COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Thad Matta had plenty of reason to smile after a 72-67 win against Providence on Thursday night.
He opened his postgame news conference with some news that should bring a sigh of relief to Buckeye fans: Keita Bates-Diop exited the game in the second half, but his injury isn’t serious. The forward will be day-to-day going forward with an ankle injury.
“It was just an ankle sprain, kind of puffed up a little bit,” Matta said.
Here’s what else Matta had to say:
- He said he was pleased with the overall performance but added Ohio State is nowhere near a finished product.
- Providence’s 18-3 assist-to-turnover ratio impressed him.
- Matta liked Ohio State’s execution down the stretch.
- Based on Providence’s first game, Matta expected a second-half run, which he got.
- Providence made the Buckeyes pay for their mistakes, Matta said.
- On JaQuan Lyle: “I thought he was more aggressive. He played some defense tonight, which was exciting to see.”
- Matta was most pleased with Lyle’s 7 assists.
- Matta said it’s been a run of bad luck for Bates-Diop lately. He said his team sucked it up and finished the game and got the job done.
- It was just “one of those games” for freshman Micah Potter. The center only played 4 minutes after picking up two quick fouls.
- Ohio State will redshirt Derek Funderburk. Matta called it “the best path for his career.”
- Matta: “We’re not where we need to be.” He said Ohio State can play even better.
- Ohio State will be busy next week. The Buckeyes play three games in five days, including games the day before and after Thanksgiving. He said that’s just a matter of having to get in all the nonconference games before Big Ten play. He also said he thinks his players enjoy that type of stretch.
- For the full news conference, see the video above.