Men's Basketball

Two-Minute Drill: Chris Holtmann Talks Buckeyes’ Summer Workouts and Upcoming Season

Chris Holtmann Press Conference Buckeyes basketball

COLUMBUS-  Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann met with the media on Tuesday to provide updates on his men’s basketball team. Topics include their summer workouts and talk about the upcoming season, which includes an impressive non-conference schedule.

Here are the highlights.

Chris Holtmann

+  They are excited to support Ryan Day and his staff throughout the season.

+ The team is getting into the pre-season grind, everyone is here on campus. They are laying the foundation and the groundwork for what is to come. He is ready for this month-and-a-half grind.

+ Holtmann is excited about the schedule, especially the home schedule. He hopes the fans will get to see some games they have been anxious to see.

+ They had some injuries this summer. Justin Ahrens had a back issue that kept him out the bulk of the summer, he is still coming back and is limited. He lost weight and is being monitored. Musa Jallow had some swelling in one of his ankles that limited him.

+ Academically, it was a good summer, but it could have been better.

+ Holtmann said he was able to get what he wanted out of the summer, but the injures limited them a bit. He would have liked to have been less banged up than they were.

+ The biggest thing this summer was setting the tone with how they wanted to do things.

+ The trip to Spain gave the team better chemistry last year, but they did not have that opportunity this year. This was the more traditional summer. So they are trying to expedite the growth process, expedite the team learning each other and learning about each other, and work towards having a connected group. They went paintballing last Friday and they are continuing to spend a lot of time together. They like each other, but they have a long way to go.

+ Kyle Young has been good. They were in the emergency room with him last week with some stomach pain. Tuesday was his first workout back. He’s healthy outside of that hiccup. He constantly performed well in the summer workouts.

+ With having a highly ranked class, the coaches need to have conversations about normalizing struggle. They have had some of those conversations as they have come about naturally with certain players. For example, guys are struggling with drills for the first time in a long time.

+ Holtmann said Scoonie Penn talked to him about the opportunity and then Holtmann talked to their head coach about Scoonie.  “He was great for us, we loved having him a part of the program,” Holtmann said. “Even though he was debating, I think it was a decision he definitely had to make.”

+ They have talked to a number of people about a replacement for Scoonie Penn, but he has not been in a rush to make that decision. He anticipates it being in the next week or so.

+ Kaleb Wesson looks great right now. He is at his lowest body composition since he’s been here, he’s at his lowest weight since he’s been here. Wesson understands that part of his strength is his ability to be a big body and a big presence but he has encouraged this for him.

+ C.J. Walker is critical for this team because of what they knew the team was going to look like. To have a guy with experience at that position is critical.

+ They will play multiple point guards this year.

+ Understanding the pace of play is important for the freshmen.

+ This is the most challenging schedule he has been a part of as an assistant and as a head coach. He likes the challenge in front of the team, especially given the depth of the Big Ten. Last year, there was a sense of false security.

+ Andre Wesson is balancing his responsibility with being a senior and wanting to leave a legacy, with his growth of his game and his abilities to impact things on the floor. He took a jump last year but he has to make improvements like everybody else.

+Ibrahima Diallo has been incredible to work with. His teammates love him. What kind of impact he will have is yet to be seen. This is a real process of growth for him and it will take some time.

+ Andrew Dakich has been great. He is excited about coaching and excited about the team. He has been a real asset to the program. He is the program assistant right now but he has been added to a full-time position. “We are trying to help him continue his coaching career.”

+ Luther Muhammad ran the fastest mile and tied the record for the fastest that has been run at Ohio State at 4:57.

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