COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann met with the media on Monday for men’s basketball media day. Holtmann provided updates and insights on the 2022-23 team and discussed the offseason growth and changes.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ “Preseason is talking season but it’s really about the quiet and lonely work.”
+ On Justice Sueing returning after missing last season, Holtmann said he looks great. He is healthy and he is a young man who is anxious to get out there and be healthy. He really wants to stay healthy and for a kid who had his whole season taken away, Holtmann really wants that for him. He will be a captain and they are excited about what he will be.
+ On the freshman class, Holtmann said they have four freshman who are all going to play a role on this team. “All four are going to play and will be a part of every game.”
+ He has had to gear back a lot due to the number of young players who are going to play. They have to speed up their development. They are trying to project tendencies but they know there will be some head scratching due to the inexperience. The freshman have to play well and play right away. He is trying to get them ready. He has not coached a team that has counted on four freshman as much as this team is going to.
+ The uptick in recruiting has been a collaborative effort. The staff has really worked at it. Players going to the NBA also has played a big role. Recruits always ask that question. It’s clear that this class is the best it’s ever been and he is excited.
+ On having three players who have put on an Ohio State uniform before, Holtmann said this team “is to be determined.” They are still defining what this group will look like. Their identity may be fluid.
+ They are focusing on staying healthy, which has been a challenge.
+ On the versatility of this team helping improve defensively, Holtmann said that was a big part of this new group. They have not been where they needed to be defensively the last two years. They also weren’t good enough on the glass last year. More athleticism, versatility, and length at the rim were all things they needed to address.
+ Offensively they are more versatile because they have a number of players in the 2,3,4 positions who can be moved around. Having versatility will be critical. They don’t have an elite scorer right now but they are hoping someone will step up or it may be more spread out across the board.
+ On seeing more fast break in the offense, Holtmann said he expects them to move better. They evolved with E.J. Liddell but he was a traditional power forward. Now, it will be more guards around a big guy. They have worked on things offensively to play faster and move faster.
+ The Bahamas trip was important to build chemistry with all the newness but having two games that tested them was the most important thing. For a team with a lot of questions, it was nice to get some answers.
+ Zed Key and Eugene Brown both have new roles on this team. They have experience but not in the sense that they’ve played the front line roles. There are things expected of them in their performance and in leadership that will be new this year. The same for Justice Sueing.
+ On managing four freshman, Holtmann said, “we have to normalize struggles for young people when they are doing something really hard but we also have to challenge them with the right response.” There will be a lot of conversations with freshman, and normalizing struggle is is big part of it.
+ Jake Diebler has a tremendous motor for working. He understands Ohio State and the culture of the program and he recruits to that.
+ Tanner Holden is a great worker and he has earned the respect of the locker room because he works.