January 22, 2018

Postgame Quotes: No. 13 Ohio State 64, Nebraska 59


Jan. 22, 2018

No. 13 Ohio State 64 (18-4, 9-0 B1G), Nebraska 59 (14-8, 5-4 B1G)
Jan. 22, 2017
Value City Arena– Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 10,918

Chris Holtmann, Ohio State head coach
On tonight’s game
“This might not have been always enjoyable to watch, but this was a heck of a game to coach in, and a heck of a game to play in. Highly competitive, two good teams going at it. We came into this game knowing it was going to be a challenge. I expected this to be a game that would go down to the last two minutes. It was a really gutsy effort.”

On the Nebraska team
“I’ve been saying it, people don’t want to believe it, they are a quality team. They were ahead on Kansas late at home, we saw what they did to Michigan. Defensively they are really sound and extremely well coached. I think Coach Miles and his staff do a tremendous job. They have a 1-3-1 that is really unique that can really stymie you.”

On Andre Wesson’s recent contributions
“He has really been good for us. I have probably not made mention of that enough, but he’s really been good for us in this stretch. He hasn’t turned it over like he was early in the year, and has made really sound plays. He is just a good player.”

On the 9-0 start in conference play
“I don’t want to take this for granted. I’ve never been a part of anything like this, and I don’t know if I ever will again. You don’t just start 9-0 in conference play, and I don’t want to take that for granted. It’s been an amazing run, and hopefully we continue it.”

Tim Miles, Nebraska head coach
On his impression from the game
”Ohio State is really good inside. You put Kaleb Wesson, and Keita Bates-Diop with Jae’Sean Tate, and they are going to cause a lot of matchup problems. I thought we did a lot of good things defensively. I am disappointed with our offensive second half. In a game like this you’re only going to get so many chances to win the game. You’re up against a good team, with a good coach, and you’re on the road. We have seven possessions in the first half and go four turnovers and a missed layup. In the second half we had a stretch where we missed the one-and-one, came down and turned it over, then we scored and turned it over again. That was the shot clock where I called timeout way too late. They’re a great team, and I think we gave great defensive effort, but they had those two runs in each half that put them over the top.”

On the difference in the Ohio State team this year
“I don’t compare and contrast one coach to another, because Thad Matta is a great guy, and the success he had in the Big Ten here is unbelievable. This is what I do notice about being a new coach, which I have been five times, Chris (Holtmann) has done a great job with his staff. I admire what they do. The buy in is there. They have bought in to what they do. They are going to run their stuff this way, they are going to cut hard, they are going to defend and block out. There is no individual agenda, and the body language is really good. Chris and his staff coming into a situation late, and getting these guys. You can listen to the interviews, and the way they talk about the coaches and where they’re going. You can see how fired up they were. I think that is a very good barometer for success.”

Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State senior forward
On the team’s first half struggles
“As a team, we know that Nebraska is one of the toughest teams in the Big Ten. From the start we knew it was going to be a ‘grind-it-out’ game. We just weren’t making the correct plays or correct reads because they have such a good defense. They like to double. They really made us uncomfortable in the first half. In the second half, they kind of did the same thing, but we were able to slow it down a little bit and get the win.”

On team’s ability to maintain leads in the second half this season
“It’s just the belief in each other, and the connectedness that the team has this year. I think Coach (Holtmann) prepares us well in the way we practice. The situations we’re put in during practice helped us in this test tonight. That is the biggest thing. I think this year we’re able to cross that line we’ve always set.”

Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State junior forward
On team’s ability to continue winning after four games in eight days
“Before the game, Coach Holtmann talked about mental and physical toughness. It’s the fourth game in eight days. We have a couple days off before Penn State, but this is where mental toughness comes in. We showed it tonight with our leadership in the older guys, and we have a pretty mature team.”

On how the team recovered from 3-point struggles
“We always like to play inside out with Kaleb (Wesson), me and JT posting a lot. Even though our 3-point shots weren’t falling, we continue to shoot them obviously, and continue to work the ball inside out.”

On ability to hold the lead in second half
“It definitely comes with the maturity and being here three to four years like most of us have. Just composure at this point, taking a deep breath, and making the right pass or shot.”