Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann spoke with reporters following Ohio State’s 71-70 loss at Northwestern on Saturday. Also answering questions were forwards Kyle Young and Seth Towns. Here are the highlights of everything that was said.
— Give Northwestern credit. They made shots at the end. They’ve got a good team.
— The final play was a good call. Everybody understood it in the huddle. “I like having EJ there are the glass for a potential tip in.” The guys executed the play, the shot just didn’t fall.
— They will look at the tape and see what they can do better. Northwestern’s guards made some big threes late.
— The ball didn’t move well down the stretch in the second half. It’s not just the guards, it was everybody. There were also decent looks that they didn’t make and some shots they didn’t take and ended up settling for something tougher.
— You don’t ever say “what was that” when you’re working with young people. You learn from it and move on.
— Northwestern’s physicality bothered the the ball-handler too much in the first half. Things got better in the second half.
— “Collectively, we rebounded it well, and we’ve got to do that.” Particularly with some of their undersized lineups.
— Some of Justice Sueing’s offensive struggles right now are due to the fact that he’s learning and growing. It was unrealistic to expect him to score right away like he did at Cal. In this game, they needed Seth Towns’ shooting and skill. They will eventually play them together.
— “I think we just needed to work on being more poised down the stretch.” They weren’t locked in like they should have been defensively late.
— There were too many turnovers in the first half and hurting the Buckeyes with points off of the mistakes. They did a better job of taking care of the basketball in the second half because they focused on it at the half.
— “You’re never going to be happy with a loss,” but you learn from this game and get ready for a quick turnaround. All games in the Big Ten are going to be tough.
— It feels like they gave the game away at the end. “It is disappointing but there’s nothing we can do about it now.” Just have to learn from this and get ready for the next.
— Defensive slip ups? “Just staying connected on defense. Staying poised. Paying attention to detail.” When you’re not fully locked in on defense it can hurt you. Attention to detail and intensity are very important.
— “My body feels okay. I still have to work on getting better at defense and reactionary things.” But it’s a testament to all of the work he’s been putting in since his surgery.
— This may be more of a mental battle than a physical battle for him. “It’s just about staying mentally strong and mentally focused.” It’s a marathon and a daily thing.
— Kyle Young hit it on the head regarding the defense. There were some slipups and mental breakdowns. They were mistakes that were very preventable.
— Not too much in this game still surprises him, so struggles down the stretch are never a surprise. “But I certainly think there are some things that could have brought us this win that we didn’t capitalize on.”
— Seeing a couple of shots fall is good. But he’s more concerned with how he’s moving and feeling.
— He hasn’t played organized basketball in almost three years. It’s tough and challenging but it’s exciting all the same.
— The last play call led to a great look. It just didn’t fall. There was a good opportunity for a rebound. Everything worked out just as Holtmann drew it up, it just didn’t fall.