COLUMBUS – No. 2-seed Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann and C.J. Walker met with the media following the Buckeyes’ heartbreaking overtime 75-72 loss to No. 15-seed Oral Roberts on Friday afternoon. Ohio State’s season is over after losing this game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ He gives their coaches, players, program, and the university credit.
+ They had no illusions this would be anything but a really challenging game and it was that from the very jump.
+ “Too many missed shots, too many missed free throws. But credit to them for making the plays.”
+ On the number of turnovers, Holtmann said they had a few careless turnovers but Oral Roberts’ activity on defense played a role too.
+ “Anytime you’re a 2-seed that speaks for itself. I thought our guys had a terrific season. This is a really really bitter end to a terrific season. We’ll own that and accept it and… [long pause] we’ll move forward.”
+ On the mindset going into the game, Holtmann said he thought the vibe was really good and their preparation was good. “We just had too many missed opportunities, too many turnovers, too many empty possessions on offense, we did not have a great start and that was my fault but I thought they were as ready as they have been all season.”
+On the seniors, Holtmann said he has spoken often about C.J. Walker and Kyle Young and what they’ve meant to the program. They’ve been phenomenal people, players, advocates about what the program is about, tremendous leaders, and great competitors. “We’re hoping Kyle Young gets back healthy in a timely fashion. I know he’s hurting for his teammates.” C.J. Walker is a tremendous kid. “They’re everything we want our seniors to be about.”
+ E.J. Liddell had a tremendous sophomore season.
+ He will reflect on the positives but they are feeling the disappointment now.
+ They thought they had a great chance this year but just couldn’t get it done.
+ On not having a flow offensively, Holtmann said Oral Roberts was crowding them and making driving lanes difficult and his team missed open looks they usually make and the turnovers also contributed to a poor offense.
+ He thought they had a lot of clean looks. “I will probably reflect on ways I could have done a better job in certain areas and that’s what I’ll live with.”
+ On Duane Washington Jr., Holtmann said it comes back to some of his decision making but he had some clean looks, especially late. But he played “uncharacteristically” at times. He has been a terrific player all year and he will use this as a learning experience.
+ They had some uncharacteristic misses from guys that are great shooters and free throw shooters.
+ They lost the game because Oral Roberts made more plays. They were quicker to lose balls throughout the course of the game.
+ “We didn’t make enough plays.”
+ They missed Kyle Young’s versatility in this game. Young wanted to play but he wasn’t cleared to play so it was the right decision.
+ Justice Sueing has been battling with his injury, he did not move like he typically moved. Seth Towns was a bit beat up as well.
+ They gave Oral Roberts too many clean looks. “That’s ultimately my fault.”
+ “Oral Roberts made big time plays in overtime and we didn’t.”
+ “It hurts.” This was his last time putting on an Ohio State jersey. “But I’m not going to let this define me or the Ohio State program.
+ On the whole game feeling odd, Walker said the 3s were a part of the flow of the game but they just weren’t hitting them like they usually do.