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March 20, 2009

Jon Diebler

Thad Matta

Evan Turner


Sienna – 74
Ohio State - 72

THE MODERATOR: Joining us this evening are Ohio State student-athletes Evan Turner and Jon Diebler. Coach, an opening statement, please.
COACH MATTA: Well, it was an odd -- we were never -- I didn't feel we were ever mentally out of 50 minutes in the game the way we needed to be tonight.
And I don't know if it was -- I'm not sure what it was. We never had a flow going even up 11 points. We didn't handle pressure well. We didn't rebound the ball well. I give us credit. We kept playing, but obviously Siena made some huge plays down the stretch. A couple of big shots.
We didn't do what we were supposed to do, and that's what happens when it comes down to possession-by-possession. Give them credit, their guys made the plays.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes only, please.

Q. Evan, talk a little bit about the last possession. I know you guys didn't have a lot of time, what you were trying to get and how it felt coming off, if you thought maybe you had a shot there.
EVAN TURNER: They were just taking the ball to pass it in, so I could get a full head of speed and try to drive it to the rack. But I was driving, somebody got in my way, I had to go to the left a little bit. And I saw the clock, and it was still at one so I tried to put up a three. It felt good. I probably didn't follow through like I should have and it went out. Shouldn't have come down to that, though.

Q. Jon, their defense was fairly effective all game on you. Could you talk about what they were doing and what things were bothersome?
JON DIEBLER: I think they just were mostly running guys at Evan, and then trying to stay home with me. But when I did get open shots I didn't knock them down. I thought Evan did a great job for creating for guys on the team, but it came down to their guys making shots, and we had open looks that didn't go in. You have to give them credit, they played pretty good team defense on us and we didn't shoot that good of a percentage.

Q. Evan, Coach McCaffery said sometimes you guys were playing not to lose, did you feel that way?
EVAN TURNER: What do you mean?

Q. I assume he meant being conservatively, not being aggressive, you were ahead and trying to hold them off as opposed to --
EVAN TURNER: I think in certain situations I think he wanted to speed us up and I think we slowed it down in certain situations. We saw at the end of the game when we took our time and ran our offense, we're scoring pretty much any time we wanted to.
I mean, shoot, we shot like 45 percent for the game which was pretty good. And I mean when you say playing not to lose, sometimes we just made bonehead decisions, turned the ball over when we shouldn't, we gave up 3s. It was just stuff that didn't help us win.

Q. Jon or Evan, as you look at the stats, what offense rebounds they got and the turnovers you had against their pressure, was it kind of what did you in last night pretty much the same thing that cost you guys throughout the season when you did lose, offensive rebounds and turnovers?
JON DIEBLER: I just don't think we did a good job on the weak side rebounds our wings dropping and sinking, I think knowing our bigs, especially Dallas and B.J., when they go up and challenge shots, and Evan did a nice job challenging shots. They got in the middle. I just think we needed to do a better job sinking and trying to get the guys off the glass, but it's been kind of a thing throughout the year we need to do a better job rebounding. I think it came back and got us tonight.
EVAN TURNER: In all that, they were still chasing us. They hit a couple of shots to tie the game, take it into overtime. They hit a wide open 3 where the ball bounced around a couple times and landed in the player's hand and hit a 3. And it was a wonderful game and they were chasing us and made some big plays.

Q. Could either of you guys talk about how you're going to view this season? Obviously getting to the tournament a positive but ending in disappointment in the first round?
EVAN TURNER: The season was good, I think. Young players grew up. I think Jon Diebler and myself got more experience as far as becoming leaders and trying to lead our team. It was just a good growing season. We're glad we got our foot in the door in the NCAA Tournament. But this is Ohio State basketball. We've got different standards. Coming in fifth in the Big Ten and getting an early out in the tournament isn't what we want.
So just go back, have some great workouts, be ready for next November and get it cracking.
JON DIEBLER: Kind of like Evan said. I think this was a good experience for us because we are such a young team. And just to use this as motivation, especially in the workouts, because I think last year the guys that came back from last year's team really took going to the NIT and not making tournament motivation and I think we got a lot better. So I think guys are really going to work hard in the offseason, and like Evan said, we hold ourselves to higher standards and making the tournament, that's our goal, but we just don't want to settle for making the tournament. We want to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
So again it's going to be motivation for us.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Questions for Coach.

Q. Siena had five players who had two tournament games under their belt from last year and that experience and you didn't have that. Did that play any part today, do you think?
COACH MATTA: I think it may have. I think that they were obviously -- they never dropped their heads and they just kept coming, which we had seen that in them, and we had seen them down against some teams big and scraping, clawing back into it.
I do think the fact of being through it or going through it obviously does help you, and having guys that are on the floor that have been in these situations you know without a doubt it's something that I think is advantageous for the teams that has those guys.

Q. Thad, you've obviously had lots of big games in your career. What's your emotion after this game? Are you angry at all? Do you feel like you guys let this one get away? And how does this maybe -- have you felt like this very many times in your career?
COACH MATTA: Yeah, I think that -- I haven't really had time to sit down and think about it. I think as I look at what this basketball team has done this year, I'm extremely, extremely proud of the progress that we've made. I think from that standpoint, when I look and say what this team, with 22 wins and just the way it's come together, that's exciting to me.
I think that it is disappointing to lose a double overtime game. I don't care if it's your home opener or NCAA Tournament, because there's so many plays you can go back and look and say had we done this, had we done that, and I think as I get out of here and really sit down, I'm sure I'll get a bit pissed off.

Q. You're up 3 on that last possession of the first overtime when Moore made the 3 to tie it. Did you think about, were you calling for the foul or what?
COACH MATTA: Yeah. We were. And I don't know what honestly what happened. We had said if we hit 1, we're up 2, do not want to give them a 3. The ball will be coming off on the second one.
If we got up 3, we definitely wanted to -- we were going to attempt to foul, make them shoot the free throws it kind of worked out because he kept dribbling around dribbling around. I was waiting for it but it never happened.

Q. Their rebounding, this is an obvious question, but how disappointing was that? Beat you 53-37, whatever it was?
COACH MATTA: I don't know. It seemed like they had four in the first two possessions, I think, and we just -- we didn't get the job done, and like Jon said, I think a few on the weak side. But balls were hitting us in the hands and we weren't coming up with them. And obviously -- obviously something we've got to get better at.

Q. You talked about how, I don't know, didn't look like their heads were in it or whatever. Why do you think that is? Is that youth or what is that?
COACH MATTA: No, I don't know. We didn't -- when I say that, we had the attacks down that we wanted to do. And we were very, very hesitant on the offensive end. And a few of the turnovers we had, and I don't know, it just never seemed that we were the emotion that we play with and I don't know if we were star struck or -- I don't think that was the case, because of what this team has been through.
I never ever worried about that coming into this game. I just don't know. It just wasn't -- from where I was sitting or standing, it just didn't seem like we had it. Picking our dribbles up, we weren't flowing the way we needed to.

Q. Turner came up big for you guys all season long. How good of a look do you think he got there at the end of the game?
COACH MATTA: I thought it was a pretty decent look, about as good as you can get in 3.9 seconds and they executed the action to perfection. I thought it was pretty decent.

Q. Did you talk with regulation about trying to foul out these guys as they're killing you?
COACH MATTA: No, it's easier said than done that we're going to foul this guy out or whatever. They're a team that doesn't foul a whole lot anyway. And so that always sounds good, but we don't have the NBA rules in there where you can stand one-on-one and that sort of thing.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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