COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, senior forward Zed Key, and sophomore guard Evan Mahaffey met with the media following the Buckeyes’ 84-64 win against Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday night.
You can read the highlights of the press conferences below.
+ Good win for the team. Credit to Miami — they fought hard like he expected. They have young and talented players and are well-coached. They will have a great season. There were some good things but also things they have to work on moving forward.
+ On handling the preparation for this team in between two Big Ten games, Holtmann said they had a readiness to play but they looked a bit fatigued so he was mindful of that. But he doesn’t have any complaints with their preparation. Their focus and concentration weren’t always there, but it was for parts of the game.
+ On limiting Miami’s 3-point shooting, Holtmann said that was one of the keys to the game for them. Miami’s numbers put scares into the coaches, so they had to strategize to take that away. They got spread out a bit but were able to eliminate the volume of 3s.
+ The bench was good tonight. Key’s six offensive rebounds were tremendous. Dale Bonner continues to give them good pop.
+ On the offensive rebounding, Holtmann said Miami’s defensive rebounding percentage was not good so they felt like they could attack there. They emphasized it but they have emphasized it all off season.
+ It’s important to finish the first half on a run. They have been inconsistent with that both on defense and offense, but it was good in this game with the 9-2 run and offensive rebound. It’s important because it gives them momentum and makes him not want to yell at them.
+ On quieter games and bouncing back in this game, Key said his teammates found him in the right spot. He was rebounding well and had extra possessions on the offensive end.
+ On handling the game the way they did, Key said they had great preparation and were locked in. They started slow but then started hitting shots. Miami came ready to play, credit to them, but they followed the game plan and got the W.
+ On his four assists, Key was surprised he had four assists. He said he was taking what the defense gave him. “The guys knocked down shots today.”
+ On 18 offensive rebounds as a team, Key said that was a point of emphasis for them before the game. They knew Miami was not that good of a defensive rebounding team, so they knew they wanted to attack them there.
+ On the bench group being special this season, Key said it shows how deep and talented they are. “It can be anybody’s night.” Players are giving it all they got when their number is called.
+ At halftime they came together as a group and knew they needed to limit Miami’s opportunity in the paint and get stops. They took that to heart and they came out and did their job.
+ On scoring in the double digits, Mahaffey said it felt great. He didn’t put his head down and he kept contributing in different areas but it was good to see this show up.
+ They have a locked in group. Holtmann told them that his best teams have been locked in and prepared. Teams like this can sneak up and get them, but they stayed locked in and were focused, no matter the opponent.
+ On going back to Penn State, his former team this week, Mahaffey said he is excited more than anything. He is excited to play against his former teammates. It’s their first Big Ten road game and they know how hard it is to win in the Big Ten on the road, so he is excited for this opportunity.
+ He has been consistent in his faith in the Lord but also in his game. He has stayed confident and knew that eventually the shots would fall and he would find his rhythm.
+ Their discipline in the first half wasn’t as good as it needed to be. But they kept at it.
Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.