Chris Holtmann Radio Show: Improved Crowds at The Schott, Kaleb Wesson Bounces Back, and Pregame Routines

By James Grega on February 12, 2018 at 7:01 pm
Chris Holtmann

Following wins over Purdue and Iowa, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann returned to 97.1 The Fan for his weekly radio show on Monday evening.

Alongside Paul Keels and Ron Stokes, Holtmann made a point to thank Buckeye fans for their support in a win over Iowa, in which Ohio State announced a sellout for the first time in four seasons.

"It was an incredible crowd and obviously our guys appreciate it. One home game left," Holtmann said. "We will need great energy in the building next Tuesday against Rutgers."

The Buckeyes face Rutgers just two days after traveling to Michigan on Sunday, and Holtmann said his team will need the extra boost from the fans off of short rest. The main takeaways and other notes from Holtmann's show can be found below. 

  • Holtmann said Iowa's near-upset of Michigan State caught Ohio State's eye in preparation for the Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes blasted the Hawkeyes on Saturday, 82-64. He added rebounding and keeping Iowa out of transition was key. 
  • Praised Kaleb Wesson for his resolve shown from game-to-game. Wesson was in foul trouble and did not score against Purdue, but dropped in 18 points against Iowa. "I thought he was much more aggressive in (the Iowa) game. He is a good passer and a willing passer. Sees things well."
  • More on Wesson: "He went through a conditioning session (after Purdue). He certainly didn't beg Coach (Quadrian) Banks for that session. But he is going to have to keep a great handle on that. Big guys, it's easy to get out of shape, but he has really embraced that."
  • Holtmann said he heard from opposing coaches in the summer that Ohio State wasn't always a tough place to play. Added he has been very pleased with the support in recent weeks. Said a longtime OSU staffer called the win over Michigan State a "top-five" environment for Ohio State in recent years. 
  • "You earn this," Holtmann said on his team earning crowd support. "People pay hard-earned money to see us play."
  • Holtmann complimented Mackey Arena at Purdue and the environment it creates and how it holds crowd noise. 
  • Asked about the week layoff from the Big Ten Tournament to the NCAA Tournament, Holtmann said, "I am in the next couple weeks going to pick the brain of some guys who have been in a similar situation in the past. What did they do in the layoff from when they won their conference tournament to when they played in the NCAA Tournament?"
  • A caller asked Holtmann about scheduling more challenging teams in the future due to the expanding conference schedule. Holtmann said the challenge of the Big Ten schedule will likely mean less premier non-conference games. "I believe in playing a challenging non-conference schedule, but I do believe in not beating your guys up before the conference schedule."
  • Holtmann said there will be two league games played in December for the foreseeable future due to the expanded conference schedule. 
  • Caller jokingly asked about a pass that went out of bounds to Andrew Dakich late in the game against Iowa. Holtmann laughed it off and said if there is one player he would expect to be standing on the bench, it would be Dakich. 
  • On Musa Jallow's performance against Purdue: "The life of a freshman. Sometimes you play, sometimes you don't. It takes a certain degree of patience and understanding for most freshmen, and I think Musa has done a good job of that."
  • On the bench play: "We haven't always had great scoring, but we have had good production from our bench. Those guys need to come in ready to attack and understand defensively what we are doing, first and foremost. They have done that, and because of that, their minutes have increased. We wouldn't be where we are at without those guys."
  • On Andrew Dakich: "He has great instincts, better than I anticipated. He has been so good for us and so important for us."
  • Holtmann said he will address Kam Williams' status later in the week.
  • More on Kaleb Wesson: "He might have the best hands of any big man I've ever coached."
  • Said C.J. Jackson could have returned to the Iowa game after suffering cramps, but because Ohio State was up by so much, he was able to rest him for the rest of the game. 
  • Holtmann said his pregame meal for every home game is tomato soup. 
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