COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State’s hard-fought 73-67 overtime loss to Wisconsin, Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann spoke with the media. Also talking to reporters were senior guards CJ Jackson and Keyshawn Woods. Holtmann talked about what went right and what went wrong and also when an update about Kaleb Wesson could be expected.
Here are the highlights.
+ “We didn’t really have an answer for Iverson or Happ, we just didn’t.”
+ “Our guys battled and fought but our crowd was outstanding.”
+ He wishes he could have helped them win on senior day, but they will find a way to move forward.
+ On his teams’ offense in the last five/six minutes, he said their backs were against the wall. There’s more freedom to play with and the full court pressure created some opportunities for them.
+ Holtmann said they were going to roll with two of the three seniors [Jackson and Woods] and they spearheaded the comeback.
+ “Man did they show some serious guts there in the second half.”
+ He was disappointed with how they came out of the half.
+ “This game requires you to have courage and cut loose and play.” He thought the guys did a great job of that.
+ He grabbed the mic because the official came to him and asked for his help with people throwing things on the court. He looked at it as a good opportunity to say, “please keep everything off the court, but keep yelling loud.”
+ “It takes a bit to find your way when you pull a critical guy out of your lineup. It’s an adjustment.”
+ He thought they showed some fight at Northwestern, they did not against Purdue. He thought being at home and having energy behind them helped them against Wisconsin.
+ On Kaleb Wesson, Holtmann said it’s rare when you have a player who is a sophomore as your most integral player on both ends. But it’s hard to be that dependent on one particular person. Moving forward, it’s a lesson. The conversations on his suspension have been frequent and honest.
+ On C.J. Jackson, he thought he was playing aggressive and confident and he got to the rim and got to the foul line. He attacked in transition and he was active. He cared at a really high level.
+ On Keyshawn Woods’ interception, he said, “it was right on line.”
+ “It has been really hard. You don’t sleep, you don’t eat. You’re searching for answers in some ways.”
+ He likes to control their daily approach and embrace the fact that they have something to play for.
+ They need to find a way to play in the good stretches more and for longer.
Senior Guard C.J. Jackson
+ When they were clicking offensively, they showed how good they can be. If they get more stretches of that they will be fine.
+ On the last three, Jackson said his man backed off and then he was off balance. “If he was up on me I would have drove it in. I thought I made the right read.”
+ The biggest thing was effort. They were giving no effort and that’s why Wisconsin took a big lead to start the second half.
+ On Holtmann grabbing the mic, Jackson said that definitely gives you juice. He said it’s not something you see every day. But they had to stay poised and stay in the moment and the young guys did a good job of that.
Senior Guard Keyshawn Woods
+ On the comeback in the second half, he said they pushed the ball more and took more open shots. They had more poise in that stretch.
+ On his interception and shot, he said it was all his and it looked good to him it was just short.
+ They fed off the crowd during the comeback stretch.
+ “Now it’s you lose one game and you’re done so there needs to be another sense of urgency.” Woods said this team wants it bad. That’s one thing he loves about his brothers on this team, they will fight to the end. They are going to bring all of their effort and bring their a-game.
+ On the upcoming Big Ten Tournament, “we don’t want no spring break.”
+ When asked if they ask themselves why they can’t play like those stretches all the time, Woods said they talk about it all the time, as soon as they go back to the locker room they will be talking about it.