Chris Holtmann Previews No. 5 Ohio State’s Matchup With No. 6 Kentucky

By December 19, 2019 (10:58 am)Basketball

No. 5 Ohio State will travel to Las Vegas to take on No. 6 Kentucky on Dec. 21 and head coach Chris Holtmann spoke to members of the media two days earlier previewing the showdown.

  • Kentucky is a really, really good team and a tremendous program with a Hall of Fame coach. Kentucky will be one of the best
  • I know John Calipari just briefly. We’ve never faced each other. I saw him on the road a few times though. I told him how much my family in Kentucky loves having him there. He’s the perfect Kentucky coach. He’s smart and innovative.
  • Playing teams like Villanova, UNC and Kentucky is significant. Cincinnati and West Virginia, too. WVU has turned into one of the best teams in the country.
  • When we tell the players that we want to put together a tough nonconference schedule with elite opponents on a national stage, we need to be able to back up.
  • Coaching against Jay Wright, Roy Williams, John Calipari and Bob Huggins? ‘Those are four Hall of Famers right there.’ It’s a fun challenge.
  • When I was getting started in coaching, I watch anything and everything. I watched Huggins’ defensive tapes. I watched some of John’s dribble-drive motion, I watched Roy’s Carolina break and read Jay’s stuff, too.
  • You grow up in Lexington, Kentucky, you’ve got no choice. Basketball is a part of your blood there. It’s front-page news.
  • Utah made a lot of shots against Kentucky. The Wildcats have always been extremely well-coached defensively.
  • We have not talked about validating ourselves against Kentucky. But you’re always trying to prove yourself. More than anything, we’re trying to learn from this past week.
  • We’ve got to be more disciplined. It’s going to be a road atmosphere. We’ve got to be tougher, more committed to how we need to play.
  • When you’re talking about programs that are traditionally blue bloods, you’re typically remembering decades like 50-70 years. We have great possibilities here as a basketball program.
  • We have to play relaxed and control the turnovers that we can eliminate. We have to address guys that are carelessly committing turnovers.
  • I stayed up watching the Kentucky-Utah game after putting together our practice plan. The energy opponents bring against
  • Turn the volume up or mute it when Bill Walton is on the call? I love Bill Walton. He might overwhelm me if I listened to him more than once a week, but I love Bill.
  • Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans is fantastic. He’s so disruptive, his ability to get his hands on the ball and make plays, I don’t know if we’ll see someone like him all year.
  • All four schools are in favor of the CBS Sports Classic event. It’s a great event.
  • No update on Duane Washington, just taking it day to day.

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