Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach, will take on the third No. 1 opponent of his Ohio State coaching career when the top-ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina visit Columbus Wednesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Ohio State defeated No. 1 Illinois 65-64 March 6, 2005 in the regular season home finale and then again on senior night a season ago against No. 1 Wisconsin (49-48) to complete an 18-0 home season. Matta has coached in three games vs. No. 1-ranked opponents, taking down No. 1 St. Joseph’s (87-67) in the 2004 Atlantic 10 Tournament while coaching Xavier.
Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On North Carolina
“Ty Lawson is one of the best point guards in the country. He adds more speed to an already up-tempo game and is shooting the ball well. In watching him play this season, I can see the improvements he has made and the maturity. He’s a lot more confident in what he is doing out there. Playing North Carolina will be an experience for us because we need to learn to tie our offense to the defense so when the ball isn’t going in the net like against Texas A&M we can generate points off of our defense.”
On Ohio State
“There are still a lot of unknowns with our team. When you start a season with four guys who played college basketball, it is difficult to gauge where a team should be during the season. Right now, we are looking for consistency over greatness. Kosta (Koufos) is continuing to get better. With Kosta’s size, he has a great feel for how we want him to play but he has to continue to hone in on the details on both offense and defense.”