Men's Basketball

Two-Minute Drill: Chris Holtmann, C.J. Walker Preview Maryland

Chris Holtmann Ohio State Buckeyes

COLUMBUS — Ohio State is looking to snap a two-game losing streak and get back to its winning ways with a road victory at Maryland on Tuesday.

Head coach Chris Holtmann met with the media on Monday to preview the game. Redshirt junior guard C.J. Walker also answered questions from reporters.

Here’s a summary of what was said.

Chris Holtmann

+ Maryland is playing really good right now. They are playing with great chemistry and confidence. “They’ve got a really good way about them right now.”

+ On the Wisconsin film, Holtmann said the offensive rebounds really hurt them and they weren’t able to make plays in the last few minutes.

+ They are trying to put the guys in late-game situations in practice and seeing if they can make the right reads and plays. “As coaches we’ve got to get them as much experience as we can with those situations because they’re going to come up.”

+ He is not ready to make a statement on Kyle Young yet. He is still day-by-day. A lot of it will depend on his pain tolerance.

+ After watching the Wisconsin film, Holtmann said he thought they did a few things better than he initially thought after the game. But he was disappointed in their rebounding and physicality.

+ If Kyle Young is out against Maryland, Alonzo Gaffney and Ibrahima Diallo could see some minutes.

+ He asked his staff what their toughest non-conference schedule was and they all said this season. Holtmann said if you look at the numbers, it was year one.

+ On creating expectations with wins over Kentucky, North Carolina, and Villanova, Holtmann said he thinks that they don’t really know how good they are until they get well into January. Teams change and grow but assumptions are made that are not always accurate. He is assessing the team day-by-day and how the team is moving forward in their target areas. He’s not concerned with the wider aspect of things.

+ What happened has happened. They won at North Carolina and beat Villanova and they aren’t taking any of those wins and giving them up.

+ The day after the game was a lot of recovery and film work.

+ D.J. Carton made some good reads in the Wisconsin game but could have been more aggressive. It is an ongoing process for a young point guard when teams have a lot of film on them and see tendencies and game plan on those.

+ On not getting to the free throw line, Holtmann said they have to do a better job at it.

+ They try to run a lot of offense through Kaleb Wesson.

+ Duane Washington Jr. has not been as disciplined as he has needed to be. He has to be more efficient. He is really important because he has the ability to score at all three levels.

+ The mental grind and the mental toll that league play has on you is cumulative and takes a toll. “You have to be resilient.”

+ He thought Andre Wesson had a pretty good floor game against Wisconsin.

C.J. Walker

+ They have to stay engaged, focused, and connected at all times, especially in the last few minutes of the games. They are ready to adjust and make the changes.

+ They got a sense of false reality in the beginning of the season by winning by so much early on.

+ They can’t make a lot of mistakes on defense.

+ Guys aren’t doing too much they are just trying to make plays and do what they see best at that time.

+ They have great first halves, it’s the last four minutes of the games. Staying focused and being able to make the plays, a defensive rebound or staying on the shooter is critical.

+ Kaleb Wesson is doing his job. He just causes a lot of attention. “We’re doing our jobs getting him the ball and he’s doing his job when he has the ball.”

+ They have played a lot of great games as a team. They know what they are capable of when they stay focused for a full 40 minutes. But they know the Big Ten is hard. “You can never sleep on any team.”

+ The message to D.J. Carton is to just stay confident, it’s going to come around.

+ Maryland is a really good team. They get out in transition and they have people who can shoot the ball and get offensive rebounds. “But we’re a really good team too.”

+ They know what they need to do. If they go out there and execute they will be fine. They have to do the little things.

+ They don’t feel like they are struggling. They are confident going into this game. Walker said he doesn’t go into any game thinking they are going to lose. They just have to re-focus and figure things out.

+ It’s hard to replace a guy like Kyle Young. But they have to be able to make adjustments. E.J. Liddell has an opportunity.

+ Walker remembers he hit a wall his freshman year at the beginning of conference play. He was far away from home and had to get used to that too. He had to mature. He is now giving the freshman here the confidence they don’t have. “Basketball isn’t perfect, you have to adjust.”

+ On the next few road games, Walker said they know what it takes to win on the road. “You against the world type mentality.”

You can watch the full videos below.

Chris Holtmann

Posted by The Ozone on Monday, January 6, 2020

C.J. Walker

Posted by The Ozone on Monday, January 6, 2020

2 Responses

  1. They’ll lose. They peaked in the fall. They’ll squeak into the NCAA tournament and barely beat a 20 seed in the first round and then get stomped in the second round to Clemson

    1. Ouch. So Clemson has a good basketball team too?

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