COLUMBUS — Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann spoke with reporters on Friday to talk about his seniors and provide some updates on the Buckeyes. He also previewed Sunday’s matchup against Wisconsin.
Also speaking with reporters were seniors CJ Jackson, Joey Lane, and Keyshawn Woods. They answered questions about their time at OSU and the lasting memories they have made.
Here are the highlights.
+ Wisconsin has a veteran group of players that plays well together.
+ Senior day will give them an opportunity to honor and recognize three seniors, who have all come to OSU at different times. All three seniors are terrific kids from great families.
+ Keyshawn Woods was a welcome addition who was needed for this young team. His influence and leadership has been important.
+ This is probably the most interesting senior class based on where they have all come from and when they came and the roles they have played.
+ Joey Lane “just cares at such a high level.” He really wants Ohio State to win. “There’s a reason he’s so beloved by the students.”
+ Holtmann used to run into CJ Jackson’s dad on the recruiting trail while he was at Gardner-Webb and Jackson was at Mercer, but he didn’t know him well enough to have known about CJ before coming to Ohio State.
+ CJ Jackson probably didn’t expect this kind of career at Ohio State, but he has handled his role and requirements very well.
+ Jackson has had to accept a role as point guard even though he is more comfortable playing off the ball. “I love the kid.” He has only ever cared about leading the team as best he can. Holtmann wants to see him finish well, but he’s been banged up and that has been difficult for him.
+ Ideally, having two or three contributing seniors every year is what you want. If you have that, you’ll have a sound program that will be solid on the floor as well.
+ Holtmann asks his seniors how they feel the team is doing quite a bit because he respects their opinions and their feel for the team.
+ The team is getting healthier, but they have things they need to tend to. Andre Wesson is worn down, so they are tending to that. Kyle Young also has an ankle situation he is dealing with. CJ Jackson is also trying to manage his issues. “They are what they are right now.”
+ Kaleb Wesson is out for Sunday.
+ Wisconsin’s defense is a major concern. It is hard to change your offensive identity in the last couple of weeks of the season.
+ Right now you’re looking for guys on offense who can score in one-on-one situations.
+ If OSU just had one more guy with length and size, that would help this particular group defensively.
+ In talking to his assistant coaches, they came to the conclusion that with everything that has happened this season, they still have a chance to make something happen this year. This team isn’t a full strength right now but there is an optimism that is required.
+ Senior Day is a surreal moment given everything he has been through. It’s pretty special.
+ This team is not finished. “We have a long way to go.” This is a great opportunity for them on Sunday going out and winning against a really great team.
+ Everybody is tired this time of year so he’s no worse than anybody else. “I’m pretty beat” but it’s time to finish strong and make this season into what they want it to be.
+ His shoulder has a sprain, but he tries not to think about it and he plays through it. It can be frustrating at times not being able to move like he normally can.
+ They are confident going into the Wisconsin game because they have all seen the work they’ve put in.
+ His favorite moments are on the practice gym spending time with teammates until midnight, laughing and talking.
+ Having a teammate like Joey Lane is great. He has enthusiasm and always puts the team first. He found a way to impact the team without seeing minutes.
+ It has been a heck of a ride. He never thought he’d be here in a million years. It will be bittersweet.
+ It was special playing in St. John Arena and scoring in that game. That is a memory that he will always take with him.
+ Lane’s family is coming in tonight, so they’ll be here all weekend with him.
+ Lane began breaking down when talking about his time at OSU and his teammates and being positive on the bench.
+ Even though he hasn’t been here long, Sunday will be emotional for him because of the connections he’s made with his teammates. “It would have been nice to be here for all four years.”
+ Woods would summarize his career by saying it has had its ups and downs. He gave it his all regardless of where he was. “I gave full effort on both ends and tried to help my teams win as much as possible.” That’s how he’s always been and how he would sum up his time in college.
+ Asked for his favorite memory this season, Woods said the win over UCLA. It was a big win and they overcame some tough times. He played poorly and shot it poorly, but CJ Jackson had a great second half and the environment in the locker room after that win was amazing.
+ Joey Lane is just Joey. He welcomed Woods with open arms. He just wanted to get to know me.
Posted by The Ozone on Friday, March 8, 2019
CJ Jackson, Joey Lane, and Keyshawn Woods
Posted by The Ozone on Friday, March 8, 2019