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March 14, 2014

Amedeo Della Valle

Thad Matta

Shannon Scott


Ohio State テや 71
Nebraska テや 67

COACH MATTA:テつ I told our guys at halftime, I said, Look, with the nine turnovers we had, why don't we just go out and give them the ball nine times and let them try to score.テつ And they took me literally, so we were down 18 points.
But I'll tell you what, I'm very proud of these guys and the effort that they put forth.テつ They were thinking the game at a level down the stretch that we needed to be thinking the game all the way through.テつ Proud of these two guys here.テつ Shannon's first half was not good, challenged him at halftime.テつ He did a great job.テつ Amedeo plays with no ego.テつ He just plays with a love for the game, and just did a tremendous job for us, and his defensive presence was as good‑‑ it was the difference in the game, to be honest with you.
Like I said, we fought, we clawed, and found a way to win the basketball game.

Q.テつ When you're down 18 in the second half, what are you thinking?テつ How are you going to get back in it?
SHANNON SCOTT:テつ We know there's no 20‑point baskets, so we've got to take every possession one at a time.テつ We've got to get a stop.テつ And once we started doing that, we really got pride in our offense, and that really got us going.
AMEDEO DELLA VALLE:テつ Yeah, I think we played with more energy when we saw that we were actually down 18, and we started picking up full court.テつ They turned the ball over a couple times, and with that we got our confidence back, and we kept going.

Q.テつ Amedeo, was this your best moment in a Buckeye uniform?
AMEDEO DELLA VALLE:テつ Probably, yeah.テつ I think the best moment was when I decided to come here, when I committed here.テつ But, definitely, one of the toughest games for me, but I'm glad we came out with the win.

Q.テつ Amedeo, you missed those two free throws with, whatever, 5:40 or something to go.テつ And then you come down the stretch and they fouled you and you made four.テつ Can you just‑‑ was there any thought to the missed free throws, and did you just put that behind you, or what happened?
AMEDEO DELLA VALLE:テつ Yeah, I think I didn't release the ball well at all on my first two free throws.テつ And to be honest, I don't really like the ball.テつ I hate the ball.
After I missed those two, a little pressure went off, so I was ready to knock the other two free throws down and then the last two.

Q.テつ (No microphone)
AMEDEO DELLA VALLE:テつ Yeah, I got my misses off, my misses out of my body, and I was able to make some.

Q.テつ Thoughts on Michigan as a basketball team?
SHANNON SCOTT:テつ We know they're a tough team.テつ Back at our place, we had them down early in the game, and they were more physical than us, had more toughness than us, and they came out with a win.テつ With that in the back of our head, we know we've got to have our A game to win the game.

Q.テつ Thad, with the trouble you were having with their zone for a long time, was that the reason you decided to go with Amedeo, thinking he could make shots, or did you just put him in out of routine and see if he had anything to give you?
COACH MATTA:テつ Yeah, at that point we were looking for anything we could find, just in terms of finishing and‑‑ we opened up the second half and we had three fouls in two minutes and TEN seconds, and we missed four straight free throws.テつ You know, just‑‑ Aaron missed a lay‑up, Trey missed an attempt to dunk, and it was like, my gosh.テつ They were down there making the plays, and yeah, so when we inserted Amedeo, it was just like, Hey, I told him, just give us something out there.テつ The biggest thing, like I say, I know he had 12 points, but his defense was incredible:テつ Three blocked shots, two steals.テつ Wow, was he good.

Q.テつ You're 20‑5 in Big Ten tournaments since you've been at Ohio State. テつDo you prepare the team different when you come into March?テつ Is there anything different you do compared to the regular season?
COACH MATTA:テつ Yeah, we do a lot of things‑‑ no, we stay the same course.テつ I think in this tournament, as you saw, players make plays.テつ Even for Nebraska, some of the plays those guys made were, wow.
But I think that you hope, at this point of the season, all the work you've done dating back to this year, September 28th, it can come into fruition.テつ You see it across the country.テつ There's been a lot of ups and downs in these tournaments.テつ But in terms of different meetings or different film sessions or different pregame talks, it's basically the same.

Q.テつ Thad, Amedeo had a pretty good game against Nebraska the first time he played.テつ Is that just a coincidence?
COACH MATTA:テつ You know, as I went back last night and watched the game, I was saying to myself, Hey, if we can get Amedeo going, and even out there he had a decent game.テつ He had some great looks that didn't go down for him.
Yeah, I don't know, but the timing was perfect today, that's for sure.

Q.テつ I would say most coaches would have probably sat LaQuinton for a little bit after he got his T.テつ Did you put him back out there because he might be the only guy that could make some shots for you?
COACH MATTA:テつ Yeah, I'll be honest, I didn't see.テつ I got blocked on what happened.テつ He said he got hit in the face on the drive.テつ We're working with him on that.
But yeah, he definitely played at a high level today.

Q.テつ Amedeo, at one point, smacked the ball out of the hand of an inbounder.テつ I don't know what your reaction was to that, but is that kind of thing acceptable because of his fire, or does that say anything about him?テつ What was going on there?
COACH MATTA:テつ Yeah, what I saw‑‑ I literally started laughing when I saw it because that was his Euro style there.テつ I think he thought they were going to quick inbounds and he just knocked it out of the guy's hands.テつ It was just a warning, and we told our guys not to do it again.テつ He said, Yeah, I did it.テつ Not a big deal.

Q.テつ 47 fouls in the game; tough to get into a flow with that many fouls?
COACH MATTA:テつ Yes, but fortunately for us, like I said, the way we started the second half was just‑‑ that's not a‑‑ we don't foul a lot.テつ I think we're pretty high up in the country in not fouling.テつ I took the time‑out when Shannon got the hand check out there with 3:03 to go or whatever saying, Hey, we don't want to commit those.テつ Aaron had a couple down the stretch that we‑‑ those are the ones we don't want to pick up if at all possible.

Q.テつ You've had a few rallies at Ohio State since you've been here.テつ I mean, Xavier in the NCAA Tournament comes to mind.テつ Is there anything that rivals this one in your mind that you can think of at the moment?
COACH MATTA:テつ You know, obviously, the Notre Dame game this year was down eight with a minute to go.テつ What were we, down 18 with 10 to go today?テつ This one was probably‑‑ the stakes were high on this one.テつ Now, you're going to make me think all the way‑‑ but no, this one is definitely up there, no question about it.
Like I say, because I think we were playing a great basketball team and a team that, gosh, I hope we don't see them in the NCAA Tournament; that's for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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