COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann met with the media on Wednesday following Ohio State’s 80-68 win against Rutgers.
Duane Washington Jr. and E.J. Liddell also answered questions from reporters.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ A lot of respect for this Rutgers team. Extremely well-coached and talented. He hopes Jacob Young is feeling better.
+ They had to be really resilient, they put themselves in difficult binds. Players win games and his guys responded, Duane’s [Washington Jr.] big 3s gave them some momentum and they were better defensively after that. That gave them some belief they could crawl back into things.
+ They were frustrated in general with Rutgers’ ability to make shots, especially early on. He felt Rutgers didn’t feel them enough.
+ The players turned the tides of this game and made the necessary plays.
+ “What a night Kyle Young had.”
+ Seth Towns’ second-half minutes were critical.
+ On E.J. Liddell, Holtmann said “I’m not going away from that kid. He’s a gifted offensive player.”
+ It was a Big Ten game. It was a typical Big Ten game.
+ The ability to come back in games weighs heavily in the intangible qualities like commitment, poise, and resolve. His players have shown that and that’s good to see.
+ Across the board, they have had tremendous contributions from everybody. The group that plays the toughest together will close the game.
+ They were fortunate to get it to 10 at halftime. “I thought it could have been worse.” He thought they were fortunate to only be down 10.
+ Really unique game in terms of the flow.
+ On Seth Towns, he thought he played hard and competed. Defensively he has to get better but he will as he moves and get in better shape. He competes and he is going to shoot he ball really well. In this game he kept balls alive and competed on both ends.
+ Free throw shooing helped them come back in the game. They have been able to climb back by free throw and it has been a strength for this group.
+ Ron Harper Jr. is a really tough matchup. Musa Jallow’s play on him was critical. He does a great job on the opposition’s wings.
+ E.J. Liddell was going to be a focal point for them offensively, they knew that in the offseason. He is gifted in different spots of the floor, he’s unselfish and is a willing passer. They have built how they want to play with him at the forefront of their minds and he has embraced it. They have had a lot of confidence in him. He is thinking less and reacting more and he is a really good player.
Duane Washington Jr.
+ The second half, they had to come out down 10 and stick to Buckeye basketball and keep grinding, that is how Big Ten games work. They were able to stay poised. They had to stick to what they know, feed the post and keep playing their game.
+ “Basketball is a game where stuff happens, you have to adapt and chance otherwise it’s going to be tough to win. I think we did a good job of attacking what we needed to attack.”
+ He is always going to be confident and look for his shot.
+ On coming from 11 down against Notre Dame and 16 down against Rutgers, Washington Jr. said they have a lot of older veteran guys who have been in a lot of Big Ten games that have been like this. They were poised and ready. It’s the best conference in the country. They learned.
+ Basketball is a game of runs. “You treat the game right, it will treat you back better.”
+ They shot confidently in the second half.
+ Whoever shoots the ball shoots the ball, they just have to get it done and that’s what they did today.
+ They were told to attack the bigs.
+ They felt like whoever got the most rebounds was going to win the game, that was a big part of the game plan.
+ This game was a game of runs. They try to win every four minute war, score more than the other team at every media timeout.
+ Seth Towns coming in the second half was huge.
+ He and Kyle Young are great friends and they get on each other about being confident. Every time they look like they are lacking confidence, they remind each other. They feed off of each other.
+ They locked in on defense in the second half and focused on that each possession.
+ He is very thankful the coaches and teammates trust him to have the ball in late-game situations against a good team. Everything he is doing in practice is helping with that. He looks forward to making his teammates proud.
+ Seth Towns is a great team player. He has put in a lot of extra work to get out there and just help the team win.
[Photo courtesy of Ohio State Department of Athletics]