With his first game as Ohio State’s coach approaching, Chris Holtmann’s phone was abuzz with common advice from friends and fellow coaches: Take it all in.

“I completely ignored those texts,” he said.

Although Holtmann copped to being more anxious than he expected to be, the Buckeyes led for nearly 38 minutes and overwhelmed Robert Morris 95-64 in front of 11,128 fans at Value City Arena on Friday night.

After the game, Holtmann posed for a team photo inside the locker room holding a game ball, and he expressed his desire to make a good first impression to Ohio State fans.

From a scoreboard standpoint, he had the play of Keita Bates-Diop and a host of others to thank. After taking a medical redshirt last season, Bates-Diop had 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 11 rebounds for his seventh career double-double. Seven of his rebounds were on the offensive end, a career high.

Although it was a debut for Holtmann, who got a nice round of applause during pregame festivities, it was a reintroduction for Bates-Diop.

“That’s what I’m looking for (every night),” Bates-Diop said. “I’m healthy, I’m feeling great. Obviously, it was a good game from everybody, but that type of energy and production is what I’m hoping for.”

The Colonials took an early 6-2 lead, but a Kam Williams three-pointer 3:01 into the game gave the Buckeyes a lead that would eventually grow to 31 points. Koby Thomas led Robert Morris with 22 points and Matty McConnell added 19.

Ohio State had eight players score at least seven points. The only scholarship player not to score was Andrew Dakich, and he finished with a career-high five assists.

Williams had 16 points, and the Buckeyes got plenty of spark from their bench. Freshmen Kaleb Wesson and Musa Jallow, who were the first two substitutions of the season, finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

With four from classmate Kyle Young, Ohio State got more scoring from its freshmen in a season opener since six freshmen combined for 60 points in the 2010-11 opener.

Jallow, in particular, garnered attention for a pair of steals that led to uncontested dunks, as well as a paralyzing thought when he saw open court ahead.

“Don’t dribble off your foot,” he said with a laugh. “That’s probably the first thing (I thought), and then the second thing is just dunk it as hard as you can, try to get the crowd into it.”

Holtmann pointed to his team’s 19 turnovers — “They forced us into some things and then we had some foolish plays as well,” he said — as dominating his mind postgame. Ranked No. 321 nationally by KenPom.com, Robert Morris is the lowest-rated team on Ohio State’s schedule this season.

But it’s a start — even if Holtmann didn’t allow himself much opportunity to appreciate it.

“You want to perform well for your home fans in your first opportunity to be in front of them,” he said. “Getting that under our belt is good.”