Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor
BOSTON – There was no point in asking members of the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s coaching staff what time they thought they would finishing watching tape Friday morning – they didn’t know.
You can bet it was late, though.
The OSU staff has now guided the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes (30-7) to an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament after the team’s 81-66 win against No. 6-seeded Cincinnati Thursday at TD Garden in Boston, but they aren’t done yet.
Two OSU coaches said they will spare no effort in helping prepare their team for Saturday’s East Region final against top-seeded Syracuse (34-2), even if means losing a few more hours of sleep.
First-year OSU video coordinator and former Duke guard Greg Paulus said he and other coaches would continue preparation for Saturday’s game in the wee hours of Friday morning where they will begin film study.
“We’ll watch some film (this morning), you know, whether that’s breaking down this game (against Cincinnati) or watching some Syracuse,” Paulus said. “You just watch them and try to get familiar with them.”
Paulus said he didn’t know what time the coaches would take a break for some sleep on Friday, but said they wouldn’t stop until they feel like they understand their opponent.
“Whatever it takes,” Paulus said.
OSU assistant coach Jeff Boals said that the short turnaround for postseason games is the main contributor to late nights put in by coaches all over the country.
“With a one-day prep … you have so much film on them, and you try to prepare as good of a game plan in a 48 hour timespan – not even – and give your guys the best opportunity to win the game,” Boals said. “At this point in the season, you know, you don’t sleep, and that’s across the country. It’s one of those deals where, with the team and the lack of preparation time, you want to do as much as you can in a short time.”
Paulus agreed, adding that being one win away from the Final Four in New Orleans doesn’t make coaches more motivated because they always prepare at a high level.
“The effort this staff put forward is always at the highest level,” he said. “If it takes five minutes, which, somehow it never does, you know, that’s great. Other times, it takes a little longer, and this time of year, you want to make sure that you dot your ‘I’s’ and cross your ‘T’s.'”
OSU’s East Region final against Syracuse tips Saturday at TD Garden in Boston at 7:05 p.m.