COLUMBUS — The Buckeyes snapped their four-game losing streak with a 80-68 win at home against Nebraska on Tuesday night.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, junior center Kaleb Wesson, and redshirt junior point guard C.J. Walker spoke with the media following the game. Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg also answered questions from reporters and gave a lot of credit to the Buckeyes for their performance.
Here’s a summary of what was said.
+ He thought Nebraska’s defensive energy was pretty good out of the gates. He thought they did a solid job of contesting.
+ “They made us pay early in the game hitting those threes.”
+ There were key stretches in that game but offensively the Huskers were struggling. They were trying to shoot over size and couldn’t. But the ball was moving in the second half.
+ Their game plan didn’t change when he found out about Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr.
+ “Give Ohio State credit, they have had four tough games and we knew they were going to come out with significant urgency.”
+ “Things look a lot better when the ball goes through the hoop and they were shooting the heck out of it tonight.”
+ “Ohio Sate was a confident team tonight. When this team knocks down shots, they’re going to be tough to beat.”
+ Holtmann said it seems like forever since he has sit in front of the media in a good mood.
+ They were able to defensively set the tone.
+ “Nebraska spreads you out. It’s going to be a heck of a challenge for us back at their place later in the season.”
+ Andre Wesson has played like a senior.
+ It was not a perfect game, but certainly good to get a win and move forward.
+ Obviously Duane Washington Jr. and Luther Muhammad were suspended but he said he’s not coaching for just one game. He’s not coaching to win just one game.” They are more important to me than that and it’s more important to me than that. For me it’s bigger than that and it’s bigger than that for them.”
+ Muhammad and Washington Jr. will be a day-to-day thing that will be evaluated every day. They had a great attitude and were supporting their teammates in the locker room.
+ “Don’t define your game by your offense” is the message to his freshman. They have to define their play by how the team is playing when they’re out there.
+ He had not made the final decision on the suspensions yesterday.
+ Holtmann said he was wearing his rally coat tonight. He told his wife he has to wear the coat. He wore it just for the throwback at St. John Arena but he said he wanted his guys to play bold and free and this is as bold and free as he gets.
+ C.J. Walker was not great in the first half. Second half he really played well, good defensively and let it come to him more.
+ He told his team it was great to see smiles on their faces but they know they have a lot of work to do and have to play better.
+ Better ball movement led to the improved shooting. They did make shots but overall ball movement and they were able to attack Nebraska in ways and get to the paint more.
+ On six players in double figures, Holtmann said you gotta win games different ways but this group feeds on how they play offensively and they have to get better at that. They play with more life when they are scoring points but that can’t be what they are all about.
+ D.J. Carton was a little more under control tonight. He has been too bothered by his turnovers and his mistakes. He is trying hard and is doing his best. This was a good step for him.
+ The timing of the suspensions was not good. “Nobody wants to hear bad news after you have lost a few, but it did not factor into my decision one bit.”
+ Their backcourt play is critical for them. Their guard play is critical.
+ On D.J. Carton playing 38 minutes and preparing for another game in a few days, Holtmann said “he’s 19.”
+ Justice Sueing had surgery today on his foot. They believe it could be three or four months. Surgery went really well.
+ He hasn’t really thought about comparisons from last January to this January.
+ They figured out super late that Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. wouldn’t be playing. It was a quick adjustment.
+ He found a rhythm and was able to hit some shots that he hasn’t been able to make so far in conference play.
+ It feels good to be back on the winning side and to be able to make big runs.
+ The chemistry between him and E.J. Liddell has been there the whole time, losing just makes it look worse than it is.
+ Confidence was key for them tonight. They have been playing defense really well and just haven’t been able to make shots. They gained confidence in the first half when they saw the ball go in.
+ Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr.’s suspensions are good reminders to the team about what is tolerable and what is not. “You learn from it and you move on.”
+ C.J. Walker and E.J. Liddell played really well. Everybody stepped up.
+ Just seeing shots go down was great for their confidence.
+ Kaleb called his brother Andre Wesson a sniper, because of his three point shooting. He’s always been a hard worker but has had some setbacks, he’s a tough guy and he always just puts his head down and works and that shows. “He’s a sniper. Do you know what snipers do? They shoot from long range. That’s what he does.”
You can watch the full videos below.
C.J. Walker and Andre Wesson