Feb. 5, 2007

Head coach Thad Matta
On Ohio State
“Offensively we are better with our execution, but we still have a long way to go. Having patience to get the shot we want is a sign of us getting better. We have made more consecutive stops when we needed them and our activity is more consistent, but we are still growing and we have a lot of areas to hone in on. We came together as a team after playing in the environment we faced at Michigan State. Physically and mentally I like where the team is. Hopefully we can keep rotating guys in so we stay fresh.”

On Ohio Sate
“We had a challenging week last week and we were fortune to go on the road and get two wins. This week we are focusing on our opponents and trying to get ourselves better offensively and defensively. We need to focus on our execution and be able to make better and quicker reads. On defense we need to work on attacking and not reacting.”

On the freshman class
“I think our guys have been focused. They come in with a great attitude and mindset everyday which has made my job a lot easier. Our guys just want to play basketball and the way we run our program is to get the guys to understand that hard work gets us better. The upperclassmen have won a Big Ten championship, so the new guys are looking to them to show them the way.”

On Greg Oden
“Greg (Oden) is probably one of the most studious guys of the game of basketball I have coached. He’s a perfectionist and he wants to have everything down pat.”

On Michigan
“Michigan is a good basketball team because they have upperclassmen that have proven they can play tremendous basketball. They have size and guys that can make shots.

On Michigan
“Obviously Michigan has good talent and a lot of experience with its upperclassmen. (Courtney) Sims is playing great basketball right now, so we have another tremendous challenge ahead of us this week.”

On Othello Hunter’s increased playing time
“We knew we wanted to have some different looks for this team going into Michigan State and Othello (Hunter) is playing good basketball right now. He’s getting more comfortable with the system.”

Ron Lewis, senior guard
On Ohio State
“When the Big Ten season started everybody on the team wanted to be on top. Now that we are on top, we want to come together as a team so we don’t fall short.”

On Michigan
“I am expecting them to play hard and with a lot of confidence because Courtney Sims has played well the past few games.”

On Oho State’s leadership
Jamar and I are on the floor with everyone and we can see it in their faces when we need to huddle up and say something. It’s important not to say things too early.”

Jamar Butler, junior guard
On Ohio State’s defense
“When you have trust in your teammates you know you are going to have help. Plus, having a 7-footer makes it hard to score in the paint. Last year Terence Dials didn’t move as much as Greg (Oden).”