Ohio’s Chris Holtman remains ‘hungry’ for more success, ‘excited’ for Buckeyes future

Basketball fans in Ohio are frustrated. It’s been a long time since the Buckeyes won the championship, something that at one point was more common.

in 13 years Thad when He was the head coach, and Scarlett and Gray won five regular season titles and four conference championship crowns. Ohio State has also made eight NCAA tournaments, including two Final Fours and Sweet Sixteen regular appearances.

Under the leadership of the current coach, Chris Holtmanwho had just completed their fifth season in charge of the program, the Buckeyes did not win the conference – although they finished second in their first year and lost in overtime from a Big Ten Tournament game two seasons ago – and are still waiting for that from the first weekend of the month Practice madness.

Holtman, who had to pull the scarlet and gray out of the bottom of the Big Ten after having been a disappointment for the past two years, is well aware of this fact. He brought Ohio State back into the top-tier Big Ten and a consistent NCAA Tournament entrant.

But like fans, Holtman expects more.

“No one is hungrier than I think we as a crew or as a program are obviously going to continue to push this thing forward,” the coach said this week. Appearance on 97.1 The Fan’s The Buckeye Show. “And that’s what we work hard for every day.”

After having to reset the roster once he took charge of the program, Holtman has now put his team in place. The Buckeyes have had success on the field and that has translated into two players moving to the NBA, including two potential first-round picks this summer in Regal Branham And the EJ Lidl.

This success now needs to continue to build in consistency. After landing one of the nation’s top six ranks in 2023, in a sign that talented potential employees believe in what coaching staff does, Holtman believes the program is heading in the right direction.

“We’re really excited,” said the coach. “I think we’re really excited about this chapter. We’re excited for the future. We’re excited about how we feel this young group and just the years to come. We really are.”

The 2023 category of Scarlet and Gray consists of five players, four of whom have been ranked in the top 20 in their national standings by 247Sports Composite. Shoot the guard Rudy Gale Jr.guard point Bruce ThorntonCenter Felix Okpara and small forward Press Sensaba They are all talented players who can help reset the standards at Ohio State during their college career.

In addition, they all bring different skills to the field and will help fill in the blanks in the short term while also being players who will likely be around for at least two seasons as they develop.

“I think when you have four guys who are among the top 60 players in the country and they all play kind of different positions and meet the real needs of us, it is exciting to be able to work with guys who we think have a really bright future in the freshman class,” Holtmann said of the freshman class. “And I think as always, the key will be to develop the players and then keep this group together for two years.”

Holtmann explained that these freshmen will play during the next season. After losing more than half of last year’s roster to either a graduation or transfer gate, the Buckeyes will not only be asking this class to get their feet wet in their first year on campus, but become as influential players as the freshmen in college basketball.

“The pressure is always on you in the recruitment process, but more this year when we knew who to lose, Kyle Young And the EJ Lidl and Justin (Arrens), Holtman explained. “And then we just went into this and clearly thinking, OK, mine is going to be one of our best players and at the time, we thought we were losing. justice swing Also, right? We thought it would end after this year. So when you’re setting up this class, you’re saying, well, there’s always a huge amount of pressure when you’re recruiting because you want to recruit the right, high-level players. But there was a lot of riding in this class and our staff did a great job.”

But not only new students will be required to apply. In addition to players fresh from high school, Holtmann and his crew have hit the transfer gate hard this off season, looking to replace those who left the program. Scarlett and Gray brought three transfers Tanner Holden from Wright State, Sean McNeill from West Virginia and Isaac Laikeli from Oklahoma.

In addition to their talents, these players all bring experience at that level of college basketball that the freshmen lack and will also have to take on big roles given Ohio State’s loss from last year’s team.

“Obviously we had a really strong addition with some transfers, which is what we needed,” Holtmann said. “This was a year unlike any we’ve been in where you’ve just had a lot of guys (leaving), some that you obviously expected would graduate or out of eligibility, and then a guy like mine, who just had one season and did an extraordinary thing.”

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Given this season’s turnover, the Buckeyes may not be in many of the pre-season rankings heading into the 2022-23 season. This group, with a lot of new faces, will have to work together as a team, to prove themselves throughout the year.

Holtman believes the Buckeyes will, impressing the fans as the season progresses and continuing to rebuild this program to where everyone wants it – the fans, the coaches and the players.

“It’s an exciting time and we’re looking forward to it,” Holtmann said.