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Matta Frustrated With Buckeyes Just Two Games Into Season
By John Porentas
 

COLUMBUS, Oh - The Buckeyes (2-0) beat North Carolina Central (0-2) by a final of 69-63 at Value City Arena.  Judging from Head Coach Thad Matta's reaction to his team's showing the only good thing about the outing was that they ended up on the right end of the final score.

"Last year we lost a couple of these games quite honestly, so there is a positive in it," said Matta, but that was as far as the positives went. 

"I didn’t like a whole lot of what I saw tonight," Matta said.

What he saw was a team that looked at times disinterested, at other times unprepared, and at times unwilling to do what they were coached to do.  It left Matta perplexed and awed at how inept they were at times.

"For whatever reason some things happened that I’ve never seen happen before in terms of 38 practices or whatever," he said.

"We weren’t mentally and physically very tough and we obviously have to get that corrected."

Matta watched his team play like they had no scouting report and no offensive plan, something that just wasn't the case. 

"When we do what we’re supposed to do some good things have happened, but we had some opportunities tonight to break plays and post up and we didn’t do that.

"That’s a read In the offense. I’ve got the guy two feet in the paint, the play stops, we throw it in there and we get a foul and a bucket. We wanted no part of that tonight," said a bewildered Matta.

"For Marc (Loving) to go one for six (from the field) and one for five (from three) and five turnovers, three of them were charges and I think they took seven of them against Marshall, we showed our guys every one of them.  They take charges, so you don’t drive in there. You jump stop or whatever it is.  We’ve got to think the game better," Matta said airing just one of his frustrations. 

The lone bright spots were the play of Jae'Sean Tate and C. J. Jackson. Tate scored a team-high 21 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Jackson meanwhile doled out a game-high 8 assists. 

"C.J. just being steady, finding the open man, those are things we value right now as a team in terms of what he’s bringing," said Matta. 

Matta wasn't impressed with many other Buckeyes and it showed in his post-game comments. Despite the win he seemed particularly disappointed in the way his team played and didn't try to hide it. His main peeve was that the Buckeyes simply didn't execute what they were coached to execute, but rather went off on a tangent of play that left Matta nearly speechless. 

"When we did what we were supposed to do we scored," he said.

"We felt we knew where the weaknesses were and good things happened there but those are thing that you have to be a basketball player at times and we weren’t sharp man to man, we weren’t sharp for the 1-3-1, we weren’t sharp against the 2-3, we weren’t sharp against the press break.  I don’t know why."

It will be up to him to figure out the why of it, then figure out how to fix the why of it. He didn't rule out anything as a remedy, including an early-season change in his lineup, but judging from Matta's frustration level he is willing to try anything to right the ship by their next game against Providence on Thursday of this week. 

"We'll be better on Thursday," he vowed. "We better be."

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