The Expectations Chris Holtmann Always Wanted Have Finally Arrived at Ohio State, and They'll Never Go Away

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BestDamnTeamInTheLand's picture

“I didn't get into coaching at the highest level of college basketball to be fearful of expectations,” Holtmann said.

As always, Coach Holtmann's responses to the media are pitch perfect... that's exactly the attitude that any successful coach should have.

Makes me even more confident and excited about the coming years of Ohio State basketball.

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IGotAWoody's picture

Yep, Gene Smith NAILED this hire!

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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brutus360's picture

I'm ready for the ride. Floor it!

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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Buctor's picture

Have to like that attitude!  A lot!!  Just keep creating growing expectations!!!

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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wigmon's picture

Good article.  I know you looked at both national and fan based expectations, but to focus on the later, its always interesting to see what expectations are for OSU fans.  In football, its pretty unanimous that we are expected to be the best and that making the 4 team playoff is the goal each and every year.  In basketball fans have generally been much more conservative.  Thad opened up possibilities of what this program could be that exceeded most fans expectations.  Unfortunately, he could not maintain that level of success and the last 3 years or so, fell well below even pre-Thad expectations for the program.

Clearly Holtmann has elevated expectations back to where we expect to go to the tournament just about every year, but I don't think many are expecting what Matta did at his peak, at least not yet.  I think we are still another year away from making a serious run in the post season.  After that, I don't see any reason we can't get back into that second tier of programs just behind the blue bloods and hopefully stay there.

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MDBuckeye2002's picture

I agree 100 percent. Thad had OSU fans expecting his teams to at least make the sweet 16 and not just getting in. Holtmann now has the program in the place where we expect to get in at the very least. A few more seasons of success in the tourney will have expectations back to the Matte levels and beyond.

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987

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SpielzWheelz's picture

I hope Holtmann has this expectation of himself as well.  To get this opportunity at TOSU rarely comes along to anyone.  He must, as we thought Thad was gonna do, take advantage of ALL the fortunes that he would have never had at Butler, and win that Chip.  It is possible, I mean Thad had us in NC Game by '07 and than again in Final Four up against the cheaters from Kansas.  The time is ripe, that new broom always sweeps clean. 

SpielzWheelz

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

OSU had a 37-28 halftime lead in that final four game and choked in the 2nd half. OSU excels at that because I have seen it farrrrrrrrr too often over the years. However, there is some validity to what you say about Bill Self's teams.....

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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Lighteyes's picture

I think reasonable expectations for OSU basketball to have, no matter, who the coach is, are something like this:

1.) Make the NCAA tourney every year. This is a pretty low bar - avoiding garbage losses OOC and going around .500 in B1G play is typically good enough. 

2.) Be a regional recruiting power. Pull in a couple Top 50-ish recruits from nearby states regularly, supplemented with other 3-4 star players. Not national Top-5 classes, but not like 50th either. 

3.) Seriously compete for B1G titles and make a deep NCAA tourney run every few years. Not necessarily every year (though it'd be nice), but at least every 2-4 years, there should be a nice enough mix of returning upperclassmen and young talent to go "oh baby, this is the year" or a bracket that lines up well or whatever.

OSU has had periods where they've greatly exceeded these expectations and been able to set the bar higher (notably, the early 60's and then the peak of the Matta era), but looking at the broad sweep of OSU basketball history as a whole, this seems like a fairly reasonable bar to set.

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BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

I like Holtmann but until we start getting one and dones (or at least two and done) like the rest of the CBB elites, this program will never go higher than the sweet 16.

UVA this year was an aberration, please dont use that as an example to counter my point...and Villanova is also not a good counter because Jay Wright is an elite X's and O's tactician

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Blackcoffee's picture

The one and done thing is no gurantee of anything. Keeping a starting point guard that excels(re:Cassius Winston, Xavier Simpson, Carson Edwards) from one season to the next will keep this team in the conversation every year. If Carton excels but stays two years then we good to go.
Additionally, given what Holtmann has achieved over his first two years, he appears to have the x's o's thing under control.
Sure he would welcome a 5 star, but hell Carton is probably one himself.

