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Dec. 10, 2004

Thad Matta, head coach
On getting back to game action Saturday vs. Portland State
“We have been working on areas that we needed to improve on after the Clemson game. The guys have been taking their final exams, so they’ve been busy with that, but we have gotten better in the time that we have had off. The guys have a good mind set and have accomplished what we needed them to accomplish.”

On playing after a 10-day layoff
“I don’t know how we will come out tomorrow night. It has been awhile since we’ve had a game here in the Schottenstein Center.”

On if the fans will support the team this season despite the postseason ban
“I hope so. One thing I have seen since I have been in Columbus is that I have never seen fans so passionate about their team. They love their Buckeyes. I hope people come out to see these kids compete with great passion and I hope that people get behind these kids.”

On the players’ dedication to the season
“These kids are going to represent Ohio State and our basketball program as well as they can.”

Tony Stockman, senior guard
On his reaction when he first heard about the postseason ban
“I was a little upset. I think we would have had a good chance to go to the NCAA tournament, but we will stay focused on finishing out the season strong and staying motivated. It’s upsetting, but there’s nothing I can do about it. We’re just going to try to win the Big Ten tournament.”

On what the team hopes to accomplish this season
“The team talked about just doing the best that we can and being the spoiler. We want to show people what we’re all about and that we still have a lot to play for. We’re still thinking about the same things – playing the best we can and trying to win every time we go out. It’s not like everything is lost. People will still come out to see us play and we want to win for each other and for our families.” On Portland State
“They’re big and they’ll try to go inside a lot and get to the free throw line, so we have to be ready.”

Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, senior guard
On his reaction to hearing about the postseason ban
“I was kind of in shock. It was definitely bad news and I was definitely disappointed, but we still want to go out and play our hearts out. We can still win the Big Ten tournament and play spoilers.”

On not having the NCAA tournament to look forward to
“It’s hard but we still have to approach every day like we are going to the tournament. We can’t hang our heads. When the selection show comes on in March we want to be mentioned as a team that should have been in the tournament.”

Matt Marinchick, senior center
On still having motivation for the rest of the season
“We have talked about how amazing it would be if we came out and worked harder and did everything better than we did before. Everybody knows what’s going on at Ohio State and that we’re under investigation, but we want to go out and prove that we have a lot to play for. This isn’t something that is going to end our success or end our season.”