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Feb. 20, 2007

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On Ohio State
“We want to get everything balanced and consistent because we are looking for solid basketball throughout. My job is to get the team ready to play Penn State tomorrow. We are constantly striving to control the thing we can, but that is easier said than done. It’s on us to play our best basketball. We knew last year we were losing a lot of guys and we basically told our kids coming in they couldn’t play like freshmen. We aren’t all the way where we need to be, but I’m happy where we are.”

On the No. 1 ranking
“It shows the hard work that our guys have done, but it doesn’t score us any points in the game tomorrow night. Our guys have done a great job focusing on what they team has to do on the court.”

On the No. 1 and No. 2 Big Ten Conference teams
“Growing up a Big Ten fan as I did, it speaks volumes about the Big Ten. Having the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country is what I signed up for here.”

On Penn State
“Penn State is a good basketball team with capable players that do a tremendous job. When shots are going in like they did in the second half against us they are a very capable basketball team.”

On leadership
“Leadership is one of the things you really can’t define, but you know it when you see it.”

Ron Lewis, senior guard
On the No. 1 ranking
“This time around we feel like we are trying to earn the No. 1 spot. This team has the potential to get better and still be No. 1.”

On Penn State
“Penn State is a team that won’t quit playing hard basketball and we learned not to slack off in the second half. We showed that against Minnesota. One thing we are trying to do more is keep a consistent effort. We haven’t put two halves of basketball together on a consistent basis, but at Minnesota we did.” On his last games as a Buckeye
“It’s been a great experience here at Ohio State. This year has been a blessed experience to be with a great group of guys.”

On coming in off the bench
“I have no problem with it, I just play. Getting mad wouldn’t help the team and it’s all about the team with me. So whether I start or come off the bench it doesn’t matter to me.”

Mike Conley, freshman guard
On his game
“I played well the last couple of games. That is a tribute to my teammates, they make things easier. When Greg (Oden) is in foul trouble we all work together to step up our game and lately he has been in foul trouble.”

On offense with Greg Oden
“We run the offense through him. He’s so unselfish and will get the ball to who is open. It is an easy two points if he chooses, but it is a lot better choice to give him the ball.”

On Penn State
“First, they are a great 3-point shooting team. They can hit shots with hands in their face. A lot of it was in the transition we just didn’t get back. They caught fire the second half and are a great three-point shooting team.”

On being rank No. 1/2
“We are in a good position. Coach said we are in the driver’s seat and control our destiny. We just need to stay focused and concentrate on our goals, take each game one at a time and hopefully come out with wins.”

Jamar Butler, junior guard
On No. 1 ranking
“We aren’t concentrated on being No. 1 or No. 2 our focus is on Penn State.”

On Penn State
“They will come in with a lot of confidence after the second half last game. They have a great team and will come in and try to beat us. They got us on transition. We corrected that in practice and will be ready to go.”

On Mike Conley
“He is a great point guard. He can run the team, get the ball where coach wants, doesn’t turn the ball over and has a good assist-turnover ratio. The first time I saw him I knew he was a great basketball player.”