Matta Press Conference Quotebook

We have some quotes from today's press conference posted now, including thoughts from Thad Matta's wife Barbara and OSU players Terence Dials, Ivan Harris, and Tony Stockman.

Barbara Matta (Thad's wife) on her thoughts about coming to Columbus:

"I can't wait. I can't wait to actually move here and buy a house and make Columbus our home. We are all so very excited about this. As I like to say, we are going from X to O. I couldn't be happier."

OSU president Karen Holbrook on making the basketball program a winner:

"We haven't had a winning team for the last 44 years and I know that that's longer than (Matta has) been on this earth, but we expect that we're going to be working toward that as a goal."

Holbrook of course made a "Gordon Gee-like" error. What she meant to say was the Buckeyes haven't had a national champion in 44 years. Big difference.

Junior center/team captain Terence Dials on Matta:

"I think he's a great guy. You can tell he cares about his players and he's a proven winner. His track record is real good. He says he wants this team to be playing its best basketball in January through March and that's what I want this team to accomplish."

Sophomore forward Ivan Harris on what he's working on this summer:

"I've been working hard in the weight room, doing a lot of running and I've been playing well over in that Worthington League. I'm just trying to stay focused on improving my game."

Harris on the rumors that he was considering a transfer:

"Yeah, basically I just waited. I just wanted to see who the new coach was going to be. Now that he's here, I'm ready. I'm ready to get going."

Harris on whether he is surprised that no Buckeyes are planning to transfer to another school:

"No, not really. Everybody on this team is an Ohio State boy and I don't think anybody is going to leave."

Harris on if he feels this is a fresh start for him personally:

"Yeah, definitely a fresh start. New coach and I definitely know I need to step my game up to a new level."

Senior guard Tony Stockman on Matta:

"Very impressed. I can tell by the way he talks, he's very open. He's an excellent coach. He had a good record last year, got to the Elite Eight and I can't wait to start. He seems very excited about our team. He told us we can be a winner right away, no excuses."

Stockman on what he can do to avoid butting heads with Matta the way he did with Jim O'Brien:

"Just buying into the system. I think he's really big on that - so far that's what he's been talking about. Just buying into his system and what he wants us to do. If I do that, I'll be fine and our program will be fine."

Stockman on what exactly "buying into the system" means:

"Like he said, we're going to play up-tempo and that's what we want to do. But then you have to do things like he talked with us earlier like play defense, take care of the ball, do all the things he wants us to do and work hard. Those are the things we have to do so we're allowed to play up-tempo and play the way we want to play."

Senior center Matt Marinchick on whether he is surprised that no Buckeyes are planning to transfer (usually, no matter who is the new coach, at least one or two players transfer):

"I'm not surprised. I know our guys and I know they like Ohio State and they know that if they're going to bring someone in to Ohio State, it's going to be a good coach. Every guy they hire here is a great coach. Jim Tressel is a great coach. We knew they would bring in a winner and that's what Coach Matta is."

Same question for junior forward Matt Sylvester:

"Just to reiterate what Matt said, I don't think anyone was nervous or scared about it because Ohio State is a first-class place, it's a great university and they're not just going to bring in anyone off the street. So, I don't think anyone wants to transfer. I think everyone likes the university and likes the campus atmosphere and I'm not surprised at all that everyone is staying around. Where else could we go that's better than Ohio State?"

Matta on the talent level of the current OSU roster:

"Ohio State and (Xavier) had a couple common opponents (last) year and I saw them on tape one time and on television one time this year. A lot of these guys I've seen through the recruiting trails, I actually tried to recruit a couple of them and was unable to get them, but I think that the beauty for these guys is they have a great understanding now that it's kind of a clean slate. And as I told them today, the guys, it's amazing that the guys who worked the hardest are the guys that get the most minutes."

Matta on the OSU football program and head coach Jim Tressel:

"I think, number one, we do have a great, great football program and Coach Tressel is a guy that I've admired for a long time and I've followed every step he's made here. He's one guy that -- I don't listen to talk radio, but every time his show is on and I'm in the area, I grab that. I read what he does with his team and how they go about winning. And I really believe, in my opinion, as I look at this, that that is probably the greatest asset that we have to have a man like him coaching our football team and the program that we have. I couldn't be happier. The fact that I play the second chair, that does not bother me. I've always been a huge Buckeye fan.

Matta on what it means to him that Tressel came to the press conference:

"I think it says a lot about who he is and what he stands for. Coach wrote me a note after the season this year and it was something that really -- I kept it in my top right-hand drawer and I looked at it a couple times through this process, because he said, "Way to make the state proud," and "Go Buckeyes," he put that first, and, "Go Musketeers," he put that second, and I thought that was a class thing to do. But I feel his passion for the state of Ohio and obviously The Ohio State University."

Matta on if he has hired a staff yet:

"I haven't. I've got actually here Bill Comar, John Groce, (former Butler point guard) Brandon Miller and Alan Major, those guys have all been with me for three years and Brandon just finished his first year. Sean and I have been working right now, as Sean and I have talked, we have a family and we want to take care of everybody in our family and help them get through what they want to do through Xavier and Ohio State. I've said this, I felt like I had the greatest staff in the country and I can assure you I'll put together the greatest staff in the country here."


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