UNC-OSU: Thad Matta Quotes (w/audio)

Inside Carolina
Posted Nov 30, 2006

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Ohio State coach Thad Matta spoke to reporters on Wednesday following the Tar Heels’ 98-89 victory at the Smith Center. Read and listen to what he had to say.

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Listen to Audio (8:37)

Opening remarks –

“As I told our guys, that was a high level basketball game and when you get in a game like that guys are going to make plays. Quite honestly, North Carolina made more plays than we made to win the game. It was a game of runs, and I think our guys showed us some very good things out there as we’re still experimenting with a young basketball team. I think I’ve never been in a building that was as loud as that building was at times, and we were able to communicate and guys were getting the calls. I think in the first half when we got them down ten, the foul trouble crushed us and it gave them some momentum going in at halftime. Once again, Carolina made the plays tonight, and we look at this and we will find ways to get better.”

On UNC’s defensive changes in the second half -

“Well I think they definitely extended out the pressure. They’re long, they’re athletic, they got fresh bodies coming at you at all times and they did a tremendous job of challenging our shots. The big guys were active, and at that point we just couldn’t put the doggone ball in the basket.”

On this game as a barometer for his team’s progress –

“I think this was a very good test for our guys. I think that we learned a lot about our guys through the first six games, which was very important because there was that first tournament that we played in, and we didn’t know what to expect. I think we can come from here and say, “these are the areas that we’ve got to get better at, these are the things we’ve got to do better at.” The encouraging thing for us is that we’re waiting on Greg (Oden), and where they got us tonight is some areas where he’s going to help us a lot...I don’t ever like to lose, but the barometer here is that we can play.”

On Hansbrough’s play in the second half –

“I think number one is that he made some shots. He had some pretty good looks there in the first half that he hit. The one he hit along the baseline in the first half, the eight-foot turnaround jump hook, those were the shots that we wanted him to make. I think they probably did a better job of clearing out. They did some things we hadn’t seen them do coming into this game, a lot more screens (for their shooters) and that got us early, but those guys are powerful down there.”

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