COLUMBUS – No. 21 Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann met with the media following the Buckeyes’ 81-71 win against Northwestern in Columbus on Wednesday night.
Justin Ahrens and Justice Sueing also spoke following the game. Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ This is the most proud he’s been of this team the entire year. “Players win games and the plays our players made down the stretch, starting with Justin’s [Ahrens] 3, were incredible.”
+ They played with great poise down the stretch. Northwestern played really well and they expected that. But they responded.
+ On Duane Washington Jr.’s play so far this season,”good.” He’s really grown. “I like it.” He was tremendous in this game. He loves him and loves coaching him. They have seen an efficient, consistent Duane Washington Jr. the last few games. When he plays like that, he is a very good player. “His decision making the the last four minutes tonight probably won the game for us.”
+ His practice plan was “interesting” with all of the potential lineups and moving guys around.
+ “Meechie Johnson had some terrific minutes.” He can’t overstate how hard it is to do what he’s doing. He has helped this team since day one. That says a lot about the kind of young man he is and he’s fearless as a player. He loves his competitive spirit.
+ E.J. Liddell got a bit frustrated missing open shots but he will be fine.
+ “Kyle Young has had a stretch of play that maybe hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.”
+ On Justin Ahrens’ 3, “that was the biggest shot of his career.”
+ The best things for him tonight were 1) the win and 2) having the families at the game.
+ He had to learn PG pretty fast but they had confident in him and in his versatility on the floor. “Everything was pretty natural.”
+ “Meechie Johnson is full of confidence and we love that about him.” He’s a lot more comfortable. He also takes criticism and feedback well.
+ He was willing to do whatever the team needed. “I felt real comfortable out there.”
+ C.J. Walker told him to stay composed and take care of the ball. “The rest was playing off of instincts and making the right reads and plays.”
+ This was his first game as the primary ball handler.
+ In the last 10 minutes Northwestern was a lot more confident shooting ball.
+ They knew the last four minute war was going to take everything they had.
+ He knew that Justice Sueing would play well at point guard because he works out with him over the summer. He has sen his ball-handling skills before.
+ On the 3 he hit after Northwestern cut it to one, Ahrens said he was confident but didn’t know if it would go in when the ball left his hand.
+ On the next man up mentality, Ahrens said a lot of teams have to have it especially this year. A lot of people weren’t on campus training in the summer which can lead to more injuries and then there’s COVID issues.
+ “When we’re all out there playing hard, we have the mindset that the shot is going to go in or I’m going got make the next pass.”
+ Meechie Johnson wasn’t afraid out there.
[Photo via Ohio State Hoops Twitter.]