Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell and head coach Chris Holtmann have helped each other to quite a few individual milestones, and are both knocking on the door of major acheivements as the Buckeyes prepare to head to Minneapolis for their Jan. 27 matchup with Minnesota. Liddell is only 12 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark as a Buckeye for his career, while Holtmann needs only one more win to claim his 100th at Ohio State.
“It’s pretty awesome, I’ve been thinking about it with this long layoff,” Liddell said. “I was hoping I could get it last Saturday against Nebraska but since it’s coming up I’m hoping I can go out there and do what I can to help us win, if I do get it. I know it would be coach Holtmann’s 100th win as well, so that should be pretty cool. This milestone means a lot honestly, coming here, making a big impact for the team. I think I saw I was going to be like the 60th player to do it, and that’s a pretty cool thing to have my name in the record books.”
For Liddell, the importance of the game lies less in the individual milestone, though. He told media that while his legacy at Ohio State is important to him, more important is making plays to win the game. Granted, Ohio State is likely in some trouble if Liddell is held under that 12-point mark in Minneapolis.
“Truthfully, I see records I’ve broken, milestones I’ve reached but I don’t think about it a lot,” Liddell said. “I just go out there and play, and try to affect winning. If it happens it happens.”
Holtmann gushed about his star forward when asked about his legacy in Columbus, saying that he’s loved every day of coaching him and that Liddell has given a lot to Ohio State.
“He’s one of those guys that you can reflect back on and say, ‘OK, Ohio State gave a lot to him, but he gave a lot to his place,’” Holtmann explained.
“We felt pretty optimistic about him just because we knew the character and the person he was.
“He’s had a pretty daggone good run here.”
As for Liddell’s lasting legacy, neither coach nor player was willing to shift yet to that mode with so much season left to play, but both gravitated toward the impact that Liddell has had on the program off the court as much as that he’s had on it. Liddell said that he would like to be remembered at Ohio State for the person and teammate he was, while Holtmann complimented the junior’s character and ability.
“His legacy is going to be one that’s significant because of who he is as a player, who he is as a kid,” Holtmann said.