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March 19, 2010

Jon Diebler

Dallas Lauderdale

Thad Matta


Ohio State – 68
UC Santa Barbara - 51

DENNIS KRAUSE: We're joined by Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta and student-athletes Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale. Opening comments.
THAD MATTA: I thought we did a very good job. One of the big things in this game tonight was taking care of the basketball. I thought we did a pretty good job moving it there in the first half.
We got rolling. We were shooting quick, and we wanted to try to force the tempo up and down there. They were holding the ball in the first half, chewing up quite a bit of the shot clock. I thought our defense was sound as it could be. 9 out of 17 offensive rebounds hurt us a little bit, but for the most part I thought these guys did a heck of a job.
DENNIS KRAUSE: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Talk about your health this weekend and what were you like in that respect. How did you feel today compared to how you were feeling yesterday and today?
JON DIEBLER: I felt better today, I was finally able to eat. I got a lot of my energy back. I got tired during the game, but, again, I think for the most part I was all right. But it was a long process, that's for sure.
THAD MATTA: 24-hour flu in 72 hours.

Q. Dallas, it was tough out there going against a 7-3 guy, you set a tempo physically out there that created dominance down in the post and opened big shots with Jon out there for your teammates to get. How was it down there for you, generating shoots for your teammates to get. How was it down there for you, you wasn't able to score much, but get to the foul line and also be able to get some rebounds down there.
DALLAS LAUDERDALE: I enjoyed a physical game. Playing against a 7-3 guy and also the other man -- the other big man they had as a personal challenge. I enjoy playing against bigger opponents, and I just thought it was fun. Being able to stop them was just fun because I know we got offense under control.

Q. Jon, when Evan struggles like that when he was 2 of 13th in the field. Do you feel a little more onus on yourself as one of the perimeter leaders to go out and be able to be more aggressive, get your team back on the scoreboard?
JON DIEBLER: Not necessarily. I think tonight I thought we did a good job of penetrating the zone and getting it in the middle of the floor, because obviously we have a lot of weapons offensively. And I thought Evan, he was struggling a little bit, but he also did a good job of finding the open guy. And with Dave and Will, they also did a good job, and I thought Dallas did a nice job of sealing the big guys.
We knew coming in they play unique, unique zone. So we felt there were ways we could attack it, and I thought we did a good job in finding the open area.

Q. I know you guys were busy getting ready for this game but the chance to go to the Sweet Sixteen and Georgia Tech coming up, just initial thoughts. I know you haven't scouted them, but just initial thoughts on the opportunity you have that a year ago you didn't have to play in the second round coming up.
JON DIEBLER: It feels good winning our first game. Coach said something to me, the feeling is a lot better than it was last year. But Georgia Tech, they're a talented team. They've got two very good big guys and their guys get the job done. Again, they're going to be ready to play. They just came off a close win. And they're playing in the ACC, tough conference. We've seen them a little bit on TV. But other than that we know they've got some good players.
DALLAS LAUDERDALE: Once again I'm just taking it as a personal challenge. It's going to be a fun game.

Q. Dallas, just wondered, your performance tonight, just the way you came out and played. We talked a little bit about it yesterday about you not having the greatest weekend in Indianapolis, was that something that motivated you tonight?
DALLAS LAUDERDALE: Indiana is behind me. I didn't really focus on Indiana. I just focused on this next game playing against UC Santa Barbara. And coach sort of held my head under water last night. We had a little conversation. I had to come out and get the job done or he would have been down my throat.

Q. Jon, you said you felt better today, but going through the past couple of days having the flu did you have any question in your mind when you came on the court whether you'd have it, whether you'd have the stamina or energy or the legs to shoot?
JON DIEBLER: One thing I thought was that first four-minute warm-up be kind of rough just getting back on the court. But once you get in the flow of the game, I mean, the NCAA Tournament your adrenaline is going to take over. Like I said, today was better because I was finally able to eat something. It's hard not having the energy. I was sleeping a lot, but, again, I just wasn't able to eat. I feel a lot better right now. I'm tired, but I'm also very hungry. I'm ready to get back to the hotel and eat.

Q. Jon, would you have envisioned a scenario 24 hours ago that would have you playing 40 minutes tonight?
JON DIEBLER: I don't know. I know coach was teasing me about it. Are you going to be all right? Are you going to be good to go. I knew I was going to be fine in the game. Yesterday I felt a little better after the practice, after I threw up. I did. I felt better. But again it was a long process. And I'm feeling a lot better now.

Q. How much of a sense of a pride is there for the Big Ten going 4 and 1 today for you?
DALLAS LAUDERDALE: We play in a tough conference, essentially. The Big Ten is loaded with great teams, great coaches, and, I mean, you see us against the rest of the conferences and we're performing very well in the NCAA tournament. I'm proud to be part of the Big Ten.

