After having a few days to digest a heartbreaking 69-68 loss to Penn State, Chris Holtmann joined 97.1 The Fan to recap the loss and talk about how Ohio State is moving forward in its preparation for the NCAA Tournament.
Holtmann said the Buckeyes are planning an off-campus scrimmage sometime over the next two weeks, with the destination still to be determined. Holtmann did mention nearby Denison University as a possible destination.
He said the reason for doing it is for team building purposes and to get players used to looking at different rims and getting them out of their comfort zones. He added that the scrimmage will likely be closed, due to NCAA rules.
"We just want to take them and spend the evening with them, go to a different site, see different rims and a different gym and have them together afterwards," Holtmann said.
A recap of the main takeaways from Holtmann's appearance on this week's show:
- Holtmann thought Ohio State “did as good as job defending” Penn State on Friday as it had in any of the three losses against the Nittany Lions, but the Buckeyes just didn’t finish enough plays to win. “For the bulk of the game defensively, we were really, really good ... We just had a few too many scoring droughts.”
- Why didn’t Jae’Sean Tate and Kaleb Wesson play much down the stretch against Penn State? Holtmann said he felt like the Buckeyes were struggling to score with three big bodies on the floor (Tate, Wesson and Keita Bates-Diop), and needed to space the floor more.
- Holtmann said the first option on the final play of the Penn State game was to inbound long to Jae'Sean Tate, but the Nittany Lions doubled him, forcing the ball to C.J. Jackson for a long three-pointer.
- "We should be able to respond (to the Penn State loss), and I think we will," Holtmann said when asked if he was worried about the team's ability to bounce back from the loss.
- Paul Keels revealed that Bates-Diop was named a second-team All-American selection by Sporting News. Bates-Diop was named a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection and the conference player of the year last week.
- Holtmann announced that Ohio State fans will be invited to watch the NCAA Tournament selection show on Sunday at the Schottenstein Center with the team. The show is set to be held at 6 p.m. on TBS.
- Holtmann also revealed that a CBS camera crew will follow the Ohio State team around during their NCAA Tournament trips this season. He said he believes it will be great exposure for the program.
- Kaleb Wesson is still dealing with an ankle injury that was suffered in a Feb. 15 loss to Penn State. Holtmann added there is "a little illness" going around the locker room, but nothing significant.
- When discussing the rest of the Big Ten, Holtmann said he believes Nebraska "has a better chance" at getting into the tournament than Penn State due to their resume. He added he did not watch any additional Big Ten Tournament games after the loss to the Nittany Lions.
- Tate's foul trouble against Penn State was due in large part due to emotion, Holtmann said.
- "He is playing with confidence and freedom," Holtmann said about Kam Williams, adding that Williams has practiced well for Ohio State. Williams has scored in double-digits in the last three games.