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Opinion: Could this season determine Holtmann’s future with the Buckeyes?

The Lantern
Head coach Chris Holtmann calls out a play during Ohio State-Merrimack game Nov. 15. Ohio State won 76-52 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Caleb Blake | Photo Editor

Now in his seventh season leading the Buckeyes, men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann has come to a standstill after leading Ohio State to its worst season record last year (16-19) since 1997-98, and it was not able to advance to the NCAA postseason.

But what does this mean for his job?

Holtmann, previous Gardner-Webb University (2010-13) and Butler University (2014-17) head coach, has not had a successful Big Ten conference year since his first season with the Buckeyes in 2017 when his team went 26-9 overall and 16-4 in the Big Ten.

During Holtmann’s previous six coaching years at Ohio State, he has been consistent in hitting over a 20-game win streak. But is that enough?

Holtmann’s success is no secret, but the team’s Big Ten appearance left frowns instead of smiles with a 5-15 record in the conference just last year.

Most are quick to judge, but few dive in and look at the facts, which can lead to many unkind reviews.

Holtmann, named Ohio State’s 14th head coach back in the summer of 2017, has maintained a .623 conference win percentage. Anything over a .500 is a healthy stable team with successful coaching and communication.

Regarding Holtmann’s career, following the Buckeyes’ current 5-1 record and the Emerald Coast Classic Championship win Saturday against No. 17 Alabama and undefeated Santa Clara, Buckeye Nation needs to cut him some slack.

Sophomore guards Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr. led the team with 103 and 90 points, respectively. The team is shooting a combined percentage of over 40 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the paint. With Holtmann’s grit and determination, the Buckeyes will be a powerhouse, closely mirroring his coaching debut in 2017, if not better.

Numbers don’t lie, but emotions can be deceiving.

The ability to come off last season and use it as a “rough draft” for this year’s talent will allow the team to develop into something stronger than what the university has previously seen.

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