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NCAA MEN'S 1ST & 2ND ROUNDS REGIONALS: DAYTON


March 20, 2009


Kenny Hasbrouck

Fran McCaffery

Ronald Moore

Ryan Rossiter


DAYTON, OHIO

Sienna 74
Ohio State - 72


THE MODERATOR: Joining us this evening are student-athletes Ryan Rossiter, Ronald Moore and Kenny Hasbrouck. Coach, an opening statement, please.
COACH McCAFFERY: I want to begin by congratulating Ohio State on an unbelievably hard-fought game and a great season. I thought Thad did a phenomenal job getting them ready for this game. Obviously it took everything we had. I felt we obviously struggled shooting the basketball in the first half. But I thought defensively it's about as well as we played all year.
We rebounded the ball and defended them and got after their key personnel, and it kept us in it. They were ahead most of the game, but they never got away from us because of how hard we played defensively and it's just a credit to the character of our team.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes only.

Q. Ronald, could you talk about the two 3-pointers, the one at the end of the first overtime and then the one to win it, what was set up on both those plays?
RONALD MOORE: It wasn't really nothing set up specifically. Really, just wanted to drive the ball and find an opening, and I felt as though that even though I was off I was still going to take the shot, and I was open and they went in for me.
COACH McCAFFERY: Actually, we had something set up. It broke down. They defended perfectly what we had set up. And Ronald made the decision, because he was to deliver the ball to one of the two people who were covered. So then he had to make a play. So it was a great play by him. But we had something set up.

Q. Ryan, could you talk about how you were able to really establish some dominance on the boards when a lot of the talk going in was the fact that Ohio State was bigger?
RYAN ROSSITER: I mean, I knew we were going to have a shot to get a lot of offensive rebounds tonight. And Alex played great and all our guys crashed the glass and it wasn't keying on one guy. It was a lot of tipped rebounds we were able to get, and getting inside position on their bigs was helpful and also box them in and get those rebounds.

Q. Kenny, did it flash through your mind at all during the game that this could possibly be your last game, or were you just sort of wrapped up in the moment?
KENNY HASBROUCK: Yeah, I thought about it a couple times. I said, "This can't be it." We've worked so hard last couple of years, and just to end on this note, I think it would have been horrible. And we just kept battling and nobody wanted it to end, even though like me and Josh are the only seniors, but nobody wanted the season to be over.

Q. Ronald, you said you were off, you missed your first four 3-pointers. While Kenny was out playing a good game, he hit the big 3-pointer at the end of regulation, you guys just keep shooting it even when you're off, where does the confidence come from? Where do you draw from that?
RONALD MOORE: Coach does a good job having us go through situations and practices. We practiced in situations like this and been in situations like this fighting back. Goes to show how much heart that we got, 1 through 5 and even guys on the bench. Even when shots, balls wasn't falling and things weren't going our way, we always try to stay positive and that's what we did.

Q. Kenny, I think you had the guard on Evan Turner on the last play of the game. Can you walk us through that?
KENNY HASBROUCK: I was trying my hardest not to foul him. He's an attack guy. I thought he was going to try to spin but he tried to fake it and he pulled up for a jump, and I prayed he missed. I was praying basically the whole game. That shot I was pleased it didn't go in because I couldn't go into another overtime. He missed it. And I want everybody to note that we messed up Obama's bracket, and I'm a DC native, so I'm kind of upset he did pick Ohio State over us. (Laughter).

Q. Ryan, how much did the early season, out-of-conference games help prepare you for this and last year's tournament experience?
RYAN ROSSITER: I think last year's tournament experience really helped. We only lost one player from that roster and we've all been here, and Coach does a good job putting us in tough situations. We played at Kansas and this was a home game for Ohio State, we knew it was going to be a crazy environment and the fans would be crazy, and we kept our composure. It's something we've done all year and it's a credit to coach keeping us controlled.

Q. After trailing pretty much all of regulation, how big was it to get the lead for both of the overtimes?
KENNY HASBROUCK: It was a relief. We were working so hard to get it. We tied a couple times but we couldn't get the lead for anything. We finally got it. And honestly I thought I messed the game up because I went in for the reach and Diebler hit another 3, and we kept battling even though they got the lead right back, it was like a relief and it gave us so much energy when we finally got that lead, and ever since that point we just refused to give it up.

Q. What are you guys going to have to do to recover from this and get ready for Sunday?
RONALD MOORE: Definitely rest. A lot of fluids. Stretch. Mainly just resting up, getting some sleep. We've got Louisville on Sunday. Definitely a tough opponent. We know Coach is going to get us ready for it. Even though we've only got a day, we have to buckle down and focus on personnel for them.

Q. Kenny, Ryan had mentioned that it was almost like a home game for Ohio State. Did it feel like you guys were playing on the road?
KENNY HASBROUCK: It felt like we were playing on the road, but at the same time we had a ton of fans here. They outnumbered, doubled or tripled us, whatever they did. Our fans were loud the whole game. Every time we made a shot they went crazy. We were playing real good defense. We didn't let Ohio State's crowd really get involved in the game. That was a credit to the team, and we just knew how it is in these type of atmospheres, and we worked against it and we played great defense, so it didn't really feel like it at the end of the game.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, was there a concern over the course of the game that the tempo seemed to be to the liking of Ohio State, that it felt like a Big Ten game, there was grinding?
COACH McCAFFERY: We were pushing the ball. We were attacking the rim on makes and misses. We were not having as much success as we do a lot of the times. You've seen us play a lot.
I think they had prepared to get their defense back and get into the matchup. The other thing is when a team plays a matchup zone, there's going to be longer possessions. There has to be.
If we come down and quick-shoot the ball against a matchup zone, we're going to lose by 25. And that's the other reason why the rebounding numbers are what they are. Their bigs are flying to the corner. They're overloaded when we run shooters and overload a side, Lauderdale is going to be flying his shooter in the corner or playing his shooter in the corner and they're going to be all stretched out.
So you pick your poison. If you play the matchup, they held us to a low number percentage-wise and they got after our really good shooters and held them below their normal percentages.
But then you give up offensive rebounding opportunities. And we're athletic and we're powerful and we go get it. And we recognize that we had to continue to do that based on the way we were shooting the basketball.

Q. I don't know if you had a chance to really look at the box score, but there are a lot of numbers on there that probably say we should have lost this game. The turnovers, the shooting percentage. You mentioned the offensive rebounding, was there something maybe not as obvious, you think, that tipped the scales in the final balance?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think continuing to play the kind of defense that we played kept us close enough. I really think once we got the lead and once we established that we were going to be right there, I think it was harder for them. They were sort of playing not to lose, it seemed like. Because it seemed like they had the game won a couple times.
But I think our 1-2-2 defense gave them some problems. And I think the zone bothered them. It limited Turner's space. You play a lot of man-to-man against him. He can carve you up all by himself. And when we were in the zone I thought we did a good job on Diebler in particular.
So you look at Diebler's numbers, and Turner was great, but we did limit him. And we outrebounded them. So you look at our shooting numbers and you say how did we win, you look at turnover numbers. They're very uncharacteristic for us. I think the way the game unfolded was part of the reason why Ohio State struggled the way they did offensively down the stretch.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts




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