Holtmann Discusses Defensive Strategy On Nance’s Buzzer-Beater

By December 18, 2022 (12:00 pm)Basketball

When Ohio State forward Brice Sensabaugh drilled a go-ahead contested jumper in the paint with 2.0 seconds remaining in OSU’s CBS Sports Classic bout with North Carolina on Saturday, it appeared that the Buckeyes were heading toward their second miraculous victory in as many contests.

After burning a timeout and advancing the ball with a deep inbound pass to guard R.J. Davis, North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis used another timeout with 1.2 seconds left to draw up one final play to get the Tar Heels the win or send the game to overtime. When the Buckeyes came out of the huddle, forward Justice Sueing initially defended inbound passer Leaky Black, however, just before Black threw the ball in, Sueing turned around to guard against a potential three-point attempt.

Black lofted the ball to the far end of the court, where he found forward Pete Nance, who splashed a turn-around jumper over a tight contest from Sensabaugh. Nance’s buzzer-beater sent the game to overtime, where the Tar Heels eventually won 89-84.

“I thought Justice did a really good job shadowing it,” OSU head coach Chris Holtmann said. “I thought Brice did a good job challenging it. And then, our guys got to move forward in a situation like that and be ready to compete in overtime. We had a pretty good mindset there, I just think made a few more plays.”

As Holtmann opted to pull Sueing off of the inbound passer, he said his decision stemmed from a desire to utilize an extra defender against North Carolina’s guards.

“We were concerned about their guards getting loose,” Holtmann said. “We’ve always played five on four, that’s kind of how we practice it.”

Holtmann added that he felt the Buckeyes didn’t necessarily need a defender on the inbounds pass, noting that they wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the pass.

“You put a guy on the ball right there, I don’t know if you saw the pass, he’s not impacting the pass,” Holtmann said. “That’s a 6-foot-9 player throwing it over the top, so there’s no impact on that pass. What you’re basically doing is losing an extra defender.”

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