Chris Holtmann: Kyle Young ’day-to-day’ after appendectomy

Adam Jardy
Ohio State forward Kyle Young blocks a shot by Minnesota's Matz Stockman during a game on Dec. 2. [Tyler Schank/Dispatch]

After a second straight loss, this one Friday night against Wisconsin, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann held his weekly radio show Monday.

In case you missed it, here are the highlights:

*On the injury report, Holtmann said junior Kyle Young remains day-to-day after having his appendix removed Dec. 29.

“The reality is every team goes through some type of injuries and you’ve got to find a way to respond. Certainly Kyle, what he brings in terms of his rebounding alone, and he’s had a phenomenal start to his junior year, would have been significant in the game the other day.

“In terms of how long it’s going to look like, him being out, it’s not sure. It’s really day to day. I’ve not been in a situation where a young man had his appendix taken out in-season. We’ll do what’s in best interest for Kyle in terms of his health for a long season. The surgery went great. He responds quickly to injury situations, so we’ll see how he returns here.

“We’ll get him back in short order.”

*Who steps up for Young and fills that energy role?

“We’re going to need that,” Holtmann said. “I had Bill Raftery talking about (Kyle) and he called him one of the greatest glue guys in college basketball. He just does so much for helping your team. The loose balls, the extra possessions, the diving on the floor. That has to be a collective thing for us. When Andre is at his best, that’s who he is in a lot of ways. We need a number of guys, in particular somebody coming off the bench.”

Holtmann said he’s had some individual conversations with guys who have needed to give more individual effort but said he’s had no issues with the team’s collective effort level.

*When it comes to high-pressure, late-game situations, Ohio State has struggled in its losses to West Virginia and Wisconsin. Holtmann said the Buckeyes are still figuring out who needs to be the guy with the ball in his hands late.

“If you’re a team like Maryland, you know that’s going to be (Anthony) Cowan,” he said. “For us, that ended up last year late in games we played through Keyshawn Woods and Kaleb Wesson. Those were the two guys who we played through and it ended up being pretty effective for us late in the season.

“I do think some of it is some trial and error with a new group of guards that have not been in that role before, because none of our guards have. Last year we did not have any of this group of guards in that position in the last four minutes where it was on them to make the necessary plays.”

*The Buckeyes are trying to simulate some of that through practice.

“There is some of that where we have to go through and see who emerges,” Holtmann said. “We’ve done some things in practice to try and figure that out. We settled pretty closely last year into that being Keyshawn on the perimeter and Kaleb on the interior. We need some other guys to emerge. It’s going to happen. We’re certainly going to have plenty of experience playing in close games.”

*Wisconsin had 12 offensive rebounds against Ohio State on Friday without Young in the lineup. Holtmann said it was the decisive stat of the game.

*Holtmann said all of Ohio State’s remaining weekend games are sold out.

*A submitted question asked about freshman D.J. Carton’s recent play.

“It’s all part of the process for him,” Holtmann said. “We have a couple guards that have the ball in their hands late that are new and all of our guards are in different roles than they were last year. Fans may not see it, but he’s made some real quality adjustments in terms of how teams are playing him that’s helped him. He’s got to continue to find that balance. Probably has to be more aggressive. His defense has improved. He’s frustrated with his turnovers, but there is a growth part of this that will happen for him as long as he keeps working.”

*Holtmann discussed Tuesday night’s foe, Maryland

“Cowan, he’s a senior who’s played a prominent role really since he came into the league,” he said. “Having an outstanding year. So is Jalen Smith, who is a wirey, interior guy that in the NBA will probably play 4. The kid that’s really come on for them is Aaron Wiggins, who will get drafted as well this year. He came in as a good recruit but what he is is that long, 6-6 frame that’s shown the ability to shoot it and now drive it better his sophomore year. They’ve got great length across the board, really good size.”

*As for West Virginia, Holtmann remains a believer.

“I think they’re the best team we played in the non-conference with their quality of depth,” he said. “It didn’t surprise me a whole that that that was a relatively close game.”

*Holtmann was asked about the program’s social media accounts.

“I have very little control over it,” he said. “I don’t follow it. I don’t really pay attention to it. I’m not heavily involved in that aspect. It’s really our basketball staff that is in charge of that and they do a great job. Our video department, we’ve just got some really talented people that put incredible stuff out there. I’ve just been blown away by the quality of content. All of our social media people and video people that put that out deserve a lot of credit.”


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