Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell joined senior forward Kyle Young and OSU head coach Chris Holtmann at the Big Ten Basketball Media Days in Indianapolis this month to discuss the Buckeyes’ upcoming season and the goals that each of them has.
Liddell toyed with leaving early but instead chose to come back to improve his game (the feedback he received from the NBA was to improve his 3-point shooting) and to help lead the Buckeyes to a possible Big Ten Championship this year.
Recently named one of four team captains, Liddell was also honored to be one of the team’s spokesmen in Indianapolis and has no problem being one of the faces of Buckeye basketball.
“Being here today is really awesome,” Liddell said. “I feel like I carry myself as one of the people who should represent a team. I feel like the lifestyle we’ve built around this team is basically what I looked up to.”
When Kyle Young decided to come back for his fifth year, Young had to make sure the Buckeyes got their All-Big Ten teammate back for another season.
”After I decided I was coming back, I wanted him to come back for sure so it can hopefully be a special year for the both of us,” Young said.
Once Liddell decided he was coming back, he wanted to improve his weight and he decided to “slim down” during the offseason. He is looking to do anything that will give him a competitive advantage against some of the top teams in the nation.
“I’ve just been working on my frame, really. Slimming down, just being able to be more mobile. I’m just focused on nutrition and whatnot, so I’m getting better at that,” Liddell said. “I got like four compliments on my body today. That made me feel good about myself.”
This has to do with his feedback he received during the draft process. Scouts and NBA personnel said they told him to work on his versatility on defense and be able to switch onto guards in the Big Ten.
Buckeye fans should see an improved Liddell all around and has been getting props from his teammates as well.
Senior Harrison Hookfin had some comments on Liddell at OSU’s own team media day.
“Since he’s been back, he seems to be more hungry,” Hookfin said. “He’s worked on refining his game, he’s got feedback from the time he did spend experimenting with the draft, so yeah, he’s only going to get better, and we’re excited to see what he’s going to do this year.”
Liddell is ready to compete with the best of the best and prove why he is a Preseason All-American, but that is not something he is focused on.
“I feel like you guys will see me on the perimeter a little bit more,” Liddell said. “I’m not a different player than I was last year. I just feel like I improved on the things that I was good at and just got better at those.”