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Tulsinator's picture

DJ Carton is expected to be a guy who leaves early. Probably 2 years and out. Kaleb Wesson will be out for sure after next year. Bates-Diop was just POY.

It takes a good mix of talented youth and experience to win a championship. I think Holtmann is doing a great job given the status of the roster when he got here.

UNDISPUTED

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bucksfan92's picture

So 3 of the 4 most recent national champions aren't a good counter, that's an.... interesting... take.

But as a serious counter to the 1 and done argument, I think Thad did a great job with them when they started.  He was able to mix in 1 year guys with experienced guys and I suspect Holtmann will do the same.  The 2 coaches who have most bought into the heavy use of 1 and dones (Cal and K) haven't been dominating with them - each has 1 title this decade, so they are actually the anomaly, not the other way around.

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McGrind's picture

So the final four was Texas Tech, Auburn, MSU, and Virginia. What did they have in common...great, experienced, and clutch guard play. Not one and done rent a players. KY your one and done factory has won 1 title this century. 

Not going to turn away a 5* but to say you can’t play top 20 basketball without them is flat out wrong.

ttun 2019 offense...same pig, different lipstick.

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IGotAWoody's picture

UVA this year was an aberration

Villanova won 2 titles prior to UVA, with ZERO one and dones. The UVA/Villanova model is not an aberration at all.

and Villanova is also not a good counter because Jay Wright is an elite X's and O's tactician

What? You can't discount the clear example that destroys your thesis by simply saying "he doesn't count because he's a great coach!"

I would add to the list Butler, who played in 2 consecutive title games recently with zero one and dones.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Buckeye_bob's picture

You don't need one and dones to make it to the Elite 8 that is STUPID!

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JimmyVanP's picture

we're up to #7 on espn's too early top 25 poll so if that doesnt scream expectations idk what will

"I feel ready for whatever awaits me on the other side. I don’t fear adversity. I don’t fear the spotlight. I don’t fear success. And I don’t fear failure." - Braxton Miller

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hetuck's picture

OSU has come a long way from, "If you want a team that competes for a NCAA championship every year, cheer for Duke." 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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ANOTHERMICHIGANLOSS's picture

This season is going to be great if the kids play up to the level that is expected.  At each position they get stronger either with talent/depth or more experience:

1--Walker and Carton provide an immediate upgrade

2--Muhammad and Washington with valuable experience last year and in the tournament should make them more consistent

3/4--See above for Jallow/Ahrens, Wesson and Young provide the leadership and experience, Liddell and Gaffney bring the talent level way up

5--Wesson with experience and leadership (and hopefully a stronger body) and a true backup in Diallo to have a huge defensive presence inside.

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Hovenaut's picture

Always the expectations, but there's bonafide excitement going along with them this year.

Have a feeling it's going to be a great year.

Got M...igan gossip? Bang it here.

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Huskerbuck's picture

Yes the way too early ratings are meaningless but you have to love the direction of the program and Holtmann's ability to recruit and present it so positively for the press. 

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Buck68's picture

Great continual topic and enjoyed the RANGE of the article & comments.   Thoughts:

1-fans - fanatics - are takers; players & coaches & staff are givers.

2-rankings are rank with the emotional, irrational 'expectations'... of wannabes and takers... with a remnant of exceptions....

3-Our Head Coach will "prime" [prepare] himself, his coaches, his team of all players.

4-Does Coach Holtmann measure quality by quantitative sizes, steps, numbers?  That would be... the usual.

5-Is Coach Holtmann 'concerned' about "passing the magazine test"? ?     ?   LOL; but, beware and on the alert for the constant temptations to do exactly that in self and all in his responsibility.

GO BUCKS.

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stxbuck's picture

I like his attitude-high expectations, but realistic of the process. Him admitting that the program is ahead of schedule w/ this years tournament performance is indicative of that. That said, being a semi-consistent S16 team, w/ an occasional F4 run/contention is pretty much the peak level for tOSU hoops-which i feel Holman can reach.

