As he makes the rounds during the offseason, Chris Holtmann made a stop in Canton on Monday afternoon. There, the Ohio State men’s basketball coach was a featured speaker for the final installment of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club’s weekly meeting.
In roughly a 40-minute speech that delved into a question-and-answer session, Holtmann shared a humorous – and likely embellished – story about a booster threatening his dog, discussed the one-and-done rule in college basketball and answered questions about the transfer portal.
You can watch the entire video, including an introduction delivered by Massillon Jackson coach Tim Debevec, by clicking here.
Debevec coached Kyle Young, now entering his junior season at Ohio State, in high school. In his introduction, Debevec said, “Kyle Young couldn’t have picked a better coach and better person.”
Not surprisingly, Holtmann was asked about Young – who dealt with multiple injuries during his sophomore season – and his shooting ability.
“Kyle Young is tremendous,” Holtmann said. “He is a tremendous asset and player for us. Really was hindered by injuries this past year, and it really hurt our team be use we didn’t have great depth. You saw what he did when he came back against Penn State and he was tremendous. Kyle can’t tie his effectiveness as a player just to his shooting. He’s got an ability to affect the game in a lot of different ways. He’s got to continue to work at it. As much as shooting, his overall offensive game has to continue to grow and get better. He is a tremendous kid, a really good player and someone we’re really excited about.”
Holtmann indicated that the Buckeyes would be hosting a Big East school as part of the Gavitt Games and that they will play on the road as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge but said he’s not yet sure about the opponents. Otherwise, he said, the schedule is mostly complete. It includes a game in Cleveland against West Virginia and coach Bob Huggins, who spoke to the same group the week prior.
“I love Bob,” Holtmann said. “I don’t know coach Huggins great, but man, what a tremendous coach. It’s another game we talked about would be fun to play, and it’s up in Cleveland. It’s just another one of those games we’re trying to do to continue to generate enthusiasm and excitement. They’ll be very good this year. I know that with him. He’s too good a coach.”
Near the end, Holtmann was asked when he would bring Ohio State a national championship. The Buckeyes have won just one, and it came in 1960.
“That’s the only thing I’m obsessed with every day,” he said. “I understand it’s really, really hard to do. I would like nothing more than to bring that to this fan base. We’ve got some work to do, but I think we’re moving.”