COLUMBUS — The Ohio State men’s basketball team leaves for its trip to Spain on Wednesday morning.
The team held their 10th and final practice that was open to the public on Tuesday evening. Senior Joey Lane introduced the team to the fans and head coach Chris Holtmann introduced the coaching staff. Holtmann and his Buckeyes took photos and signed autographs with some fans in attendance. After the practice, Holtmann met with the media.
Head Coach Chris Holtmann
+ Having a great educational experience, coming back healthy, and getting to know each other are the main goals for this trip.
+ CJ Walker will not make the trip because he will not be playing on this years’ team. Instead he will go enjoy some time with his family. He could have played in the games in Spain, but him not playing this year was a big factor in their discussion. Everybody else is full go. The team will get some time with family once they return.
+ The lineups will vary throughout the games. Right now, Holtmann plans on starting the juniors and seniors for the first game. Everybody will get equal play in the games because they are still learning about the team.
+ Holtmann wants the team to say they got to experience something different. He says the more educated they can be, the better.
+ He doesn’t think the trip necessarily translates to success in the season, but the team will be bonding, which is something that is very important with this group.
+ With the 10 practices the coaching staff got to learn a lot about the incoming players. But Holtmann says their early season schedule will still be a challenge. They need to have a level of readiness.
+ There has been a conditioning element with these 10 practices as well.
+ There are still things that need to be evaluated more with this group, but they will have more information to go off of due to the games played in Spain.
+ Holtmann says Gene Smith has been tremendous. He says he has a great deal of respect for Smith. He has a great vision and he is very supportive. Everything happened so quickly but their relationship will continue to grow. Holtmann said he has been blessed to work with such great athletic directors.
+ Holtmann has encouraged Kaleb Wesson to expand his game. He wants him to be a threat from behind the 3-point line for his individual development and for the team. He would like for his 3-point attempts to increase significantly. He said Wesson has great touch, but he has to work on his foot preparation.
+ Kaleb Wesson’s conditioning has been better but there is always something he will have to stay on top of. He says Wesson has taken ownership of that.
+ He thinks the heads are spinning for all four freshmen. Everything is fast for them right now. All four of them have had great moments in practice. For the transfers, the game is slower for them.
+ The interaction with the fans is for the people to feel attached to the program and get to know everybody. Holtmann says he is very open with how he does things. That element of the public being around the guys creates interest in the program.
+ Holtmann says he would like more assertiveness and aggressiveness from Andre Wesson this year. He says Wesson is a very capable 3-pont shooter, he is a versatile player, and he needs to have a good year for them. He is an important part for what they are doing.
+ Holtmann says outside of basketball he is most excited to see how the guys that haven’t been out of the country respond to a new environment. He says it reminds him of taking kids on a trip and seeing how they take it all in.
+ He thinks several of the coaches’ wives are going. He is not sure if any of the players’ parents are going because of the expenses of the trip.
+ Holtmann says he is the most boring eater and he has the most boring palette. He gets in a rut and his wife recently made a comment that she wasn’t sure what he was going to eat in Spain. His daughter suggested McDonalds.