Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann met with reporters on Friday to preview Saturday’s home game against Purdue. That game will tip at 12:00 pm on FOX. Also joining Holtmann were sophomore guard Duane Washington and walk-on forward Harrison Hookfin. The highlights of what everyone had to say can be found below.
+ The team is back at it. “I think a lot of Purdue. I think a lot of their program and what they’ve done in this league.”
+ Purdue has been able to maintain a standard of excellence in the Big Ten, which is tough to do.
+ Purdue is a Top 30 team in the country and Holtmann is expecting their very best because Purdue is coming off of a home loss.
+ Purdue’s season has been up and down this season like any other team, so when you evaluate them, you look at their entire body of work. The good games and the bad games. The loss at home to Penn State on Tuesday isn’t indicative of anything negative, it was just a great game by the Nittany Lions.
+ The injuries this season have been unlike any year he’s ever experienced as a coach, including DJ Carton’s situation. There have been injuries from the start, including the season-ending injury to Musa Jallow. “We’re kind of in survival mode with that in a lot of ways.” The staff is more conscious than they’ve ever been regarding the wear and tear on the players because of the lack of depth right now.
+ People all over the country have injuries. At the end of the day, people will only care if you won or lost. “Did you make the NCAA Tournament or not? That will be the postscript. ”
+ The sophomore guards need to have a run of consistency like Keyshawn Woods did last year at the end.
+ Holtmann was asked for a word to describe this season and he said “in process.” It has also been dramatic. There have been injuries, suspensions, tough losses. “We’re not done with tough moments.”
+ Washington is no different off the court than he is on the court. He’s loud, boisterous, unpredictable.
+ Purdue is tough because they are balanced and have five or six different guys who can lead the team in scoring. They have a bigger point forward who has always been a difficult matchup for the Buckeyes.
+ Holtmann believes the KenPom and NET ratings like Ohio State because of their schedule and they went out and played a difficult schedule in the non-conference.
+ When Holtmann looks at his team’s efficiency, he looks at them in relation to the conference first, not nationally.
+ Purdue is very disruptive on defense. They don’t let you go side to side with the ball. Last year, the Buckeyes had 13 turnovers in the first half against the Boilers at home.
+ Purdue probably doesn’t get the national respect that they should. The people who know college basketball respect them, but maybe the casual observers don’t recognize it.
+ Kyle Young is fine after a fall in the latest game. “He’s in good shape.”
+ Harrison has been a great addition as a walk-on. They picked him up late because of Kyle Young’s injury. He wants to be a doctor and is serious about his academics. He’s smart, which helps when you have a smart guy on the scout team because they understand what you’re trying to accomplish.
+ Purdue is playing some of their best basketball. The loss this week was an outlier.
+ He’s been watching and learning from veteran point guards CJ Walker, Keyshawn Woods, and CJ Jackson the last two years and seeing how they handle the game down the stretch.
+ This is a team of fighters. “Either you go down or you go up and we want to go up.”
+ Ups and downs are a part of life, but this season has still been fun. “We went through a little skid where things got tough, which happens to everybody in the country.”
+ Hookfin “definitely plays his butt off” in every practice and sets great screens. He’s tough around the rim. He’ll play wherever the coaches ask, from the two to the five.
+ He grew up a Buckeye fan and this was the only place he applied. Then one day he was enrolled at OSU and got a text from the basketball program asking him if he could get a physical. Then when he passed that, they told him when he had practice.
🏀🎥 Chris Holtmann Press Conference ahead of game vs. Purdue, presented by OSUCCC-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute | #GoBucks
Posted by Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday, February 14, 2020