COLUMBUS, Ohio — Maybe there’s a method to Thad Matta’s madness.
Although the Buckeyes missed the NCAA Tournament last year and then endured transfers from four freshmen, all anybody wanted to talk about at Ohio State’s men’s basketball media day was the recently posted picture of Matta modeling the team’s new uniforms.
— OSU BASKETBALL (@OhioStateHoops) September 29, 2016
The tweet instantly started racking up retweets, likes and comments from fans, and the Ohio State players were taken back by their coach’s decision to model the new uniforms.
“That’s on my Instagram,” junior Kam Williams said. “As soon as I saw it I had to put it up. I had to. I was in tears. I couldn’t stop laughing. I was like, ‘Bruh, this is the greatest thing on the internet today.’ I’ve never seen anything like it. He never wears sleeveless stuff, so that was the first time I’ve ever seen him like that. I just thought it was hilarious.”
Sophomore JaQuan Lyle said he’d never seen Matta in a jersey before, and most other players echoed those sentiments.
The 49-year-old Matta drew pretty good reviews for his physique, however. Williams said Matta works out with them in the weight room all the time, albeit different types of exercises and different weights.
“Not too many coaches would be able to pull that off,” senior Marc Loving said. “He’s been working out.”
Matta doesn’t necessarily have the reputation for levity that the picture would suggest, but every player asked Thursday said their coach is quick to crack jokes that the public doesn’t get a chance to see. They think it will become more evident now that he seems to be embracing social media a little more than previous years, although it sounds like his humor can be hit-or-miss.
“Coach Matta thinks he’s funny,” Lyle said. “Sometimes his jokes are a little iffy, but for the most part he’s a pretty funny guy.”