Thad Matta receiving heat for interaction with Evan Ravenel

BY: HENRY GREEN

In a season where college basketball fans have seen coaches such as Cal’s Mike Montgomery push a player, Thad Matta turning purple in the face of senior Evan Ravenel is the newest incident up for debate.

To most fans it just seemed like a coach trying to light some fire into his player, but there are always those that will argue Matta’s late game blowup at Ravenel went too far.

Was the public scolding over the line? Or are fans just becoming too sensitive to old-school style coaching tactics?

What ten or even five years ago would not have garnered a second thought by the media has now become one of the hot topics on ESPN’s top debate show First Take.

The moment occurred last night in Ohio State’s 63-53 road win over Northwestern. Late in the second half Ravenel was clearly fouled on a layup attempt, but after receiving no call he spiked the ball to the ground and had some choice words for the official. Matta immediately yanked the senior from the game and asked him for his postgame pizza order, or so Matta says.

Had Ravenel acquired a technical foul it would have given Northwestern two free throws and possession of the ball in a four-point ballgame. This is the type of mistake that can end up costing the Buckeyes a tournament game in March. 

Matta knows all too well he needs his lone senior to be his most composed player down the stretch.

Here is where the coaching line needs to be drawn. Physically interacting with a player by way of a push or head slap, bad. Yelling at a player after they almost make a costly mental mistake, good.

Thad Matta was just a great coach doing his job.