COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, junior center Kaleb Wesson, and junior forward Kyle Young spoke with the media following the Buckeyes’ 80-48 win against Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday night.
Southeast Missouri State head coach Rick Ray and sophomore forward Isaiah Gable also answered questions from reporters.
Here’s a summary of what was said.
+ He commends Chris Holtmann and Ohio State. “They don’t care who their opponent is they are going to go out and execute and dominate, whether it’s Southeast Missouri State or Duke.” His team needs to have this mentality.
+ He was also impressed with how Ohio State shared the ball and spoke very highly of Kaleb Wesson.
+ “There’s a reason they are a top five team in the country. And will probably stay there.”
+ He wanted two things of his team, the willingness to compete and then not being afraid of the moment. He liked their activity on the defensive side of the ball.
+ Ohio State made shots when they were open and his team missed shots when they were open in the second half.
+ They didn’t take advantage of the fast-break opportunities when Ohio State turned the ball over.
+ They were focused on taking away Ohio State’s vision and getting up underneath people using their smaller guards. They were also focused on their ball-screen defense.
+ When he was coaching at Purdue years ago, he faced the Ohio State team that had Mike Conley and Greg Oden. He said this Ohio State team is different because they don’t have one or two lottery picks, but they have a better overall team because of the way they share the basketball.
+ It felt good to be back in Ohio. He had a lot of family and friends here. It was the first time a lot of them got to see him play college basketball. He is very thankful they scheduled this game.
*Note* Gable is a Greenville, Ohio native.
+ SEMO made it difficult in the first half to run offense. His guys did a great job in the second half moving the ball and sharing it, particularly the last 30 minutes.
+ Defensively they were fairly consistent.
+ Holtmann rolled his eyes when asked about the 21 turnovers. It was passing turnovers, catching turnovers, feeding the post turnovers, running the wrong plays and running into bodies, and one-handed catches. He loves the 23 assists but said they had too many turnovers. They will need to be better. They need practice time and film work.
+ His team was a bit sped up and SEMO’s pressure bothered them a bit. They changed how they were attacking it in the second half.
+ Their conditioning and fitness is something he is monitoring. They are more tired than he remembers. They have a day off tomorrow and will need to get work in Thursday and Friday.
+ Duane Washington is another primary ball handler for them and he rarely turns the ball over, he doesn’t have many assistants, but he doesn’t turn the ball over. Washington hasn’t been fully practicing since the Penn State game. He is still day to day.
+ He was concerned for Kaleb Wesson when he went down and grabbed his knee, highest level of concern for him. “Your mind goes to places you don’t want it to go.” Even though he said he was fine they wanted to get him evaluated.
+ “When you’re bigger than guys, or they fall, or they run in front of you and the official calls it, it’s really frustrating. Kaleb Wesson has to keep just handing it with poise and patience and adjust when we run in to officials who are going to call those.” Holtmann doesn’t like it and doesn’t like it when teams do that. Wesson has to adjust and be smart.
+ They needed to slow down a bit. They were moving too fast and once they did that in the second half they were able to play more like themselves.
+ They were too frantic. It was a matter of passing and catching and simple stuff.
+ Coach Holtmann told them they better be ready to come back in and work.
+ They weren’t playing Ohio State basketball in the first half. Not having a great shooter like Duane Washington makes a difference but it’s not just one guy. They just got out of their game.
+ On getting pretty beat up today, Wesson said his knee rolled up but it’s fine. It scared him more than it hurt him. He busted his lip and then had his ankle rolled up on. But he’s fine.
+ At halftime they were preaching going back to having fun and getting back to their ways. They had to get back to what they do.
+ They weren’t forcing things they were just eager to get back in their rhythm instead of letting it come to them.
+ On Andre Wesson’s 3-point shooting, he said Dre is a shooter, he’s a player. They trust him with every shot he takes, every move he makes. “He’s our senior.”
+ Tonight’s performance helped them get back in their rhythm and hit some shots before Kentucky.
You can watch the full videos below.
Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young
Rick Ray and Isaiah Gable