COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, sophomore guards Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr met with the media following Ohio State’s 71-52 win against Kent State on Monday night.
Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff also answered questions from reporters following the game and spoke on the Golden Flashes’ loss and Ohio State’s physicality.
Here’s a summary of what was said.
+ They knew Kent State was going to compete the entire game and it was going to be a fight.
+ “Today we learned that we fight. We’re fighters. They made a huge run and cut the lead and we could have tried to make hero plays and wild shots but we took it one possession at a time and focused on defense first and then offense.”
+ He likes to play defense first and make everyone earn their shots.
+ “Shoutout to (strength coach Quadrian Banks), he does a great job and prepares us for every game.” But they were just the more tough team and he knew Kent State wasn’t going to quit so they had to set the rules.
Duane Washington Jr
+ “Our approach has been really really good.”
+ He thought his shot at the end of the first half was good and found out in the locker room that it didn’t count.
+ He just shoots the ball with confidence, especially 3s.
+ He doesn’t let the game control him, he likes to control the game.
+ He gives Kent State a lot of credit. They were really tough and physical and they expected that. Kent State and Cincinnati were the most physical teams they have played.
+ His team needed a game like this and he gives his guys the credit.
+ Andre Wesson in the second half was critical and D.J. Carton made plays in transition that were critical, Luther Muhammad getting to the free throw line was critical and Kaleb Wesson playing through some foul trouble was critical. Duane Washington Jr is continuing to play well.
+ His guys were unbelievable in the timeouts talking. He said he was upset with some of the officiating calls, especially those on Kaleb Wesson, and his players had more poise than him.
+ “This place was loud and St. John Arena was fantastic. That made a difference when we needed it.”
+ His players got critical stops when they needed to and were able to get to the free throw line.
+ Duane Washington Jr is a tremendous kid and he loves coaching him, but it’s difficult to give him freedom to play and focus on efficiency. It’s hard to figure out how to best manage that.
+ He thought they were a little bit impatient, but that was his fault and they have to get better at that.
+ He is proud of his guys and the way they competed.
+ He said Ohio State’s strength coach deserves a raise. “They are a tough physical team.” He said he recruited Kyle Young and his transformation from high school to this game was unbelievable.
+ He doesn’t think the score is indicative of the game. But Ohio State dominated the glass and his team did not do a good job with execution and rebounding, but they did a good job sharing the ball.
+ His team did a good job getting back in the game.
+ He thought his teams’ shots became worse as the game went on.
+ “It seems like Ohio State is playing the right way at all times. Chris Holtmann has high-level players who are willing to sacrifice for the team.”
+ They have to be more physical without fouling. They got out-physicaled and out-competed at times.
+ He thinks Ohio State will have a great season if they continue to not care about who is playing and who is shooting the ball. “That’s a challenge, but that’s why Coach Holtmann is one of the elite coaches.”
+ His team battled themselves back and they competed.
+ Kyle Young is extremely physical, E.J. Liddell is a freak, D.J. Carton is impressive for a freshman and is an elite athlete. Kyle Young competes at a really high level and what he does is special. He also gives him a lot of credit for his improvement.
You can watch the full videos below.
Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr