COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State’s 76-56 win over UMass-Lowell, Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann spoke with reporters about his team’s performance. He answered questions about this game and the season to come for Ohio State. Junior forward Kaleb Wesson also spoke with the media, as did freshman point guard DJ Carton. UMass-Lowell head coach Pat Duquette also spoke with reporters following the game. Here are the highlights.
+ Quick turnaround coming. Have to get some rest and get back at it tomorrow.
+ It’s important that they were able to get a lot of the young guys plenty of minutes. “You can’t play teams like Cincinnati every night…until you get into league play.”
+ DJ Carton is an emotional player, “which I love about him.” “He’s got a good feel for the game. He’s going to go through ups and downs, for sure, but he’s had a good start.”
+ Holtmann has never coached a guy with Carton’s burst. “He enjoys getting the other guys involved.”
+ CJ Walker is so eager defensively that he’s put himself in trouble with fouls a bit. Holtmann told him this week that there is always going to be rust when you’re sitting out for a year.
+ Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington did some good things today playing the right way and that has to be a consistent thing for this team.
+ The way Kaleb Wesson is playing right now is tremendous. He is mature enough to understand that it’s not smart to force things. He’s letting things come to him. The Cincinnati game was as complete a game as Wesson has ever had and he only scored 12 or 13 points.
+ Kaleb Wesson’s passing is a great luxury to have. They have worked a lot on post traps. UMass-Lowell didn’t have the size today to give him too much trouble. Bigger teams are coming tho.
+ This team can’t be as dependent as they were on Kaleb Wesson last year and be a really good year. Having said that, he’s very, very important. Especially right now with how inexperienced the team is. Hopefully as the season goes, they can get to the point where they can play without him for longer stretches.
+ The team did a great job replacing Andre Wesson defensively. Holtmann is sick for him and hates to see seniors miss games.
+ Luther Muhammad took on the assignment of defending Christian Lutete, who scored 51 points in his last game. Today he had 9 points.
+ Alonzo Gaffney scored 10 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and turned the ball over 4 times, which is an example of the up-and-down nature of his play throughout camp as well.
+ “I don’t think we’re an offensive juggernaut right now by any stretch.” “I think we’re going to have scoring draughts.” The free throws, he takes the blame for that. They need to work harder on that in practice.
+ Villanova plays very differently than Cincinnati. They are a blue-blood program. Jay Wright is a top two or three coach in the country.
+ The Buckeyes have defended “pretty good, pretty good” so far this season.
+ You are constantly talking to players about playing to a standard. The elite teams do that. They become habits and those habits have to be formed in every practice and every game. They mentioned at the half that the effort was lacking in the first half.
+ Duane Washington has improved as a defender. He’s capable. He’s a bit undersized because they’re playing him on the wing.
+ He is curious to see what his team looks like against Villanova. “You just don’t know.” Villanova puts you in tough situations offensively and defensively.
+ The preparation allowed them to overcome a slow start.
+ They were told to up their effort. Wesson dove for a loose ball. “It hurt though.”
+ “We’re always excited for our next opponent.” Villanova coming in is exciting, but “it’s about us.” Just listen to the coaches and they’ll have a shot.
+ What was it like playing without his brother? “It was different.”
+ Holtmann told him that he will command a lot of attention from defenses, so finding teammates is a big thing for this offense.
+ They weren’t following the game plan early on, so once they started doing that, plays started happening.
+ Passing on the fastbreak is just natural now. He does the easy part and his teammates run the floor and make it easy to find.
+ When he first got here in the summer, it was hard. He had a lot of turnovers. He was out of control. He watched CJ Walker and saw how poised he was. So he’s worked on that every day, but still wants to be an exciting player and is focused on balancing his skills without getting out of control.
+ He knows the other good freshman guards around the nation, but his focus isn’t keeping up with them, it’s helping this team win.
+ When he pushes the ball, he is looking to score. If nobody is in the paint, he’ll score. If there is somebody there, he looks to his right and left to see who is there.
+ He looks to run when he gets a rebound because it makes the break even faster. “I think it opens a lot of things on the offensive end.”
UMass-Lowell Head Coach Pat Duquette
+ He wanted to get to Ohio State because they have a sixth-year senior Josh Ganz who is from here. Ohio State has some great fans. Nobody was expecting us to win, but we were able to do some good things. “I’m glad we don’t play in the Big Ten.”
+ OSU was more athletic. They did a good job knowing where the UMass scorers were. “We’re not balanced yet enough.”
+ OSU is very unselfish and they make the right plays. If you do that, you’re going to win a lot of games. “The two freshmen are good.” “I didn’t expect [Carton] to be that good.”
+ OSU did a nice job of passing out of the double team immediately. That’s not easy to do. It made it hard to double.
+ Villanova is a good team that is well coached. “We know that we’re going to be put in a good situation.”