One day after closing the regular season with an 80-69 loss at Michigan State, Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann hosted his weekly radio show.
Here are the highlights.
* Junior forward Kyle Young missed the game against the Spartans, and Holtmann said the Buckeyes wouldn’t consider holding him out of the Big Ten tournament to keep him fresh for the NCAA Tournament.
"I don’t know regarding Kyle what it will look like Thursday (against Purdue)," Holtmann said. "If he can play, we’ll play him. We need him. We certainly could’ve used him in a game like (Sunday). I’m not saying that would’ve been the difference, but we could’ve used him."
* Holtmann took a submitted question about the coronavirus and whether it’s impacting the Buckeyes.
"It’s something we’re monitoring," he said. "Our medical staff here is monitoring all of that for our student-athletes. There is some potential cross-country traveling with the NCAA Tournament. It’s something you’re always trying to keep an eye on."
Musa Jallow, a junior who is redshirting, got sick on the trip to Michigan State, Holtmann said.
"It looks like he might have strep or something," Holtmann said. "We tried to quarantine him as much as we could. With our numbers, we can’t have anybody sick right now."
* Low on numbers, Holtmann said he’s considered playing more zone defense as tournament play approaches.
"Part of me wishing we would’ve done more of that (Sunday)," he said. "The reality is it’s possible. If we get into a situation again where we were to have foul trouble or, heaven forbid, another injury we would have to look at that because we did have some fatigue last night. We’ll take a look at it."
* Last season, the Buckeyes went into the Big Ten tournament and beat Indiana to essentially clinch an at-large bid at the expense of the Hoosiers. Holtmann said both teams arrived at Chicago’s United Center at the same time.
"Last year when we went into the tournament people were saying it was kind of a play-in game for the NCAA Tournament," he said. "I’m not sure if that was accurate or not, but probably based on where we finished was probably accurate. I remember both of our buses arriving at the same time in the United Center.
"I remember getting off the bus, walking in with them and looked over at Archie (Miller). He looked at me and we both looked serious as could be. I think we both felt the gravity of that particular game we were going to walk into. Fortunately, our guys pulled it out."
* Holtmann and Maryland coach Mark Turgeon engaged in a back-and-forth after Ohio State’s win against Maryland that started with Turgeon’s comments on Kaleb Wesson, calling him a "bully" afterward.
The two have since spoken about the junior.
"He and I talked about a week and a half after our game and he was complementing Kaleb on his overall defensive effort," Holtmann said of Turgeon.
* In his last two games, Luther Muhammad has had to try and stop Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston.
"It’s a lot for that kid, and there’s a reason why we put him (there)," he said. "It helps when you can run a 5:02 mile. When you have that kind of motor and he has the desire to do that, and he’s really bought into that role. I told him at halftime of the Illinois game, I don’t know who you were in the first half but you weren’t the Lu I know. Didn’t make him real happy when I said that. He was better in the second half."
* The opening basket on senior day was not drawn up specifically for senior walk-on Danny Hummer.
* After playing Sunday, the Buckeyes have a recovery day Monday with massages and fluids and such. No physical activity and then physical activity resumes Tuesday.
* Holtmann said a Big Ten tournament title would mean a lot.
"You win a tournament championship in this league, that’s saying something," he said. "This group is hungry. This group is hungry to perform. I don’t question that all. I think we’ve had really good leadership these last six weeks."
* This is the first time Holtmann will coach the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, and the former Butler coach is looking forward to that.
"Most coaches would prefer it to be in Indianapolis with Chicago coming in a close second, but we understand now there are some schools in the Big Ten from the East Coast," he said.