Men's Basketball

Two-Minute Drill: Basketball Buckeyes Talk High Point Showdown

Ohio State basketball head coach Chris Holtmann

COLUMBUS- The Ohio State men’s basketball team (11-1, 2-0 B1G) will face High Point University (6-6) on Saturday at home. The game will be shown on BTN at Noon.

On Friday, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann and some of his players spoke with the media to preview the game.

Here is a summary of what was discussed.

Head Coach Chris Holtmann

+ He is anxious to get back with the group and get back to playing.

+High Point has won a lot of good road games. Holtmann said they and Cincinnati are the most physical non-conference teams the Buckeyes will have played. They have terrific guards that are scoring at a high volume.

+ His team needs to play better than what they have played in stretches.

+ High Point’s head coach Tubby Smith is an outstanding coach and has been everywhere he has been. He knows him a little bit from coaching in the NCAA tournament one time. He is one of his mom’s favorite college coaches from his time at Kentucky.

+ There has been significant improvement in High Point from last year. They have a hungry group.

+ High Point is great at getting to their spots. They have physical guards and play physically as a team. The guards can get places.

+ He is still not sure in terms of starting lineups. He is still thinking through that.

+ He is always concerned about the game after Christmas.

+ They have had to assess how the team is physically. They are looking at adding some things but they have not had a lot of practice time post-Christmas. They came back and practiced on the 26th. They tried to get them to play with pace, get in the gym and get moving right now.

+ Woods has to stay aggressive and attacking because sometimes he can get a bit passive. He has a terrific feel for the game. He has to trust his instincts because they need him to do it all. He has to stay consistent with his defense.

+ Woods has made some very critical plays for them on defense taking charges. But he still has areas to improve on. He is hot there yet, but none of the guys are.

+ Woods is typically the primary ball handler when him and C.J. Jackson are out there together but they always play with some combination.

+ On Wesson’s Big Ten Player of the Week, it is great for Kaleb and for the team. Kaleb is very deserving of that award but at this point it doesn’t mean a whole lot because they have a long way to go as a group.

+ On national ranking, it’s good for college basketball but at this point in the year it means very little to nothing. It matters how you are progressing and growing as a group and individually.

+ They had a good semester academically. Some guys had their best academic semester since they’ve been at Ohio State. He said he gives the academic support staff a lot of credit for that because they do a tremendous job being on top of the guys.

+ Christmas was good. He got a chance to have some family in and that was important.

Sophomore Forward Kaleb Wesson

+ Keyshawn Woods is a big weapon in their offense.

+ Extra passing is contagious. Everybody wants to make the extra pass for the team.

+ On his improvement in low post moves, and being effective in the block. He said it’s repetition and going against Gio. He doesn’t let up. His length in practice makes it easier in the games.

+ Feels like he is more active in the offense now and he can feel that in the game. His teammates look for him more and they can find him easier.

+ Works a lot on preparing for double-teams in practice.

+ Coach teaches team defense. Everybody has to buy into that.

+ On Christmas, Wesson said he goes home all the time but he got shoes and money for Christmas. He said that Andre did not eat all of the food.

Graduate Guard Keyshawn Woods

+ On his performance against UCLA, Woods said he was just making the right reads and taking care of the ball but his teammates helped him out with the 10 assists.

+ Woods said he has improved at getting better at the scene of the zone.

+ On being more effective against UCLA than against Syracuse, Woods said he was more aggressive and the key was getting to the middle.

+ Kaleb Wesson’s performances shows just how hard he works in practice. Woods said with a big like that, it’s great to play with somebody like that.

+ Told Wesson that he will play through him as long as he plays as himself. When he is in the game he has to get his touches because he changes the dynamic of the game.

+ On chemistry with C.J. Jackson,  Woods said they are getting better as the season goes along but they have the connection already.

+To have buy-in defensively you have to have guys who want to play defense. There’s no way to teach it but you have to have a passion to play defense. This team takes pride on the defensive end. Woods said he has never been on a team like this before.

+ Christmas was nice being home for a few days.


You can watch the full interviews below.

Head Coach Chris Holtmann

Head coach Chris Holtmann previews High Point.

Posted by The Ozone on Friday, December 28, 2018

Kaleb Wesson and Keyshawn Woods

Kaleb Wesson and Keyshawn Woods preview High Point.

Posted by The Ozone on Friday, December 28, 2018

One Response

  1. “Defense wins championships” is still poignant even in the age of offense for all kinds of sports. In basketball it is a thing of beauty to watch a team cause offensive mistakes through superior defense and turn those situations into easy buckets. In close games these defensive stops are a serious reason that very good teams become great teams. Therefore, IMHO, this is a good attitude going forward.

    Go Bucks!

Comments are closed.