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Ohio vs. American

Ohio Head Coach Tim O'Shea


Opening Statement:

Good overall performance.  Dominating, I thought.  Compared to last year we've made a lot of strides, but now we need to wipe the scoreboard clean and do what's the toughest thing in college basketball and win on the road by going up to Marist, which is a tough place to play, and then on to Rhode Island.  But (today's win) was an opportunity to play some of the guys who work real hard in practice and don't always get a chance to play -- I was really pleased with that today.


On Ohio being held scoreless for a stretch of more than four minutes during the early part of the first half:

We just missed some shots.  I thought we had really good open looks at the three, and we had a stretch there where we just missed a bunch of them.  But I made some subs -- got (Jeff) Halbert in the game and he hit a couple -- and we were on our way again.


I thought defensively we really didn't give them much.  We shot the ball well tonight -- that's not going to happen every night, but even if we hadn't, I think that the defense we played tonight would still have allowed us a chance to win the game. (Playing strong defense) is going to be a key when we go on the road.


On Ohio converting connecting on a dozen 3-point baskets:

That's a lot of threes.  We shot it well.  But the thing I've been focusing on is defense and can we shut people down, and so far, not bad.


On Leon Williams overcoming double-teams:

He's doing a great job of reading the double-teams and finding open people.  I like the unselfishness of this team.  I don't think anyone's really concerned with stats and how many points they're getting.  We just want to win, and that's what you need as a team.  Leon does a great job of not forcing anything.  A big reason we had 12 3-pointers is the fact that (Williams) is kicking the ball out when he sees double-teams and he's not forcing bad shots. 


On emptying his bench during the second half:

I've never believed in trying to win by 50 points, and I think when you have a big lead it's an opportunity to reward those guys that practice hard every day and don't necessarily get a chance in the games.  Our stats are very misleading at this time because we've been ahead by so much, and we've been able to play our whole bench.  To me it's silly.  If you have a big lead, why risk injury, why not take a chance to develop your bench and really why not reward those guys who practice hard and don't get a chance to play much.


On starting the season with two relatively easy victories:

I'd have liked it to be a little tougher -- that would've gotten us more ready -- but it is what it is.  I mean, it's better than losing, that's for sure.   Both these teams last year beat us, and you look a year later and we kind of dominated both games (this year).  And I think because of our trip in August and playing some tough teams then we'll adjust very quickly to the level of competition.


On the performance of Ohio forward Sonny Troutman and Ohio's unselfish play:

Sonny (Troutman) is just a really good player -- 18 points in 19 minutes.  And 11 points in 18 minutes for (Jeff) Halbert.  And the nice thing about the bench is that none of those guys were sitting there complaining about their minutes.  Let's face it, they all could've had pretty good number if I had left them out there.  They saw what I was trying to do and they supported it, which I appreciate. 


On Ohio's defensive effort:

I thought we were real solid.  They're a good team in terms of handling the ball and running their sets.  In fairness to then, they had a terrible day shooting the ball.  They had a lot of looks around the basket, which were good shots, and they just couldn't get anything to go down.  That contributed to the margin.  I really thought when I took Sonny (Troutman) and Mychal (Green) out with 12 minutes to go that I was going to put them back in, but then the lead ballooned to 30-plus points...When you've got the game won, you have to concentrate on getting your best players ready for the next game.


On Ohio's game preparation:

We had a whole week to prepare so we knew their personnel inside and out.  Now Marist is going to be a little different.  It's going to be a much quicker turnaround, and we just have to get ready for that.


On Ohio's upcoming three-game road trip for which it will travel to Marist, Rhode Island and Cincinnati:

It's a tough road trip -- this is big week ahead for us.  Really three tough road games in a row.  We'll learn a lot about our team during this next stretch. 


On the progress of Ohio Jerome Tillman in his recovery from injury:

Shippensburg is probably when he'll see his first live action.  He'll hopefully begin conditioning when we get back from our trip next week.



Ohio Junior Sonny Troutman


We knew that team was a good second half team, a team that never gives up, so we knew we had to keep (playing with intensity) so they couldn't come back and make a run.


On Ohio's emphasis on the 3-point shot:

They came out in a 2-3 zone -- that's pretty much all they were giving us.  We were trying to penetrate, but they were cutting that off, so we just kicked it out to the open man for a three.  We had a lot of good looks, and fortunately we knocked them down.


On American double-teaming Ohio center Leon Williams:

If I were (Ohio's opponent), I would probably try to (double-team) because Leon (Williams) is a great player, and he's proven that he needs at least a double-team to be stopped. 


On avenging last season's losses to St. Francis (Pa.) and American:

We knew last year we shouldn't have lost to these teams.  We came out last year and underestimated them, didn't really follow the game plan.  This year we followed the scouting report, studied (American) and wanted to get them back for last year. 


We played pretty good defense this game.  I feel like we gambled on some steals, which gave them a couple easy buckets.  But other than that I feel like we did a good job on defense.


On out-rebounding American 42 to 28:

The first game we lost the rebound battle so we came out this game making an effort to get more rebounds than the other team.


On Ohio's use of its bench:

That's what we want to do, we want to try to get a good lead and establish our bench.  We say we have a good bench, but sometimes they don't get a chance to get in there and shine.  We wanted to get a good lead so (Ohio's bench) would get a chance.


On Ohio's upcoming road trip to Marist, Rhode Island and Cincinnati:

It's going to be a tough trip.  The last couple years we weren't that good on the road.  Marist is a tough place to play and Rhode Island will be a tough game, so we just have to come out with the same intensity and the same focus we had at home and carry it on the road.  


On Ohio's emphasis on strong defense:

I feel like we're good on the offensive end, but defense wins games.  We need to come out and play defense every night