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Nov. 1, 2006

Recap |  Box Score

Daequan Cook, freshman guard
On the difference between college and high school basketball
“The difference between college and high school is the tempo. It was an upbeat pace and had more picks. We just listened to the captains and it was easier.”

On having “butterflies”
“There was no question about it. It was my first college game. I had them for more than a couple of minutes. After my first dunk, I felt better.”

On defense
“In high school I slacked on defense. Here coach said that if I want to play then I had to play defense. I play with defense now and work on it in practice harder and harder each day. The offense is not a problem but after we score then we need to be back on defense.”

Mike Conley Jr., freshman guard
On Oden’s return
“We really don’t know when he’ll be back. He doesn’t have a goal or any team he wants to be back for. He just wants to be back to help the team out.”

On being up to their ability
“We are not half way to where we want to be. I think we will be a lot better the second half especially with Greg back and playing games. We can be the greatest team that we want to be. The coaches are on us everyday so that we can get there.”

On his role for the team
“I am not the scorer. We have lots of shooters on the team. I have the easy job. I just dish the ball to them and know that they can throw down the shot. I’m comfortable with that and glad to help the team.”

On pregame words
“They told us to play hard and don’t worry about anything else. They said don’t worry about scoring, stealing or assists– if we gave 100 percent it would work out for us. That is what we did.”

Ron Lewis, senior forward
On his role this season
“It’s a different role and it’s hard because I have to lead by example. It was really hard today because practice is different than games. We settled down in the second half and started to play like we do in practice. The game feels similar to last year, but it is different because it’s different people. The pace is fine because we’ve been playing together in practice.”

On the freshmen
“What surprised me is how hard they played. A main thing in basketball is to conserve your energy, but they came out and played hard. I know what he (Greg Oden) is going through sitting on the bench because I’ve been there before, and I know it’s hard. When he’s ready he’ll get out there and help us.”

Othello Hunter, junior forward
On the game
“Basically tonight I focused on rebounding and boxing out. I think we need to come together as a team.”

On the incentive of a Big Ten championship ring
“I know when I saw the rings I knew we had to go out there and win. We’re not halfway where we need to be but we will get there.”

David Lightly, freshman guard
On practice
“From the beginning of practices, coach and the older players instilled the basics of basketball. There’s no yelling at practice unless we give coach (Matta) a reason. We want to do the right thing so he doesn’t have to yell and so it can translate to the court in games.”

Coach Thad Matta
On tonight’s game
“We have a long way to go. I was ready but not ready for this game. I wanted to get a lot of questions in my mind answered and I did. We did some good things and some really bad things. The defense was not as tough and resilient as we needed to be.”

On the offense
“We didn’t have a lot in so we weren’t as fluent as we needed to be. We knew going in that it wasn’t going to be pretty.”

On team bond
“I think they do have a good bond. Every team you saw on the floor tonight we had set up through the past 21 practices. They spend a lot of time together.”

On the defense
“We were not seeing things before they happened. At one point, an opponent drove from the three point line and shot a lay-up right in front of our bench and we never saw him. Those are the things we have to get better at.”