November 15, 2022

🗣️ BUCKEYES CHAT WITH THE MEDIA AHEAD OF MATCHUP AGAINST EASTERN ILLINOIS

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Coach Holtmann and players Tanner Holden and Roddy Gayle Jr. met with the media after practice to discuss team progress as they prepare to return to the Schottenstein to face Eastern Illinois on Wednesday.

Coach Chris Holtmann

On tomorrow’s game against Eastern Illinois:
“I’ve had a chance to watch them quite a bit, playing some common opponents. They played well in their opener versus Illinois, which was competitive for most of the game. They’ve got a really tough defensive-minded group, in particular the backcourt. They turned people over at a high rate, which is, as we mentioned last after the last game, something we continue to work on with this group.”

On the strong group of freshmen:
“They’re talented kids. They will go through challenging moments and stretches of the season. That’s going to happen. That has already happened in some cases and will continue to happen. But I’ve been pleased with their approach, attitude, work, and consistency. As a coaching staff, we feel very good about these four guys. We do.”

On what’s important going into games:
“I think the most important thing is whether we are playing to our standard. We’ll get tested with that tomorrow with what I talked about Eastern Illinois’ ability to turn you over and force you into difficult plays. So I think again, that’s something we evaluate game by game. I’m certain our guys understand. We’ve got a lot to prove, and tomorrow’s another opportunity.”

Tanner Holden

On focusing on Eastern Illinois or the Maui Invitational:
It’s all about Eastern Illinois. You can’t overlook games, especially looking through all the schedules that we’ve played so far. Top 15 teams get knocked off all the time, mid-major schools. So I think overall you can’t overlook it. We know Maui will be a huge tournament for us, there are a lot of good teams there, but if we don’t take care of business tomorrow, then Maui will be different.

On playing at a higher level:
“It’s been a different feel for me playing at a different level. There are a lot of things that change. I’m just happy to get minutes. We have a lot of great players, and we have a deep team with a lot of versatility. We’ve got guys who can make plays, who can score 20 points, who can get double-doubles. . . so wherever I fit in, I’m happy to be a part of the team.”

On the coaching staff:
“Coach Holtmann is a great coach. Smart, smart guy – we have a great staff here, so the terminology is different. We use a lot of NBA terms and things like that, so I think they’re definitely preparing us for the levels after this wherever we go.”

Roddy Gayle Jr.

On what helps with the demands of playing at Ohio State:
“Honestly, just how close we are as a team. I feel like it’s very important there hasn’t been any off day that we aren’t spending together. I feel like that kind of unity between all of us is very important. Guys like me, freshmen, haven’t really been in such a big place as Ohio State. It makes everything so much easier, the transition so much easier. We’ve got a great team that really gets along together.”

On preparing for a game at this level:
“Watching the film, there are just so many gaps in the offense and defense that you really don’t see as much at the high school level. It’s different now because everything is faster and everybody is stronger. So it’s definitely a learning curve for me because I had to adjust to the speeds.”