Chris Holtmann updates Kyle Young, Luther Muhammad injuries on radio show

Adam Jardy
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, right, yells to his his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 70-57. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

One day removed from a 70-57 loss at Wisconsin, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann hosted his weekly radio show.

If you couldn’t miss, here are the highlights.

*The Buckeyes are closely monitoring the status of Kyle Young and Luther Muhammad on a daily basis in practice. Young’s minutes are being watched to avoid a reoccurrence of the stress fracture that sidelined him last year, and Muhammad has injured both of his shoulders recently.

“We are a little bit banged up in some areas with Luther and Kyle really in particular, really trying to monitor those guys in practice,” Holtmann said. “There are times we have as many guys sitting out of practice as we actually do practicing. Normally you’d like to scrimmage into February, five-on-five, really quality scrimmages. Now we just have to be careful with it. We can’t say we’re going to go a half an hour of scrimmage and throw Kyle Young in there right now and lose him for the last month of the season or for a two-week chunk. It’s a balance we’re trying to figure out.”

Muhammad has had a heavy brace on each of his shoulders. First, it was on his right shoulder for the Indiana game and the first half of the Michigan game, then on his left shoulder against the Badgers. Offseason surgery could be in the offing.

“He’s getting better with it,” Holtmann said. “He dislocated his shoulder twice. Our new athletic trainer has been busy. He put it back in place, happened once in practice right before our Indiana game. Luther’s a really tough kid. He has a high pain tolerance and handles that well. We’re not going to do anything to jeopardize his future. At the end of the season we’ll evaluate if he’s going to have surgery.”

* Still, Muhammad had nine points, five points, three steals and no turnovers against the Badgers.

“I thought he competed, which was good because we did not collectively compete enough by any stretch,” Holtmann said. “There’s some guys when they clip their toenail you’re going to hear them yelling. With Luther, that’s not the case. When he yells, you know it’s painful. When he yells, you take notice.”

* Holtmann was asked about the status of freshman D.J. Carton, who has missed the past three games and returned home to deal with mental-health issues.

“No real updates as of now,” Holtmann said. “We continue to support him through this. It’s just like a player out with a physical injury, but no real updates as of now. It’s kind of day to day. D.J.’s an important part of our team and we certainly miss him, but no real updates.”

* The Buckeyes didn’t look like the team that played and won at Michigan five days prior.

“We obviously played really hard and tough and physical against Michigan,” Holtmann said. “That one could’ve went either way, but we put ourselves in position to win it. I didn’t feel like we responded to the adversity of the game very well (Sunday). That was disappointing, but we’ll live and learn here.

“We gave our guys a couple days off after the Michigan game because we had to because of three games this week. There wasn’t a situation where we were fatigued, we just have to play harder and tougher and respond better to the adversity that comes up in a game. We did that really well against Michigan.”

* Holtmann reiterated his belief that Young was fouled by Zavier Simpson in the final minute to set up the dramatic finish in Ann Arbor.

“Would they have called it if the jersey didn’t rip? I don’t know,” he said. “Part of the visual of the jersey being ripped and he pulled him down made it an easier call. Most people outside of one state saw it as a reasonable call.”

* As for the future plans for the jersey, Holtmann said that’s still to be determined.

“It’s going to be enshrined in my basement, in a frame,” he said. “No, (but) we have thought about hanging that someplace in our locker room, around our facility. I think it’s one of those iconic moments. People understand that that is the rivalry when it comes to most sports here. That’ll be something we’ll decide in the offseason. It’s in a safe place.”

* Kaleb Wesson was held to eight points on 2-for-11 shooting at Wisconsin.

“I don’t know that he would tell you (Wisconsin) did anything in particular,” Holtmann said. “They gave support from the guards digging down. He would look at it and say there’s a few he’s normally makes that he didn’t make. More than anything, it was just a little bit of an off night.”

* Also absent from practice is transfer Justice Sueing, who is sitting out the season to satisfy NCAA rules.

“He’s a bigger wing/forward,” Holtmann said. “He’s got great ball skills, great ability to get to the free-throw line. Him being in practice every day right now would certainly help us. He’s going to be a good player for us. Justice has great versatility. He’ll come in and make an immediate impact.”

* Holtmann discussed freshman E.J. Liddell and whether he wanted him shooting threes against Wisconsin.

“I told him (Sunday) if he’s open to shoot it,” he said. “I think time and space threes are some he needs to take. He’s got to continue to do his work driving it and posting it. He’s a load in there. There’s no question he’ll be a guy a little bit like Kaleb, different position, he’s going to need to be a three-point threat. He can do that. That’ll be more going into next year.”

Holtmann clarified what he meant by “time and space?”

“Justin (Ahrens) has the green light to shoot it any time he’s open,” he said. “Some other guys feel that on the team. We want time and space, people are not guarding him beyond the three right now and collapsing the paint. When he has time to step in and shoot the ball in space between him and the defender, he needs to take them but at the same time be selective.”


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