COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, E.J. Liddell, and Duane Washington Jr. met with the media following No. 4 Ohio State’s 92-87 loss to No. 3 Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
Here are the highlights of what was said immediately following the game.
+ “Hard-fought game. I thought both teams competed, both teams were really good offensively and really made shots. Give them credit. I think you’ve got to give them credit”
+ On Michigan’s size, Holtmann said Dickinson is a really good player. His length and size at the end of the day bothered them. They have to figure out how to do a better job at handling that in situations.
+ It was a game that was played with great pace and great execution offensively. “Guys made a lot of shots.”
+ He had no issue with their attack offensively, they played well offensively, took what was there, and made plays. Michigan was smothering Justin Ahrens, they were physical with Kyle Young, and a couple of other guys had off nights but he had no issue with their overall offensive attack. “It was the other end that didn’t allow us to win the game.”
+ Collectively they have to find ways to guard bigs better.
+ On using this game as a measuring stick, Holtmann said his focus is on areas they can improve and grow and get better at. There are things they can do as coaches to put the players in better situations defensively and that’s his focus. He does think Michigan is good and is deserving of everything that comes their way but his focus is on his team and he knows they are a good team as well. But the focus is on improvement.
+ “There’s no question we did some really good things but a couple of our errors throughout the game were too much to overcome. Our margin for error defensively is small and our attention to detail has to be really really good.”
+ “Disappointed. There’s no question when you lose a game you’re disappointed. We didn’t finish the game well enough.”
+ He thinks Kyle Young is ok. But there was a bit of concern he wasn’t going to be able to go in this one. He has to get some rest between now and Thursday.
+ On improving defensively, “we need to get better.”
+ On Duane Washington Jr.’s game, Holtmann said he has been really locked in and committed to growing as a player and playing the right way. “We really played connected offensively.”
+ Musa Jallow has a significant amount of swelling in his ankle from the last game. “We will see when that goes down.”
+ “They just scored more points than us tonight.”
+ On bouncing back, Liddell said they will watch the film, learn, and put that towards practice and work on their mistakes and hopefully go win next Thursday.
+ On the outlook after this game, Liddell said they didn’t make Michigan miss, they were making a ton of shots. “Giving up that many 3s in the first half and not making them miss is what did it.”
+ “They’re ranked No. 3 for a reason. They’re a really good team. But we can’t give up 92 points again.”
Duane Washington Jr.
+ On playing in this game, Washington Jr. said it was a great game. Two top-five teams competed at a really high level. They just have to be a bit better in the last four minutes. They thought they were in a good position but Michigan had that run in the end and they have to be better in the closing stretch.
+ On 30 points, he said he has been working hard every day in practice, working out by himself, trying to be prepared in the moment. “Unfortunately, it wan’t enough so we’re going to get back to work tomorrow.”
+ On Michigan’s size, Washington Jr. said they have great size, that’s what they pride themselves on. They knew going into the game they would have to be more physical. “They are a really good basketball team and we will definitely see them again.”
+ “Everybody wishes we could get this one back.”
+ On Michigan’s 3-point shooting, he said Michigan had a lot of rhythm 3s. They got rolling in the first half and it was unacceptable giving up 10 3s in the first half. “You can’t win games like that.”
+ “This is the time when teams are at their best.”
+ He’s been in Justice Sueing’s position and he remembers it like it was yesterday. “Everybody makes mistakes.” He just needs to keep his head on straight to deal with what Twitter and everyone will say after. But one mistake towards the end is not why they lost the game. Everybody could have played better. He will bounce back better than ever and they are going to need him.
[Photo via Ohio State Hoops Twitter.]