Players who went to last year's Final Four say they should have spent the day preparing for the NIT final.
"We should be in New York," Michael Redd said Wednesday. "But I look at it this way: We've got 30-plus more games and we should not hang our heads down and think about the last game. We should move forward, and that's what we've been doing in practice."
The Buckeyes' plans changed last week when unranked Notre Dame upset Ohio State 59-57 in a first-round game in Value City Arena. Arizona and Kentucky will meet in the final.
In Ohio State's other two appearances in the tournament, in 1989 and 1994, the Buckeyes also lost in the first round.
This year's loss to Notre Dame also left the Buckeyes without a game for nearly two weeks. That's the hardest part to deal with, said Scoonie Penn.
"That's the thing you miss the most, the opportunities to win some more games and have some more games under our belt," he said. "We're sitting here practicing for two weeks without playing a game. That stuff gets old after a while."
The Buckeyes resume their schedule Monday night at home against Vermont.
Coach Jim O'Brien said the team will be ready after practicing hard for two weeks with only one day off for Thanksgiving.
"We've been practicing like it's been October ... very, very hard, 2 1/2 hours every day," he said. "If you try to get something positive out of not playing in the games, it's maximizing your practice time, which is what we've been trying to do."