Throughout the season, Land-Grant will be bringing you uncut audio primarily from Ohio State press conferences, but also from individual interview sessions.
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After Illinois soundly and easily knocked off Ohio State 87-75 Tuesday night, both head coaches, as well as Roddy Gayle and Evan Mahaffey, spoke to the collective Ohio State and Illinois media.
Brad Underwood said Ohio State is a “tough team that’s hard to prepare for” and that he thinks the Buckeyes are going to win some games down the stretch. He complimented Bruce Thornton, saying he is one of the better point guards in all of college basketball, and Roddy Gayle, saying that the sophomore guard is the most improved player in the Big Ten this year.
Roddy and Evan spoke next. Mahaffey spoke almost exclusively about defense, saying that Ohio State’s switching wasn’t quick enough and that they need to be “much more consistent” on that end if they want to win games. Gayle said that he is willing to do “whatever it takes” to “avoid the pain” of last season. Although he said this is a different group and the mindset is not the same as the group that lost 14 out of 15 last year, he does think about last year at times.
Chris Holtmann was brief, pointed, and at times confrontational. He disagreed with the premise of multiple questions, including one that asked about his team’s defensive “lapses.” He said Ohio State played better than it did on Saturday against Northwestern but “clearly not good enough.”
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