Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtmann met with season ticket holders Tuesday night at Value City Arena for an event entitled “An Evening with Chris Holtmann.” He spoke with them about the direction
+ “This was a fun night, an enjoyable night.” Wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a fantastic turnout. He appreciates those who put it together and those who took the time out to visit.
+ What has he learned about the roster? He is still in the process of learning. There is some versatility at the 3, 4, and 5 that he didn’t know about that he is excited about.
+ When he was on the road recruiting, he had people corner him and ask/tell him why the Buckeyes struggled last year. It was interesting and enlightening. Some of it confirmed what he suspected. He learned about what those outside of the program thought of his players. “It was stuff they volunteered. I wasn’t trying to pick their brains.”
+ “I think our conditioning needed to improve. That was one of the first things that I noticed.”
+ One thing he has taken note of is the quality of people in the locker room. “And I mean that wholeheartedly.”
+ Holtmann has had a relationship with Thad Matta, so it was important for him to have Thad’s blessing with this job. “We weren’t super close, but I would say we were good friends in coaching. The tenure he had…was, you could argue was better than anybody else’s tenure in that time. So I would be foolish not to ask him his thoughts.” Matta was great and more than willing to take the time to talk. Matta told him, ‘If you take it, get ready.”
+ Holtmann on building the 2017-2018 roster
+ They’re a little behind on building relationships with 2018 kids, but they are picking up steam.
+ Could Thad Matta be around the program next year? “I would love at the appropriate time for that to happen, but that will be purely his decision. There’s not going to be any pressure from me on that.” “I wouldn’t want to push that on my end, but he would always be welcome from my perspective.”
+ Holtmann is anxious to get practice underway because they have been limited by what they can do in workouts. “We’re excited about working with them.”
+ “The schedule this year is a pretty good one. I know there will be some complaints.” The schedule provides great non-conference opportunities, but he understands the frustration from the fans with the quality of opponents.
+ Doesn’t want to critique last year’s down-the-stretch failings in games. This group, however, works hard. They need to respond to difficult things better. “If we don’t, then there will be some similar results.” “I have to challenge them with that.”
+ Believes D’Angelo Russell’s comments on never coming back to Ohio State came from a place of love for his coach, so he gets it. They would still welcome him back with open arms. Holtmann didn’t take the comments as anything other than support for Thad Matta.
+ It is important to acknowledge the great things that Thad Matta and his staff did. The reality is there there is significant work to do here.
+ They would like to add another player in terms of a 2018 prospect reclassifying to the 2017 class, but it’s getting late. They’ll know in the next 10 days or so.
+ The team health has been good. Nutrition will continue to be an important part of the program. They had some body composition testing done. “We’ve got some work to do. We’ll just leave it at that.” “Overall I would say our health is good for the most part.”
+ Holtmann suggests they do this meet-and-greet with the season ticket holders every year if there is demand for it. “I would love to do it.”