TULSA, Okla. – The Ohio State men’s basketball team has spent the entire 2018-19 season praising the leadership of senior walk-on Joey Lane.
It made sense, then, that it was Lane who delivered the final pregame pep talk before the biggest game of the season. Moments before Friday night’s first-round NCAA Tournament tip-off against No. 6 seed Iowa State in the Midwest regional, the Buckeyes circled up around Lane in the long hallway leading from their locker room to the court at the BOK Center.
Here’s what Lane told them.
Roughly two hours later, the No. 11 seed Buckeyes had knocked off the Cyclones, 62-59.
Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said as the regular season was coming to a close that Lane has been a player he has turned to in order to get a feel for the program because he holds so much respect among his teammates despite a limited playing role.
“In the past when we’ve had a team meeting I’ve asked him to share his experiences being on teams that he felt that he really enjoyed being a part of and if there was a time where he was on a team where he didn’t enjoy it for whatever reason, team chemistry,” Holtmann said prior to senior day. “I think his perspective in those moments that comes with being a part of all that, how well he articulates those experiences, has really helped our younger guys. Joey will tell you that I ask him on a regular basis to give me a sense for how the team is doing, give me a sense for how he perceives the team to be doing, because I value his perspective on that. I ask him as much as I ask C.J. (Jackson) and Keyshawn (Woods).”