COLUMBUS — Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann met with the media on Wednesday to preview Thursday’s Big Ten Tournament and also speak about the current state of affairs around the sport regarding the actions taken to limit exposure to Covid-19. Up first, however, were point guard CJ Walker and forward Kaleb Wesson. The highlights are below, as is video.
+ This is always an exciting time of year.
+ Purdue is an outstanding opponent. They’ve had some really impressive wins. They are a tremendous rebounding team. They turn you over. They can shoot it and score it in the deep post area.
+ Congratulations to Kaleb Wesson for being named second-team all-Big Ten. People don’t understand how good he is on defense as well.
+ Kyle Young is day-to-day. That is in all honesty and with no gamesmanship.
+ They just need to see more from Kyle Young in practice. And some of it they won’t have a great feel of until he’s actually playing in a game. He hasn’t done live practice action since the injury.
+ When you play a team a second time, they make adjustments to how you played them before. Ohio State was good defensively against them the last time, so they expect some changes. They also expect more of a road environment, so Purdue will play better tomorrow than they did in Columbus earlier in the season.
+ CJ Walker has been great. “Consistent” has been the best word for him. Holtmann has been on him to give them more defensively.
+ This is a great tournament. It’s a tremendous opportunity. It’s the best conference tournament out there.
+ CJ Walker’s character was evident as he helped push the team through their January struggles. That takes time on the court to build up that maturity with the team. That’s when his influence began to take hold.
+ Holtmann not ready to say DJ Carton will or won’t be back this year. He’ll let people draw their own conclusions.
+ They talked about Covid-19 and told the players to take care of themselves, get rest, wash your hands. They told the players about things they’ll be keeping in mind to protect them. You may not want to shake hands or sign things. “I don’t know where this is headed.”
+ Andre Wesson is the ultimate guy who can do a lot of things well.
+ The team isn’t doing anything differently than they have all season long regarding the coronavirus, but they are getting consistent updates about a very fluid situation.
+ Kyle Young’s ankle sprain isn’t made worse by past leg problems. It’s lower than his past injury.
+ EJ Liddell allows them to do some different things offensively and it’s something they’ve been working on in the last five weeks. He’s really grown in his confidence.
+ Young teams play better at home.
+ Alonzo Gaffney will not be available this weekend. He is still on the team.
Chris Holtmann previews B1G Tournament.
Posted by The Ozone on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
+ This team is preparing the same for every game.
+ Andre Wesson does the little things for the team. He’s a warrior and it’s those little things that make teams win.
+ Purdue is playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament and the Buckeyes can’t let the game mean more for Purdue than Ohio State.
+ Regarding playing in front of empty arenas, they are only focused on what they can control.
+ A Big Ten Tournament Championship would be a blessing. It’s not about leading a legacy, it would be about doing something like that with his brothers, figurative and literal.
+ You have to have high attention to detail in March.
+ Purdue is a really good team with shooters. They also get easy shots for easy baskets. The Buckeyes prepared well for them last time and it worked out.
+ Andre Wesson has been through a lot in his career, from different coaching staffs to different teammates. He’s always willing to sacrifice his body. He hits big shots and is a great defender.
+ Walker, who is from Indianapolis, had to get about 22 tickets for people, not counting family members who bought tickets on their own.
+ EJ Liddell has watched Kyle Young create positive plays for his team and has done that, but is also adding scoring down low for the team.
+ The coronavirus is very eye opening. There’s nothing they can do about the venues, whether they’ll be full or empty. “We practice in front of zero people every day. We grind and work every day with nobody there and nobody watching.”