(AP) — – The word kept coming up again and again as Ohio State players spoke about their most recent outing: Embarrassing.
That’s how Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Sam Thompson repeatedly described the 18th-ranked Buckeyes’ effort, mindset, defense and overall performance in a 71-49 trashing at Wisconsin on Sunday.
February has mostly been a month to forget for Minnesota under coach Tubby Smith, who called Sunday’s 72-51 loss at Iowa one of the most disappointing of his career.
These Big Ten rivals look to get back on track Wednesday night in a matchup that could go a long way toward seeding in the conference tournament and possibly even in the NCAA tournament.
“I think I can speak for the team, we are embarrassed,” Smith Jr. said. “We not only embarrassed ourselves, we embarrassed our coaching staff, our university, our school president and our fans. We embarrassed everybody. We didn’t answer the call. We didn’t do anything we’re known to do. We kind of abandoned everything – our principles, offensively and defensively.”
Thompson added that the way the Buckeyes played had dishonored the great players and teams that have gone before them, including teams that had won the last three Big Ten titles.
The players have held several team meetings since flying home Sunday night. Thompson wouldn’t disclose what the Buckeyes talked about, but hinted that it may have been about getting their heads straight after losing three of their last four games.
Continue Reading: Minnesota-Ohio St. Preview (The Associated Press)