The Ohio State men’s basketball team (16-8, 6-7) squeaked out a win against Rutgers at home on Wed., Feb 12, and will welcome Purdue (14-11, 7-7) to Value City Arena for a Big Ten battle on Sat., Feb. 15 at noon.
Less than 24 hours away from the opening tip, Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann spoke to members of the media in preparation for the bout with the Boilermakers.
- I think a lot of Purdue and what they’ve done in this league. Their run has been impressive over the past few years with sustained success.
- Clearly a top-30 team in the country. We will see their very best on Feb. 15. Really good Purdue team. Well-coached team..
- You are look at Purdue’s body of work. Penn State would have beaten anybody in the country by a significant margin the other night. Penn State looked like a Final Four-contending team.
- Injuries? It’s been unlike any year I’ve ever experienced. We very much consider freshman guard DJ Carton’s situation like an injury. We’ve had injuries in the past but not from the get-go. Junior wing Musa Jallow would have helped us in both practices and games, especially with the other injuries. We are more in-tuned with our guys’ health than ever before.
- People all over the country have injuries. At the end of the day, it’s kind of did you win or did you lose? That will be the post-script. We haven’t talked about those things as a group.
- Do you need your guards to step up like former fifth-year seniors C.J. Jackson and Keyshawn Woods last season? Our sophomore guards have to grow up really quickly. And by grow up, I mean consistently perform late in the year, like Keyshawn Woods did last year.
- When you get to this time in the year, the team is really as good as its core leadership.
- There is no question there have been some ups and downs this season.
- Describe the season in one word? I have two words: in process.
- Has it been dramatic? Certainly. We’ve had injuries, tough losses, good wins, a suspension.
- We’re doing the best to prepare for a good Purdue team.
- Is sophomore guard Duane Washington’s personality like he plays? Duane is loud, boisterous, a big personality and a bit unpredictable.
- Purdue’s balanced attack? Their balance does it make it difficult. They’re a bonafide NCAA Tournament team.
- You look at strengths of our team and weaknesses of the opposition and go from there.
- A lot of what determines the metrics is your schedule. I think people will look at our nonconference schedule and Purdue’s nonconference schedule and see that we’re not afraid to challenge ourselves. And we did well in those games.
- I look at our conference numbers first. We’re third in offensive efficiency and No. 10 in defensive efficiency, so I’m concerned about our defensive numbers.
- Purdue’s turnover percentage? Really disruptive. We had 13 in the first half last year. They stop you from changing sides and keep the ball out of the post.
- Cause for defensive struggles? It’s something I need to look at. And we’ll probably look at as a whole in the offseason. Typically teams takes much better shots toward the end of January with longer possessions.
- Lack of national credit for Purdue? I think basketball people really appreciate them. People in the basketball world do recognize how good they’ve been from Gene Keady to Matt Painter. They don’t get the credit they probably should.
- Junior forward Kyle Young is in good shape. It was more of ankle roll than anything to do with his leg.
- Walk on Harrison Hookfin? Harry is great. He’s been a great addition as a walk on. We picked him up during Kyle’s injury; we wanted someone with some size. He’s really smart. He throws his body around and brings intelligence to the scout team.
- Purdue at the moment? The other night was an outlier. Purdue is playing really well right now.
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