COLUMBUS — The Ohio State men’s basketball team is looking to get back to its winning ways with a win at home against Purdue this Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. The game will be aired on BTN.
Head coach Chris Holtmann and forwards Andre Wesson and Kyle Young met with the media on Tuesday to preview the game.
Here’s a summary of what was said.
Head coach Chris Holtmann
+ This is an important week for a lot of reasons. It’s Coaches vs Cancer and Suits vs Sneakers week. Coaches support the fight against cancer in wearing sneakers for this weeks game. It’s appropriate in many ways that they also recognize Tyler Trent and his battle. They will have a moment of silence to recognize him and all of those struggling in some capacity. They are looking forward to supporting that cause and it touches him personally.
+ Kyle Young has a stress fracture in his leg and will be out for several weeks. The exact timeline is up in the air but he will be out for several weeks. He has performed really well as a player. He’s proud of his growth as a player and he has been instrumental for the success of this team. He hates it for him and for the team. The injury just happens over time but indications show that it was a fall he took in the Maryland game which appears to have exacerbated the injury. He looks forward to other guys stepping into new role and he is sure Kyle will be supportive.
+ Purdue is playing as well as any team in the league right now. They are extremely well connected as a group and they have gifted players.
+ They are still evaluating who will step in for Kyle Young but he anticipates it being a combination of guys. The three guys in particular are Jaedon LeDee, Justin Ahrens, and Musa Jallow.
+ The emotional toll is piling on and that’s something he thinks about as a coach but they’ve been fortunate with their injuries. Anytime you have an injury you’re looking forward to the next guy stepping into the role. “You try and stay away from the thinking of nothing can go right for us, you just accept it and move on and look at it with optimism.”
+ They are trying to just be better in the areas they need to be better in.
+ On Jaedon LeDee’s progress, he said that LeDee is a skilled player and his learning curve has been significant primarily on the defensive end. In high school, he was bigger than everybody he was playing against. He is a good ball handler for a bigger kid and his footwork has improved. But it’s a process and he is going to need to play without fouling. It’s a necessity now that Young is out.
+ On Justin Ahren’s progress, he said that Ahrens is trying to adapt to the athleticism and physicality of the players he is facing at this level. He and Ledee are learning what plays they can and can’t make at this level. There’s no better teacher than experience.
+ He has been asked if the wins came too easy too soon and if that created a misunderstanding of how hard it was going to be, but he doesn’t know. He has been voicing his concerns and their focus was to just get better. He has a team that wants to be coached.
+ At times he has been pleased with their shot selection. Against Maryland they did a good job sharing the ball. The moments where they’ve had a few shots that weren’t their best shots are the areas they want to clean up.
Junior forward Andre Wesson
+ Young’s injury hurts them but in order to make sure that it doesn’t impact the team, that next man up mentality is something that they need to accept.
+ He thinks Jallow, Ahrens, and Ledee are ready to replace Young. They just have to be more physical and play better defensively. They have been working on that a lot this week because they have to do that in order to win.
+ He sees some similarities in the game against Purdue last year. This is a game they need and they are going to be ready.
+ Nobody took any of the wins for granted. They knew there would be ups and downs and this is just a down right now.
Sophomore forward Kyle Young
+ When he first found out, he was disappointed and sad because he wants to play with these guys. Now he has to focus on rehab and helping them in other ways in practice, providing energy on the bench, and being a good teammate.
+ When he took the fall, he really didn’t think anything of it. He has had some soreness in his legs earlier on but he’s not sure if that’s what it was.
+ The last time he was out for a while was when he was a freshman in high school. He broke his leg that year near the end of the season.
+ Mentally, he just has to stay positive and control the controllables.
+ Young said it’s his lower right leg that has the stress fracture.
+ He has 100 percent belief in his teammates to step up. He said he’s not concerned about him being gone.
+ Joey Lane is a good example of enthusiasm on the bench. He is always giving them energy. When Luther Muhammad was out, he was doing the same thing on the bench.
You can watch the videos in their entirety below.
Head coach Chris Holtmann previews Purdue
Posted by The Ozone on Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Andre Wesson and Kyle Young
Andre Wesson and Kyle Young preview Purdue
Posted by The Ozone on Tuesday, January 22, 2019