Ohio State males‘s basketball | Highlights from Chris Holtmann‘s call-in present

Adam Jardy The Columbus Dispatch

Hours after his Ohio State team was promoted to No. 8 in the nation and days removed from a week featuring a win at Purdue and at home against Iowa, Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann held his weekly radio show Monday night.

In case you couldn’t listen, here are the highlights.

*One caller asked about the status of fifth-year senior Kam Williams, who has missed the last three games due to a suspension for a violation of team rules.

“I will probably address Kam’s situation this week,” Holtmann said.

*Holtmann lauded the approach from freshman center Kaleb Wesson, who went from a scoreless game at Purdue to a game-high 18 points against Iowa.

“He knows that there’s ups and downs as a freshman,” he said. “Some of the Purdue game was foul trouble and some of it was we went with a different combination because that was giving us a chance to win. I thought he really responded, like he has all year. I thought he was much more aggressive this game. He’s going to need to (do that) in this closing stretch we have.”

After the Purdue game, Wesson went through a conditioning session with strength and conditioning coach Quadrian Banks because he didn’t play as many minutes as usual. It’s part of keeping Wesson in optimal condition.

“He’s a good passer and a willing passer and sees things well,” Holtmann said. “Penn State post-trapped him some and he turned it over in that game so we need to look at ways to put him in better position. He’s very skilled for a big guy. Great hands. Good feet. Maybe the best hands of any big I’ve ever coached, and he’s physical. He’s a willing passer and more than anything he’s got vision so you can play through him some. He’s got some guard tendencies in a pretty big body.”

*A few players were dealing with some sickness, Holtmann said, coming out of the Iowa game. The Buckeyes were off Sunday and Monday and the hope is that the players will be better when they get back to practice Tuesday.

*Holtmann said a 13-year member of the staff told him the environment against Iowa on Saturday was a top-five atmosphere during that tenure.

“You’re not entitled to great crowds,” Holtmann said. “You earn that as a team, not just in your play but in your body language and your behavior. I like watching Jae’Sean Tate play, and I know a lot of people do, because of how he plays and the passion he plays (with). It’s been a very fun team to coach. Even early when we were taking some lumps people said, ‘Man, this team is fun to watch.’ ”

By contract, Holtmann was asked about going to Purdue.

“The way Mackey Arena is built, it creates a sound box that is deafening at times because the seats go straight up,” he said. “There’s not a lot of holes in that facility. It’s tight. It creates this deafening noise because of the structure and the way it’s built and set up, and they draw and support a team that they should support. “

Holtmann said he wrote “earn it” on the board for his players to see before the opening tip against Iowa.

*A caller asked about the Big Ten tournament being a week earlier than usual and the layoff that will come with that.

“We don’t look ahead to games, but obviously that is something that’s different now,” he said. “I am in these next couple weeks when I have some time going to pick the brain of some guys that have been in a similar situation in the past. Usually they came from a smaller league, but what did they do in the layoff? I want to get really specific about what their schedule was. I’ll probably call two or three guys.”

Holtmann said he hasn’t talked with any other Big Ten teams about their plans for the time off.

*Another caller asked about the 20-game Big Ten schedule next year will affect scheduling down the road.

“It does change things,” Holtmann said. “Most schools typically will play 22, 23 high-major opponents and then fill the rest of them with maybe opponents that are home games where if they play well they have a good chance of winning. It challenges the flexibility of your schedule. You can’t play those home-and-homes with an Arizona. I believe in playing a very challenging non-conference schedule, but I also don’t believe in beating your guys up too much before you enter the Big Ten.”

*Late in the Iowa game, freshman Kyle Young committed a turnover when he fired a perfect pass to Andrew Dakich, who was on the bench but standing near the court.

“If there’s one guy on our team that I would think would be standing up, he was the only one standing up and he was almost toes on the sideline there,” Holtmann said. “It just so happened there was a player within Kyle Young’s vision that vacated that spot, a walk-on named Connor Fulton. Kyle wasn’t looking and threw, really, a nice pass out of bounds. We talk about on-time, on-target passes and that was an on-time, on-target pass out of bounds. That’s never happened in a game before to me.”

On Dakich, Holtmann said he has obviously played better than expected but against Iowa “he had some scouting errors defensively that he normally doesn’t and we need him to be better in those areas.”

*If needed, Holtmann said C.J. Jackson (cramps) likely could have come back late if necessary against Iowa.

*Before home games, Holtmann said he has a pregame meal of tomato soup.


Leave a Comment