Postgame Quotes
MBK: Ohio State 71, Iona 53
December 20, 2008
Value City Arena // Attendance: 14,029

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“We definitely got our spark in the second half and had decent defense in the first. We definitely did not do a good job rebounding and Iona kept coming after us. Our big run in the second was definitely the big difference in the game.”
On what he said in the first timeout of the second half
“I just told them that they’re security blanket isn’t here and that it is time to play some basketball. That was the gist of it.”
On Jeremie Simmons game
“Jeremie really got it going for us defensively in the second half. He got his hands on the ball, which ignited our big run. He is realizing that is what he has to do and that is his role.”
On the starting lineup
“We had this type of line before and they have played together more than the rest. We mainly decided on this for defensive purposes. Both of our big guys know what they had to do defensively and that is why we did what we did.”

Evan Turner, sophomore guard
On adjustments in his game
“I work better when I’m in the middle of the court, so when they left the middle open I tried to exploit that. The first half, I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been, so coach told me to be more aggressive and attack the middle. Coach was right and I had a better second half.
On what David Lighty told them at halftime
“David told us to just keep working hard and good things will come. He’s a hard worker and he knows the value of hard work, so we tried to take that mentality out on to the court. Dave has faith in us, and we respect how hard he works.”

Jeremie Simmons, junior guard
On his momentum-shifting alley-oop to William Buford
“We got the block on defense and once I was out in the open court with the ball, I saw William coming open on the right side. I put it up and knew he could do the rest.”
On his steal early in the second half

“Coach had just challenged us during the timeout, so when I came out I wanted to make something happen. I saw an opportunity, so I took the ball. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convert the lay-up but did get to the foul line.

William Buford, freshman guard
On his increase in playing time
“I always try to prepare hard for games, no matter who we’re playing or how many minutes I’ll play. I’m working harder on my defense, because that’s how you get on the court for Coach Matta.”
Kevin Willard, Iona Head Coach
On game against Ohio State
“I have a great group of kids that work hard and they were hanging in there against a talented and well-coached team. We battled but Evan Turner is just a special player and is fun to watch. Our guys are young with four freshmen and two sophomores playing major minutes and when they when small, they expanded the floor causing problems for us.”
On difference of the game
“Their quickness and length is what hurt us today. Ohio State has good weapons and Turner was able to fight his way in the lane and could kick it out. He does a great job of causing contact to get to the free-throw line. I thought we would have a better chance if they stayed big on the court, but it was a big change when they went small and matched up tough against our small guys.”