COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State’s 76-51 win over Villanova on Wednesday night, Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann met with reporters to talk about the Buckeyes’ big win. He answered plenty of questions about the evening’s action. Guards DJ Carton, Duane Washington, and CJ Walker spoke with reporters as well. Villanova head coach Jay Wright also met with the media following the game, and gave a great deal of credit to Ohio State
+ He began by expressing the program’s thoughts with Michigan State guard Cassius Winston and his family following the loss of his brother.
+ “I want to begin by thanking our fans. Buckeye Nation was unbelievable. Their energy was incredible.”
+ For younger coaches, Jay Wright is a guy that you try to learn a lot from and glean a lot from. “There’s not a coach in the country that I respect more than Jay Wright.”
+ The players’ preparation and their play was the reason for tonight’s win. Across the board they were really ready for tonight’s game.
+ Maybe two or three times he’s been a part of a game where everything goes your way. Players make plays, but “we were in a really good rhythm.” Now how do you continue to grow.
+ When you go up 17-3, you try not to overcoach them and get in the way.
+ Villanova missed some shots that they have made this year. “They were missing some clean ones.” They talked about how they needed to limit those shots.
+ Michigan had a great win at Villanova last year but finished fourth in the league. This is a good win, but there is still an entire season to play. “There’s a lot between now and March.”
+ “It didn’t seem quite as physical as maybe I anticipated.” Games with Villanova have always been physical, but tonight didn’t quite feel like that.
+ Early season wins do validate what you’re doing.
+ He expects to be more confident in what he knows about his team this January compared to last January.
+ “I think we’ve got more capability and versatility this year than we had last year.”
+ “I’ve never seen Kaleb Wesson play better.”
+ Assistant coach Ryan Pedon drew up the dunks by DJ Carton and Kyle Young. Pedon suggested the Young alley oop out of the half to boost the crowd.
+ Kaleb Wesson has great touch as a passer.
+ Kaleb Wesson is on another level now as a defender. The NBA needs to see how committed he is on the defensive end.
+ Holtmann had somebody ask him if Wesson was playing for the NBA or for OSU right now considering how many threes he shoots. Holtmann said Wesson is 100% locked in on winning games for Ohio State.
+ He’s still trying to figure out where to play guys, particularly the freshman.
+ Justin Ahrens’ back was bothering him tonight. There was some stiffness.
+ Villanova prepared to take away Kaleb Wesson in the paint and that opened the perimeter.
+ The Buckeyes have had a really good and consistent defensive approach in each game this season.
+ Duane Washington and Luther Muhammad have been good these last two games without Andre Wesson. Villanova tried to post them, but they turned the tables on offense by making shots of their own.
+ They weren’t anticipating being that wide open, they just took the shots that were available.
+ “We’re going to bring everything we’ve got every time we’re out on the floor.”
+ Villanova can shoot the ball at a high level, so they worked on getting to the shooters “on the catch” so they couldn’t catch and shoot. Good defensive scouting.
+ They’ll enjoy this win for the rest of the night and then get back to work. They’ll learn from their good and bad tonight.
+ It feels good to get this win and play like this. “We knew it was gonna be a good game.”
+ His teammates calmed him down before the game and let him know he didn’t have to prove anything.
+ “Tonight I just had a good game attacking the rim.”
+ WIth him and DJ Carton on the floor together, it puts pressure on the defense and frees up Kaleb Wesson with their penetration.
+ Duane Washington is always preparing for this moment so you’re never shocked when he goes off like he did tonight.
+ “I just came into the game focused.” They weren’t rushing anything and they stayed spread out on offense.
+ What does this say about the team? That they have a chip on their shoulder and they’re hungry.
+ This team is deep and skilled. They were ready for this game and prepared for Villanova’s offense.
+ “We knew we had to have a big start because we’ve been starting slow.”
+ The game plan was to stay aggressive because they knew Villanova was going to switch off, creating mismatches that OSU could take advantage of.
+ On his dunk: “I just knew we needed a big play.” “I didn’t know how to react. It was fun.”
+ “I feel like we found out that we’re very hungry.” They have things to prove and build upon. “I’m having a great time on the floor with my teammates.”
+ Ohio State opened strong and were the better prepared team.
+ “It was basic defensive concepts that we broke down on.” They just didn’t defend very well.
+ He thought they had prepared better than this.
+ OSU’s first three three-pointers were key. Those three plays should have never happened, “so I was concerned right away.” The staff needs to take responsibility for that. That start was concerning.
+ “I like those guys a lot” regarding DJ Carton and CJ Walker. They can play together. They both make great decisions, and neither of them are selfiish. “I really like that combo they had there.”
+ He was a little unhappy with the decision making. The ball got deep into the lane, “but we were defended.”
+ He took a tour of OSU’s football and basketball facilities and when he saw Chris Holtmann, he said, “I’m happy for you.” This place is great.
+ He sees more mobility from Kaleb Wesson. You fear him on the perimeter and his ability to face the basket.