Ohio State Head Coach Chris Holtmann Previews Matchup With Michigan

By February 3, 2020 (2:45 pm)Basketball

After winning back-to-back games against Northwestern and Indiana, the Ohio State men’s basketball team (14-7, 4-6) will look to win its third in a row against Michigan (13-8, 4-6) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Just one day before the Michigan matchup, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann spoke to members of the media about the upcoming game.

  • Michigan is a really good team, playing really well. Lot of respect for Michigan first-year head coach Juwan Howard and how him and his staff are doing.
  • Bad luck or bad three-point defense? There’s some of both. But we’ve got to figure out some ways to contest and challenge three-pointers better.
  • Michigan senior guard Zavier Simpson has a lot of great attributes, but I think his best attribute is his brain. His ability to read the defense is phenomenal.
  • Offensively we’ve been pretty good, but our defensive numbers have got to get better. Offensively, we have to lower the amount of turnovers.
  • The Indiana game was a really clean one offensively for us. Our ball movement was really good against Northwestern, too. Our ball movement is better, and part of it was how Indiana played defensively.
  • When you’re in the best league in the country, it’s going to happen. Your biggest concern is how you’re playing.
  • I’m interested to see how guys getting more minutes and changing roles with DJ Carton out will impact us and how they’ll develop through that.
  • They are similar in a lot of ways to John Beilein’s tenure with Howard. They don’t turn it over and they have some good depth.
  • Sophomore wing Justin Ahrens is carving out a bigger role. His  effort and attention to detail have been good. Critical stretch from him against Indiana.
  • Stamina and foul trouble are the major concerns with both junior guard C.J. Walker and the rest of the rotating guards.
  • Compensating for Carton’s ability to get to the line and push in transition? Carton was second on our team in free-throw rate behind Kaleb Wesson. I’m not sure we can force that with others guys who don’t have the same set of skills.
  • We’re aware of junior forward Kyle Young’s minutes and usage because of his leg injury from his sophomore season.
  • Michigan senior center Jon Teske is an elite post defender and ball-screen defender. Kaleb Wesson is going to have to resist the frustration.
  • I think there is a benefit to allow one-time transfer for student-athletes without penalty. This is where it is heading and it is inevitable. I see value in the one-time transfer exception. The reality is that this is what happens in college basketball.
  • Michigan junior forward Isaiah Livers impacts them a lot with his scoring and understanding.

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