Ohio State Head Coach Chris Holtmann Previews Matchup With Wisconsin

By January 2, 2020 (2:02 pm)Basketball
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Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann previewed the Buckeyes’ Big Ten matchup with Wisconsin, which will take place at Value City Arena in Columbus at 7 p.m. on Jan. 3.

  • We’re playing a team that’s playing really, really good basketball in Wisconsin. The Badgers are experienced, older and solid. It’s a great test for us.
  • Junior forward Kyle Young will be out Friday, Jan. 3. He is game-to-game at this point, following having his appendix removed.
  • Sophomore wing Justin Ahrens will see an opportunity, whether it’s at the wing or the forward, in Young’s absence.
  • Freshman forward Alonzo Gaffney is out with a flu situation this week and others players are limited at the moment.
  • Junior wing Musa Jallow is not ready to come back at this point. The situation continues to tread toward a redshirt situation.
  • I did not think we did play as poised or as smart as we needed to against West Virginia. I thought we were a little too concerned about our own stuff in that game. We just weren’t as collectively engaged as we needed to be.
  • Former Buckeye Micah Potter? Gene and I both wrote letters on Micah Potter’s behalf, saying we wanted him to be eligible for the full season.
  • It’s a situation where freshman forward E.J. Liddell is probably excited for the opportunity to play more in Kyle Young’s absence.
  • Ahrens has done a good job of not just jacking shots up and still being aggressive. He’s had the right mindset. If he passes those shots up, then we have a problem.
  • If you get to 10-15 games against like competition, you get a pretty good idea of where your team is at.
  • We’re a young group that has some older guys to follow. I think it’s an exciting group because of the mix of young and old. I’ve gotten feedback that people enjoy watching this team play. It’s an enjoyable group. We’ve got to earn the right to get to whatever we get to. There is nothing more important than today.
  • Sellouts? It’s tremendous. It’s the first time we’ve had this many sellouts since we’ve been here as a staff. Five of the last nine games are sellouts.
  • I don’t know if I had sellouts specifically in mind when we made the tough nonconference schedule. People will follow if your team has energy in expectations or performance. Young players and winning brings some excitement.
  • Tremendous maturity from Kyle Young over the years. He’s frustrated with the fact that he’s missed a few games over the years. Missing time now is really, really frustrating for him.
  • We have looked at giving sophomore guard Duane Washington the ball more. The Wessons have had more turnovers than I’d like, same with our point guards in some games.
  • We try to break down decision making on film on a regular basis. If they can’t understand it, then we’ve got to take the ball out of their hands. Our spacing can improve offensively, but we’ve had passing turnovers in the paint, transition turnovers and dribbling turnovers. It’s going to be a process.
  • The nonconference schedule, given that we only lost one game, should make our guys feel well because we played well. We’re really just trying to access our growth as we move forward.
  • Our young players have to play with great emotion but cannot be too emotional. We want to be a different team in a month. Today is really, really important.
  • Ahrens is getting there. He’s getting closer. A month ago he was maybe 65-70 percent. He’s getting closer. He’s put some weight on, he’s practiced well and he’s engaged.

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