March 2, 2011
Penn State Men's Basketball
Penn State Head Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: All the emotion before the game, did you worry about that ahead of time?
A: Sure we did. We picked a bad night to play really poorly. Ohio State shot the heck out of the basketball, they made every shot and we could never get in rhythm. The first half we had some open shots and we couldn't make them, and then the flood-gates opened up on us.
Q: Talor [Battle] said the team didn't practice very well the past couple days, do you agree?
A: I just didn't think we had `pop' in what we were trying to do offensively and defensively, and then we didn't make any shots early and that all caught up with us.
Q: Do you guys feel like you had to win tonight?
A: We can't change tonight, we have to go beat Minnesota and get to 9-9 in the league, and then get ready for the Big Ten tournament. [Ohio State] is a very good basketball team, and they are even better when they make perimeter shots. When [John] Diebler shoots like that, you don't see it very often. Offensively they just shot incredibly from the perimeter. We didn't have an answer.
Q: When Ohio State plays the way they played today, do you see anyone beating them?
A: Not the way they shot today. They are very good, and when they shoot like that, a lot of people would say they are unbeatable. You have to play flawless at the other end, and we didn't tonight.
Q: You guys have overcome some halftime deficits before this season, what happened tonight?
A: Well they score five points like that right off the bat and then we have to call a time out. It was just hard to get going, and nothing went right for us tonight.
Q: You really had the chance to make a statement tonight, are you disappointed that it slipped away as badly as it did?
A: Of course we're disappointed, but Ohio State is a good team. That's why they are scary, they have so many guys that can score. The guys have tomorrow off, and on Thursday our goal is to get everyone together and go up there to beat Minnesota, and get to 9-9 in a very good league.
Q: What was the big difference between tonight and Columbus?
A: We made baskets in Columbus, and tonight we didn't. They also shot the ball much better tonight than they did in Columbus, so yeah that was a huge difference.
Q: Talor, you guys were talking about not letting Ohio State beat you twice. Do you think its going to be harder in the big ten tournament?
A (Battle): No. We just need to get back. We didn't practice well Sunday or Monday. We played how we practiced. We didn't hit shots and it didn't help that Diebler did not miss. We just didn't have it tonight. It sucks, because the atmosphere was great. I think I heard that we had one of the largest crowds. I thank those guys, but I'm thoroughly disappointed.
Q: Do you feel that if you played better in thefirst half, you could have beat them?
A (Battle): Yes. If we would have hit some shots in the first half because in the first half they didn't shoot spectacular. If we hit some shots to keep it a closer game to 15, so maybe it's a little different. The second half they just went off and by that time it was too late.
Q: Are you disappointed that this is your last game in the Bryce Jordan Center?
A (Battle): Yes. It was very disappointing. But, like I said, whether we win or loss, we still have a game on Sunday. So we have to move on and leave this one behind. Try to take care of business on the road.
Q: Do you think you guys had too much energy for senior night?
A (Battle): Yes. We were just anxious to get on the court. We played like it. We couldn't hit a shot. We just needed to calm down and relax. But, fortunately we shot the ball not too bad in the second half. I just don't think we got many stops at all, so that was a problem.
Q: DJ, how does a team lose by three on the road and then come here and struggle?
A (DJ): It was tough. Like Talor said they came out and shot the ball really well. We gave Diebler too many open looks, and he's a great shooter. He wasn't missing. They had a lot of open looks for Buford and Diebler. They really hit shots tonight and we didn't do a good job of really getting up there and contesting the shot.
Q: DJ, with their inside out game with Sullinger and Diebler, is this one of the hardest teams you've played all year?
A: Definitely, because Jared Sullinger is a very good player. He attracts so much attention. He gets guys open shots because you have to double down on him. If you leave him alone on a post, nine times out of 10, he's going to score that or drop out. Then you got guys that can really knock down shots on the perimeter and when their hitting and clicking on cylinders they're really tough to beat.
Q: So did you try hard to double down Sullinger?
A (DJ): Definitely. We definitely tried to get the ball out of his hands and make rotations, but they were able to screen for Buford and Diebler and get a lot of shots off that way. Our main goal coming in was to limit histouches and shot attempts.
Ohio State Quotes
Jon Diebler and Coach Thad Matta Quotes
#33 Jon Diebler
Q: Jon, does it feel good to have another night shooting threes like that?
Diebler: It has. I think I hit nine early on in the season, but I missed more. It was pretty cool. I'm just glad we won. My team did a great job of finding me early on and finding me in transition and it helps when you have inside guys. Especially some of our guards posting up we really established ourselves early on in the game.
Q: Did you realize tonight that you tied a Big Ten record?
Diebler: I just found out two minutes ago. It's cool I guess. It's something I am sure I'll look back on down the road. I'm just happy we won. It was a great team effort. Will played really well tonight. Jared with the attention he draws, and even Dave. It was a great team win. Offensively we did what we were supposed to. First half we played really good defense. Ourcoach will talk about our defense in the second half. Penn State's a great team with some really great players and they came out and played really hard.
Coach Thad Matta
Q: Is this about as hard as you guys have played this season?
Matta: Offensively, I thought that we obviously shot the ball really well. We had a few positions there at the end of the first halfwhere we weren't as sharp or as crisp. We had some turnovers. I thought our defense in the first half was really good and we were able to disrupt them and take them out of some things. Second half, we kind of traded baskets for twenty minutes. I thought we did a really good job with what we had to do tonight. The guys executed the game plan well.
Q: Diebler didn't look like had his feet set the right way before, what did you tell him before tonight?
Matta: Ironically, I told him today in shoot around that `we need a big one from you tonight.' I said get your feet set and you're going to make some shots tonight. I said `give me 20-plus' and this type of kid listens well.
Q: Was there any post game celebration of sharing the Big Ten title?
Matta: No, not really. We talked about what we had to do from the standpoint of obviously defending a little bit better in the second half. Talked about the things we did well. Really, with one game left we said we have to share that sort of thing but that's about it.
Q: Talor Battle and his senior class have beaten every team in the Big 10 at least once except for you guys. Did you know that? Do you think that there's a reason for this and your success against Penn State?
Matta: I don't know. I think that if you go back and you look in the seven years that I have been at The Ohio State University, we have had some incredible battles. What kept going through my mind I think it was 2007 we were up 20-something and they came back. The little left-hander out of Philly had enough to tie it maybe even win it I'm not sure what it was. There have been great battles. Maybe it's luck.
Q: The Big Ten has a lot of teams jumbled up in the middle. How difficult do you think it will be for the selection committee to pick between Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Penn State, and all of those teams in the middle?
Matta: I don't know. I think that this is a great league. As crazy as it sounds, I don't follow college basketball really outside of Ohio State. I think this is a league where you're hoping for 5 or 6. You have to take into consideration Penn State. You look at the two teams that they wonagainst and they only played once. That to me is a huge deal for Penn Statefrom that standpoint and hopefully those guys will get the consideration. Coach DeChellis has done a wonderful job with this team and we were fortunate enough, for whatever reason, they weren't making shots early in the game. That definitely went our way.