”
On freshman Jared Sullinger
“Jared had good command today and we did a decent job at finding him down low. We also found out today that he can pass the ball as well. We just have to continue to build him up and I’m pleased with how he played.”
Jared Sullinger, freshman forward
On playing in his first game
“It felt great. I’ve been waiting to play with these guys for a long time, and putting on the Scarlet and Gray means everything to me.”
“It’s a last man standing type battle with me. If you can stop me, you stop me, if you can’t, you can’t. I had six offensive rebounds, and that was my bread and butter. I had to find a way to score.”
Deshaun Thomas, freshman forward
On playing his first game
“I think we played really hard and did what coach (Thad) Matta wanted us to. Working with (strength) coach (Dave) Richardson really helped me a lot and got me in shape for this first game.”
On competing with Jared Sullinger
“It’s great, we played against J.D. (Weatherspoon) and Jared in high school and we had some battles. Now we are all together and we are a family.”
J.D. Weatherspoon, freshman forward
On his first game a Buckeye
“Everyone was focused. We have been told all summer from everyone, and especially Jon Diebler, that we needed to play every game like it’s your last game.”
Aaron Craft, freshman guard
On competing with his freshman teammates
“To be honest, it’s not completely different. It’s just a lot of fun coming in the game and finally getting out there and playing.”
On being a physical player and playing as a team
“If I need to be (physical) I will. It’s all about playing hard. It’s great coming up and seeing guys smiling. We don’t worry about who gets the stats. It’s all about winning for us. Coach has confidence in us and we all play hard.”
Jordan Sibert, freshman guard
On having nerves before the game
“Not at all. We’ve been preparing for six months. The coaches and leaders on the team all had us prepared to come out and play.”