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March 8, 2017

Thad Matta

Jae'Sean Tate

C.J. Jackson

Washington, D.C.

Rutgers - 66, Ohio State - 57

THE MODERATOR: We're going to go to questions for the two students.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAE'SEAN TATE: Right now, I really can't answer that. I'm sorry, I just can't answer that. There's just a lot of emotion. I can't really think about the game. I was so just so in it, I don't even remember the last six minutes.

Q. C.J., I believe four of your last seven games are four of your highest-scoring games of your career. What kind of change do you think you made from day one to now? How proud are you? I understand it was a loss.
C.J. JACKSON: Personally, I'm not really concerned about how many points I score or anything like that. We didn't do our job today as a team, and that showed. That's kind of all I'm worried about right this second.

Q. C.J., I know it's a tough time to reflect, but what do you make of the season you had? A disappointing end. How do you sum up how things went for you guys?
C.J. JACKSON: Personally today, for the team, we didn't earn to win today. So in saying that, we didn't win. We haven't had our best practices leading up. We just haven't had the right mindset all year.

When you face any team in the Big Ten, whether it's a No. 1 seed or the last seed, you're not going to win.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. You can return to the locker room.

We'll take questions now for Coach Matta.

Q. What did you see go wrong in the second half there?
COACH MATTA: I think it started in the first half. We got off to a really good start. We went a stretch there where we weren't scoring. The rebounding was just something that we had no toughness to go get the basketball.

It was a cumulative effect. Just the look on our guys' faces in timeouts, 15 for 28 from the free-throw line, five field goals in the second half. I'm not sure our minds were where we needed to be to compete in this basketball game.

Q. Why do you think that was, guys' heads maybe weren't there?
COACH MATTA: I don't know. Don't know.

Q. Your athletic director put out a release giving you a vote of confidence. I wanted to see what your thoughts were on that, what he had to say.
COACH MATTA: I think it's ridiculous that we have to do stuff like that. Gene and I met a couple weeks ago. It's amazing what people do nowadays. This is a very fickle business that we're in. Unless you're intimately involved on a day-to-day basis, people choose the negative side of things. It's what they do.

Obviously, gas is poured on the fire. It is what it is. You know, it's sad that sports has come to where you got to do stuff like that.

Just coach your team. If they like it, they bring you back. If they don't, they don't. But it's amazing. Really is.

Q. You've been around the game long enough to go through a lot of ups and downs. Is this as perplexing and in some ways a tough season, tough a stretch?
COACH MATTA: I would say so, yeah. Just from the daily battles that we've had just in terms of getting guys ready to play, that sort of thing.

We've said it all along, when this team has played not just great basketball, but consistent basketball, we've been a heck of a basketball team. We've beaten some pretty good teams this year.

You know, tonight we weren't ready to fight at the level we needed to fight, for whatever reason. March Madness, all that stuff, I told the guys, This is where players play. This is where players make money.

I had a guy one year go through the NCAA tournament, go the himself drafted 31st, wasn't even on the radar before. But, yeah, rough one, no doubt.


COACH MATTA: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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