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ibuck's picture

being a semi-consistent S16 team, w/ an occasional F4 run/contention is pretty much the peak level for tOSU hoops

Though I am cautious in my expectations, I would never limit the possibilities this way.

Hoops coach Fred Taylor was frustrated by OSU fans who didn't want the basketball team to eclipse the football team's success in the slightest, or let people think Ohio State was anything but a football school. Do you feel that way?

I revel in Buckeye success in hoops, wrestling, volleyball, tennis or other sports, including synchronized swimming. Why not join in?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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BrutusB's picture

Occasional Final Four runs is kind of the best you can hope for though.  Kansas is as CBB blue-blood as it gets and they've made the FF twice in the past decade.  UNC has also been there twice since 2010.

If we could get to a point where Sweet Sixteens were happening consistently that would be a success by most reasonable standards.  Some years we'll get upset before then and other years we'll make a deeper run.

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Lighteyes's picture

Agreed. The NCAA tourney is just too unpredictable to expect more than occasional Final Four teams. A team with enough talent and regular season success to get a high seed and show potential for deep runs? Yes. But whether they actually get there or not is way too random - relying on everything from the particular draw to shooting in a particular game to foul trouble.

Even just look at Ohio State's history under Matta: Of the two best teams in his tenure (2007 and 2011), one lost in the Sweet 16 in a horrific shooting night and the other required both a last-second shot (Xavier) and a furious rally from 20 points down (Tennessee) to even make it out of their region.

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stxbuck's picture

tOSU can contend in hoops-but expecting them to become a blue blood juggernaut, where F4s are realistic expectations every single year, is ridiculous. Matta and Holtman have made it clear that tOSU will not engage in payola/shoe shenanigans unlike Duke,UNC,LSU,etc,etc. This means tempering expectations. Look at Villanova this year-they won 2 out of 4 NCs, but took a step back this year-and reloaded w/ a very good recruiting class. Look at Purdue-they were as good as any of the F4 teams this year-maybe better-but lost in the G8, and will have to retool. Having F4 demands and expectations every year just isn't rational. Making the tourney consistently-and then taking it from there based on the talent/experience/luck of the bracket-like Matta before the program hit a bump-that is completely reasonable.

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PhillyNut's picture

I think Wesson is out the door. I don't think he should go but I suspect that whatever caused his 3 game suspension really impacted his thinking. He just does not seem to be one who wants to absorb and extend the college experience. I believe if the feedback even remotely hints that there will interest from teams he will take that and run with it. He is looking for just that one positive comment to push him out the door and not multiple positive feedbacks.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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Blackcoffee's picture

I think you are creating a story where there isn't one.

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PhillyNut's picture

We will not know until the deadline passes for him to pull out which I think includes an option to do so if he is not drafted. It is just an opinion on my part and as Dalton says "Opinions vary".

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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nomatta's picture

This is the right attitude to have when you're at a program like OSU and getting paid upwards of 3 million a year, but a couple tried-and-true sayings definitely come to mind:

1. Be careful what you wish for.

2. Expectations are a *****.

People were happy with Round of 32 appearances the past couple years. I'm not sure they will be happy with that next season, even if it's largely unfair to expect S16s or better when it comes to something as fickle as a 68-team, 1-and-out tourney where luck and match-ups reign supreme.

The B1G is also going to be EXTREMELY tough next season, so a Top 3 conference finish and/or a favorable Dance seeding might not be in the cards.

the empire never ended

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stxbuck's picture

MSU is going to be an absolute beast next year in the B10, but Purdue and scUM should both take a step back. IU, Minnesota,Illinois-good but not terrifying. Maryland-it's Maryland-raw talent but who knows year to year. A Top 5 finish for tOSU  next year would not be unexpected/unreasonable. Of course, if Wesson leaves, that would throw a wrench in things.

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Steelydan54's picture

Love Holtmann's "can do" attitude. We have a shot at top 6 in B1G and sweet 16 in the dance next year. I think we will continue to improve as the culture grows and find ourselves contending between 8-4 in the NCAA within 2-3 years as we draw more higher recruits who love the culture and defensive toughness, which is what gets one deep into the NCAA or NBA playoffs. 

Steelybuck54

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