Buckeyes Stomp Colonials as Holtmann Era Begins
The Chris Holtmann era of Ohio State basketball began as the Buckeyes rolled to a 95-64 win over Robert Morris on Friday night. The game also marked the return of Keita Bates-Diop, who missed the majority of last season with a leg injury. He returned in style, posting a double double, leading the Buckeyes with 19 points and 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes. Kam Williams added 16 and in their freshman debuts, Kaleb Wesson and Musa Jallow added 13 and 11 each. Robert Morris jumped out early with a pair of 3’s to a 6-2 advantage but Ohio State scored the next 7 and never trailed again, getting the lead to 46-26 after the first 20 minutes. Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 13 in the first half and Kaleb Wesson added 8.. On the night, Ohio State out-rebounded the smaller Colonials by a whopping margin of 51-23, while shooting 59% from the floor. The concerning number that jumps out is the 19 turnovers. Fortunately, they kept Robert Morris from capitalizing for the most part, as the Colonials were only able to muster 13 points off the turnovers.
Ohio State played all 13 available players in this game and put 10 in the scoring column. Other Buckeyes making their debut, Kyle Young from Mansfield scored 4 points on a pair of thundering dunks and added three boards and Andrew Dakich who played significant minutes at point guard failed to score but did contribute with three rebounds and five assists.
It was certainly a successful debut for Chris Holtmann and a game that a coach absolutely loves. They were able to win comfortably, he was able to get all his guys meaningful minutes and there is plenty to work on moving forward. There will certainly be ups and downs through the course of this season but you have to like what you see from this group. They play hard, they play aggressive and play a very up-tempo style and put an emphasis on maximizing the number of possessions in a game as evidenced by the 95 points. As we move forward, they will have to do a better job of decision-making and valuing the basketball but for today, it was a successful beginning.
The Buckeyes suit up again in the Schott on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., when they play host to play Radford.