(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
The No. 4 ranked Buckeyes took the floor for the first time tonight, facing off in an exhibition against Walsh for yet another year. The Cavaliers got off to a hot start leading the new look Ohio State squad for much of the first half. Finally, OSU would take over, scoring 17 of the final 20 points to lead at halftime 39-30. They would cruise in the second half to an 83-71 victory in front of a crowd of just over 13,000 at Value City Arena.

It was preseason All-American Deshaun Thomas that did the most damage, scoring 25 point and adding six rebounds. The biggest surprise may have been LaQuinton Ross though, who got the start and scored 13 points. Sam Thompson and Evan Ravenel both had 11 points. Matta played 10 total players on the night.

After the break you can catch the post-game comments (via OhioStateBuckeyes.com).

Thad Matta, head coach

On this year’s team

“This is the first team I’ve ever had that plays harder in practice than they did in the game. We couldn’t sustain runs on either end of the court. We’ll have a lot to improve on.”

On using different combinations of players

“Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott have a great connection between each other and I wanted to get them on the floor together. I wanted to have them come off the bench so we could get production when we needed it.”

On team identity

“I have a really good feel for what I want this team to be. It is a team full of role players and at times we forced things a little bit but we’ll improve.“

On LaQuinton Ross

“This game was a bit of a test for LaQuinton. It was the first time he really played in front of a crowd and against a different opponent. I thought he played well and did some good things for us.”

Deshaun Thomas, junior forward

On being a leader

“These players need a leader, someone who has been through the trenches and has fought those battles. Once Big Ten season starts rolling they will need a leader, and come December we need to be playing better and we will.”

On his dynamic with Shannon Scott

“It was great because we are opposites. It is good to have someone who can help the team like that. He played really well and did not have to force anything through the offense, that is what we need.”

On playing more from the post

“I expect to use it a lot. It really flows with our offense and just comes natural to me. It is something I worked very hard on over the summer, but it all depends on the defense.”

Aaron Craft, junior point guard

On Walsh

“I give them credit because they came out and played. We still have a lot of things to learn, so we need to get back to practice tomorrow.”

On having a young team

“I think the lessons we need to learn will come through experience. We need to concentrate on rebounds and getting back on defense.”

On team identity

“Our identity comes from the defensive end. That is what it has been since I came here and that is the staple of Ohio State basketball. We make our best offensive drives after we have played solid defense.”

On not dominating the game

“It is of course frustrating when you are loosing, but facing adversary is something we will have to face all year.”"



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