Ohio State didn’t qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2007-08 season and coach Thad Matta was pretty disgusted about it.
Matta spoke about where the program is headed for the 2016-17 season at the Joe Mortellaro Golf Classic on July 11 and rehashed some candid remarks he told his team after losing to Florida in the NIT.
“I will say after the Florida game this year I told our guys two things after the game,” Matta said in a video by ThisWeek Sports. “I said No. 1: I’m tired of the B.S., I’m going back to coaching basketball, I’m going back to running this program the way we did when we got here.”
Clearly, Matta was fed up with his team after a lackluster 21-14 season. But he didn’t stop there and it gets even harsher.
“The second thing is, some of you are going to transfer, you don’t know it yet. But whatever you do, don’t come see me. Just shoot me a text, cause I’m tired of looking at you.”
Clearly, the message was received loud and clear.
Daniel Giddens, A.J. Harris and Mickey Mitchell all decided to transfer within a 25-hour window. Along with Austin Grandstaff, who left the program in December, four of Ohio State’s five signees from the Class of 2015 have left the program.
The Buckeyes are clearly moving forward without what Matta might describe as dead weight. Six of the team’s top scorers from last season are returning and it’s clear the culture is reverting back to that of the glory days in Columbus.
The 2016-17 Buckeyes don’t plan on letting down the pioneers who built the program to back to prominence over the past 10 years.
“It’s definitely resonated with everybody, everybody is hungry,” said junior center Trevor Thompson. Everybody is working hard. Everybody is ready. We all feel like we, somewhat, let down the old guys in the program. I feel like that, personally. Knowing the previous players that were before me, knowing what they’ve done – the Elite Eights, the Final Fours – stuff like that? Not reaching that potential just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.”
With Matta cutting out the “B.S.” and an abundance of talent returning, the Buckeyes could be poised to reach that potential next season.