Presser Bullets: Chris Holtmann Discusses Ohio State's Veteran Leadership, Impact of Transfer Portal at Big Ten Media Days

By Griffin Strom on October 7, 2021 at 9:21 am

Big Ten Basketball Media Days began Thursday in Indianapolis, with head coaches from men's and women's programs across the conference taking the podium at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren was first up to the mic, with Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann addressing members of the media shortly thereafter.

Here's a bullet-point rundown of what Warren and Holtmann discussed Thursday.

Kevin Warren

  • Warren emphasizes the fact that this is the first time both men's and women's coaches are together today for the event. "I'm proud of all the things we're doing to continually make our conference strong and leaders in the community."
  • Warren says the Big Ten is interviewing a new VP for women's basketball.
  • Warren says he'll do "everything he possibly can" to make things equal for women's basketball in the Big Ten.
  • On a 12-team playoff for college football: "We will be convening again in October to continue to work through issues." Warren says he's sat down and interviewed all the chancellors, presidents, athletic directors and head football coaches in the Big Ten.
  • On the financial impact of COVID-19, Warren says programs in the Big Ten "took the long approach" to dealing with the pandemic. Warren says the Big Ten was able to "hold steady" financially despite COVID-19.
  • On how the conference realignment impact basketball, Warren says there could be an "elevated passion" around the sport.

Chris Holtmann

  • Holtmann says his team is "very much a veteran group," and will be led by the likes of E.J. Liddell, Kyle Young and Justin Ahrens.
  • Holtmann says he's excited about some of the potential answers Ohio State has in its backcourt after losing Walker and Washington.
  • Holtmann says the non-conference schedule for OSU is "the toughest that I've ever played."
  • Health was a "critical factor" for Ohio State last season, Holtmann says "we really have to be healthy at the end of the season."
  • Holtmann says he's not sure what the team's chemistry is like this year, but that it will be tested.
  • Holtmann says Jamari Wheeler is an "every day guy" and that "he's been really good for us."
  • "Cedric (Russell)'s finding his way." Holtmann says "every time you jump up a level, you have to find your way."
  • Holtmann on COVID-19 testing last year: "College kids don't always love to get up and get a test at 7:30 in the morning every day."
  • On the transfer portal: Says it's been going on for a few years now, and that him and Tom Izzo have had a lot of conversations about it. "I think you'll see teams recruit less freshmen every year." Holtmann says it may allow teams to rebuild quicker and be more experienced each year because of it.
  • "We have some young men that are great players that have some individual expectations." Holtmann says "I'm excited about this group, but we're not gonna do anything outside of the day-to-day."
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