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Dec. 17, 2011

Recap | Final Stats

South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn
Opening statement…
I’m really disappointed with the loss. This is a game our guys believed we could win. I think we played that way for 40 minutes. We did not come in here just to play good and hope we looked all right. We came to win the game, and we didn’t do that. So that part of it is extremely disappointing. That being said, there were a lot of bright spots, a lot of positives. It ultimately came down to if you had to pick one thing, rebounding the basketball. I think that not only in not keeping them from getting rebounds but we didn’t get enough of our own. One of our strengths is offensive rebounding, and we only got seven of our 25 misses back. That’s something that is an important part of our game and we didn’t do a good job on our end offensively. Deshaun Thomas stepped up and did what he needed to do. We put him in position to make a lot of those plays by design, and he made them. He had a lot of those little pull-ups against our pressure. He had two huge 3s in the second half that played really well today. I really think them getting to the foul line in the second half and rebounding is ultimately the story of the game. I can’t say enough about Malik Cooke and the leadership that he has shown. If you don’t think he is valuable to our team … I think you saw that when he went out at the beginning of the second half when he got hit on the no call underneath the basket there. Our team just didn’t seem to have the same confidence that it had. He is so important to us. I credit him for coming back in and playing through that, having a terrific game. We continue to get better; we can definitely get better. It was a disappointing loss. It was one we thought we could win.

On the importance of Malik Cooke
I just think that in general that our guys didn’t have the same look. Malik brings us a presence and a confidence that you would expect from a senior. This is a team that is playing with one senior, and I think it is as simple as that.

Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta
Opening statement…
Well, we are obviously very happy with a road win. I thought our guys persevered. South Carolina, as I told one of their players, they’re on the verge of really turning the corner. They were making shots against us. We didn’t have the answers in the first half that we needed offensively against the zone, but you know, give our guys credit. One of the things I stressed most was rebounding, and I thought we did a very good job at that. I’m happy to get in here, get a win, and get out.

On the inside game without the presence of Jared Sullinger…
I think Evan (Ravenel) did a pretty good job. He got sped up a couple of times, and we have to make him do a better job of taking care of the ball. Amir Williams came in and really gave us a boost. He had a pretty good feel for what was going on, finished down around the bucket and had a few good deflections, which was big for us.

On his post-game comments to Malik Cooke
I told him that I think they’re on the verge of really turning the corner and he’s obviously a very pivotal part of what they do. Coach Horn does a great job, and I like him and hope that they can get this thing going in the right direction because they’re right there.