The Daily Dish: Ohio State’s frustrating season casts doubt on Holtmann’s future

Remember Ohio State Days Greg Oden And Mike Conley Jr. dominate the Big Ten? Or when Jared Sallinger led the Buckeyes to the abyss of the national championship? Well, those days for the Scarlet and Gray are long gone. The program now has serious questions to answer as head coach.

In short: Ohio is in turmoil. In 2023, a roster full of promising youngsters fell apart, losing 11 out of 12 games. Many of these losses were caused by narrow margins in games that could have ended anyway. But the coach Chris Holtman watched a total surrender against Michigan State on Sunday, losing 62–41. This embarrassment in front of their home audience fully demonstrated the problems of the Buckeyes.

Yes, Holtmann did a lot of good things in Columbus. He’s a good coach, but he may not be the right fit for Ohio State. Also, in the era of the NCAA transfer portal, a new recruiting class ranked 6th nationally doesn’t guarantee anything.

The glory days of Ohio State basketball were a mix of older talent and elite freshmen like Auden, Conley, and Sallinger. There is no reason why the program cannot dial at this level. Holtmann’s strategy of bringing in strong 4-star talent that would theoretically stay for several seasons makes sense. However, this is the path that programs like Butler (his former school) would be expected to take. Holtmann hasn’t signed with a 5-star prospect since taking over Columbus.

To make matters worse, Holtmann didn’t quite execute on his hiring strategy. Former 4 star wing Bryce Sensabo He looks set to leave after one season as a predicted first-round pick in the 2023 NBA draft. Also, Big Branham left after just one season. Give credit to Holtmann for rocking those scores, but he didn’t create a squad that could take unexpected losses. And surprises happen all the time in college basketball.

As a result, Holtmann’s line-up looks poorly planned. A program as big as the state of Ohio shouldn’t run a well-known 6’8″ center. Zed Key who doesn’t intimidate any high-major opponents in paint. An Ohio-level program shouldn’t rely so heavily on a freshman point guard Bruce Thorntonwho is very talented, but like many first-year players, he lacks consistency.

Aside from Sensabo leaving for the NBA, what if some of the freshmen decide to jump into the portal after a disappointing season? This will mean that everything will look the same next season. As a result, Holtmann’s advantage to the Buckeyes—an NCAA Tournament second-round team with a soft underbelly that makes them prone to disappointments—doesn’t guarantee the continuation of this marriage.

Holtmann would be ideally suited to study at many higher education institutions. Nebraska is ringing the Big Ten bell. Or really any program that can’t really compete for 5 star talent on a yearly basis. He is reputedly an intelligent man and a good man. But not the Ohio man.

Ohio State is approaching 10 years of a relatively underwhelming basketball product given its potential as a program. Holtmann should move to Notre Dame this offseason if he gets the chance. As for the Buckeyes, they must hire a head coach who will once again make the Scarlet and Grays an intimidating force in the Midwest’s recruiting path.

“Good” is not good enough for the state of Ohio.


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