CHICAGO – Thad Matta wasn't one to disagree with the pundits. Today at Big Ten media day, the Ohio State men's basketball coach took the dais to discuss a team that had no representation on the all-conference preseason team and one that does not appear in the top 25 of any major national polls.

CHICAGO – Thad Matta wasn't one to disagree with the pundits. Today at Big Ten media day, the Ohio State men's basketball coach took the dais to discuss a team that had no representation on the all-conference preseason team and one that does not appear in the top 25 of any major national polls.

Rebuilding year? That's not far off, apparently.

"Well, I think that there's probably a lot of truth to that," Matta said. "In terms of rebuilding, I think that's a good thing because that means our program has been at a pretty high level. You've got that confidence."

On a day when most of the buzz concerned college basketball's myriad rule changes and Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan's stated plans to take a step away from the program following the season, the Buckeyes were quietly removed from much of the conversation.

Eight practices into a season with only four returning scholarship players on his roster, Matta said he appreciates the challenge ahead and what this team could become.

"I kind of like the standpoint of the unknown with this team," he said. "And we're trying to use that to the best of our advantage."

Junior Marc Loving and sophomore Jae'Sean Tate, the two returning leaders in minutes played last season, served as the team's representatives. The team's 2015-16 media guide, which was released digitally, features 11 trophies won during Matta's tenure and no players.

Reporters swarmed the Indiana table to hear from all-conference pick Yogi Farrell and packed in around Ryan to offer his take on the game of basketball, but Loving and Tate had room to stretch out. Tate said he'll be fine after suffering a sprained ankle during Tuesday's practice.

"I just stepped on Marc's size-18 (shoes)," Tate said with a grin. "I'll be back in practice (Friday)."

It's not a major blow, but it is one little thing that an inexperienced team has to deal with. Matta said practice so far has been at a slower pace than he's like, but a pace that is to be expected.

"We've had to break down more in terms of getting the concepts down defensively as well as offensively," he said. "But the good thing is there aren't a lot of veteran players who know how it used to be so they're going right in line. With that said, I've been very pleased in terms of where they've been."

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