Ohio State lost its fourth game in a row on Sunday, and the ninth of its last 10 games.
Despite losing to Michigan, 77-69, during a game in which the Buckeyes never led, Chris Holtmann liked some of what he saw from his team. In fact, Holtmann thought Ohio State actually played pretty well for stretches. After all, the Buckeyes came within three points of tying the game at several stages in the second half.
But the Buckeye coach admitted Ohio State's issues were still too pervasive to overcome.
“I think for stretches, we certainly played better. I think we certainly had a much better start," Holtmann said in his postgame press conference. "I think in stretches we played pretty well. I do. We had some clean looks that we missed and then we had some forced shots. So I gotta go back and look at it. Again, I still think there are too many issues that we've got to get better at. But there were certainly some really quality plays and quality possessions.”
As for what those issues are specifically, Holtmann cited an inability to get stops on defense and Ohio State's reliance on taking contested shots on offense.
“I thought there were some stretches of really good play. I still think some of the issues that have challenged us – inability to get a stop when it's maybe a three- or five-point game, too many shots over length, not playing off two feet – shows both, in some cases, our inexperience together and our youth," Holtmann said. "But those two things come to mind as preventing us from being able to really put significant game pressure on them in terms of it being a one- or two-possession game late.
"After maybe the 10-minute mark, it seemed to stay at about eight or nine for the better part of the half. And I know we were able to cut it to three or four and maybe had a chance to cut it to a possession game there in the second half. But I think those two issues (were crucial). But I think there was some good play for sure.”
Before Holtmann's interview session, Justice Sueing and Bruce Thornton – who combined to score 36 points in Ann Arbor – gave their thoughts on both Sunday's game and Ohio State's recent struggles as a whole. Check out their full interview in the video below.