Q. Coach, couple of times you were on the brink of blowing them out, they came back at you guys. Maybe a comment about that and also maybe the effort around --
DENNIS KRAUSE: Thanks, guys. We'll let the players go.
THAD MATTA: First, it doesn't take a genius to figure out this tournament is not designed to blow teams out. And with the timeouts and the length of them, you go on a 6-0 run the first half, you get a two-and-a-half minute timeout on your first timeout. And college basketball throughout the course of the season is designed momentum. I think that's kind of proven. And so you know going in that you may not get the runs that you normally get as you watch all the games. It just doesn't happen in this tournament.
And I think that you gotta give Santa Barbara credit. You look at this team and how young they are. This is a basketball team that's going to be reckoned with here in the next couple of years.
They've got film that they're on the 3s, and it was funny how some of them happened. Dave goes for an offensive rebound, tips it. We tip it up in the air. It gets batted to the side. They advance, and they hit a 3. Just sort of some crazy plays.
Our big thing was getting back in our defense set, and they got us a little bit in transition. As we watch these guys on tape -- and we went back from November to December through January and February. They were playing great basketball coming into this tournament.
And like I said, those two guards or wings, Johnson and Nunnally, I think they can play anywhere in the country.

Q. The way that they offensive rebounded and got back in the game in the first half when Dallas wasn't in there, did that affect your decision to leave him in there for a while with three fouls in the second half so maybe you could build a little bit more of a margin that you were comfortable with?
THAD MATTA: It was more -- about more with the shot-blocking in there. And a couple of those rebounds came off of like air ball, where it didn't hit the rim or maybe it grazed it, which is a tough shot like to block out. And I think it was Jon one time that went -- the guy slid off and the ball bounced. They put it back in.
So I wasn't, like, really panicked. I know it was 9 of 17 points in the first half. But we kept telling our guys, if we can rebound the ball, we can definitely get out and go with it. But I thought Dallas had a great presence around the basket today, where Kyle, I thought, did a very good job as well, especially on the offensive end, stretch them out a little bit.

Q. Did you think it was a gamble to leave him in there with three fouls or not?
THAD MATTA: No, I really didn't. I knew he had three.

Q. Evans' shooting tonight, A, was it something that they were doing, or was it one of those nights for him? And, B, how important, given the way he struggled putting the ball in the basket, was what Jon and Will gave you tonight scoring-wise?
THAD MATTA: Obviously what those guys did, making shots, was huge for us, when the shots weren't going down for Evan.
I thought he did a very good job of getting a set and everything that we wanted to do. And he's always going to be a threat going to the basket. I don't anticipate -- he's a 58 or whatever it is field goal percentage shooter. He'll be back.

Q. Evan seemed very frustrated, not just with his shooting but his body language and just kind of his composure. Do you talk to him about that, or what did you see?
THAD MATTA: Yeah, I thought that there was a couple of things that were happening I was trying to get changed as well. But he's just got to keep the composure and keep playing through it. And I thought he was in good shape.
Nobody pays attention to his defense. He did a tremendous job defending us well tonight and really using his length off their stack actions. He was disrupting it.

Q. Were you impressed by the way Evan was able to create his own shot, even though they weren't falling, how he got to the basket, how he fought through their defense?
THAD MATTA: Yeah, that's what he does. It's amazing at times when he can free himself up when you don't think he can. He just sort of appears and the pole goes up and he's got it. That's funny, because a lot of the shots he missed tonight are ones that we have seen him make all year long.

Q. What were you feeling about Diebler's situation before the game? Obviously you weren't thinking he was going to make seven 3s, but how did you think he would play?
THAD MATTA: It's funny, because just the week leading in has been -- we didn't know who was showing up at practice, who was sick, who wasn't sick. And Jon wasn't there on Tuesday. Went Wednesday, and yesterday over at the McGuire Center, we're right in the middle of practice and he just sprints off the court and I'm like, where is he going? You could hear him around the corner getting sick. So I was a little bit nervous, apprehensive.
The docs have been with him, IVs and everything, just trying to keep the body fluids in him.
Once he got going tonight, we were in constant contact if he was okay. And, honestly, he could lose his right arm and he wouldn't tell me he was injured. Just sort of who he is.
But when he made a couple and he had the one that I thought was going in that bounced around and around, he was in good shape.

Q. Talk about the match-up problems that Orlando gave you guys. He went off on a nice little scoring run. I think it was ten in a row. He's real physical. But how did you guys match up with that?
THAD MATTA: I thought that in that stretch we -- the one fade-away up over was -- we had talked about it going into the game. I'm going to live with him making tough 2s, and we knew he could. But you're right he's very physical. And his first step is so good and the range he's got, we were trying to load up as much as we could. And we were telling him he's not passing, he's going to shoot the ball. And we fouled him a couple times. But he's a great player. I loved watching him in preparation. And he's got a great future ahead of him.

Q. It almost looked like a turn drill what they were doing to Evan in the second half. I'm curious, can another team take something from that? Are you concerned they'll try to make him work very hard or just get him frustrated?
THAD MATTA: Honestly, throughout the course of the 35 games, he didn't play six of them. But we've seen everything imaginable. And with the zone they were in tonight, we haven't seen that type of zone. And I don't think anybody's going to have the time to really put that in.
They just extended up and seemed to just keep bringing the guy and were riding him the whole way. Somebody's going to have to create something new which most teams don't do that now. But they did a good job.

End of FastScripts

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