Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtmann

Chris Holtmann Discusses Signing Day, Buckeyes Play So Far

COLUMBUS — Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann spoke with reporters on Wednesday to recap signing day for the Buckeyes and also answer questions about his current squad. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.

  • Great performance by the women’s team last night beating Tennessee.
  • This is an exciting day for Holtmann because he can finally talk about the guys he’s signed. It’s an exceptional class on paper but it’s back-to-back classes that fit the program and fit the versatility they’re looking for. It’s a diverse group of skill sets and they fit each other well.
  • Looking forward to another test tomorrow night against Charleston Southern.
  • Why are these classes better than past classes the last couple of years? They want to back up these two classes with another class that fits them in ’24. What are the reasons? A combination of things. The program has been nationally relevant in his time here, so players see you can win here. Also having guys drafted and more than a couple of guys in the NBA is a factor. The staff has done a really good job of evaluating players and building relationships.
  • Is there a different between recruiting to win the Big Ten and recruiting to win the Tournament? You recruit to find the best fits. Size is important in the Big Ten and athleticism is important in the Tournament.
  • What were the last couple of weeks like putting this class together. It was a lot of work. They had to pivot a bit to put the cap on it that they wanted. That helped turn a solid class into a really good class.
  • Scotty Middleton and Devin Royal will be able to play together. Middleton can be an elite defender. He’s competitive. His offense will grow. They have been recruiting Royal for a couple of years. He just kept getting better. “He’s going to be a really good offensive player.”
  • Could they fit one more player in the class if the right guy came along? He’d prefer to answer that at the appropriate time. They are at their limit right now, but rosters have plenty of transition over the spring.
  • Recruiting Ohio is important for this program. They have been very successful in prioritizing Ohio players that fit the program. There’s a balance in when you offer in-state players as well. You need early evaluations and early relationships.
  • He was pretty happy with shot selection in the season opener. They had some wasted possessions that didn’t have the ball movement they want. That’s not going to be the last time they see that.
  • Charleston Southern is going to have some length and pressure the OSU offense.
  • The entire Big Ten was recruiting Austin Parks. He’s 6-11 260 right now. Having the opportunity to add Taison Chatman added to an already really good class.
  • Eugene Brown will not be available tonight night.
  • Bowen Hardman will not redshirt this year. He’s going to play. “He can really shoot it.” They felt like it was the right decision.
  • Austin Parks is big , strong, and physical. He’s a good vertical athlete. He needs to get better laterally. He can run. He has good touch. And he’s an Ohio kid.
  • Roddy Gayle has some good minutes at point guard late in the game. They are always thinking ahead about who might be their third point guard if somebody turns an ankle. He’s a versatile player who can play either wing spot as well. They don’t want to put too much on his plate but they do like to develop options overall for players who can handle it.
  • Do you need to have a top scorer to emerge? Yeah, but you also have to play to the strengths of your team, and the strength of this team is balance. They got a little too reliant last year on EJ Liddell and Malaki Branham.

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