Matt Edwards / Asst. multimedia editor
With the Ohio State men’s basketball season set to begin Friday, coach Thad Matta addressed members of the media Thursday. Matta gave his thoughts on the situation involving the firing of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, pregame preparations for his team’s Friday opener against Wright State and even voiced some concerns about the team’s exhibition game against Walsh.
Matta on Paterno
The Penn State board of trustees fired former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno late Wednesday after former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abused children.
Matta said he was troubled that “nobody was talking about the kids (who were allegedly abused).”
“Nobody’s talking about the families,” Matta said. “That, to me, is the saddest part of, maybe, where athletics are. You’ve got some victims there that nobody is about. My feelings are toward those people and the situation they’re in.”
Improving on the Walsh game
Matta was critical of the Buckeyes’ 95-49 win against Walsh last Sunday, saying he wasn’t necessarily comfortable with the team’s performance.
“We weren’t as good as we needed to be, to be honest with you,” Matta said. “I think (the players) … didn’t do what they were supposed to do all the time.”
Matta said the team didn’t play as hard as it needed to.
“We didn’t have the sense of urgency,” he said. “Off the ball, our execution just wasn’t as precise as it needed to be.”
Preview of Wright State
Like the Buckeyes, the Raiders have only one senior on their roster — forward Johann Mpondo. Wright State posted a 19-14 record during the 2010-2011 season, which included a 5-11 record away from its home court, the Nutter Center.
“I think that, looking at last year … (Wright State) is young,” Matta said. “They’re going to try to space you out. They play extremely hard. (They) are very, very sound in their man-to-man defense.”
Matta said the early season game was hard to scout.
“I think that’s one of the big challenges… that’s why we looked at so much tape from last year of different types of opponents (Wright State) played,” Matta said. “You really won’t know until the ball goes up. We have to play Ohio State basketball.”
Friday’s game against Wright State tips at 9:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.