Friday, June 9, 2017

Ohio State hires Chris Holtmann

Ohio State took a few days,looked at a few different avenues and floated the obligatory unrealistic big names before getting their new basketball coach from familiar waters as the Buckeyes hired Chris Holtmann from Butler to an eight year contract worth three million dollars a season.

Holtmann led Butler to NCAA tournament bids in all three of his season at the Indianapolis based school,winning over 20 games in all three and according to recruiting services had an excellent incoming class for the Bulldogs,who are no longer a mid-major since being accepted into the basketball based Big East.
Butler was predicted to finish into the middle of the pack in the Big East in 2016-17 and instead notched a second place finish at 25-9 12-6 conference,which made Holtmann a hot candidate for several jobs and was reported to have been in the hunt for the job openings at Tennessee and North Carolina State after the season.
The 45 year old is noted for being a strong recruiter and has been doing some of his best work in the midwest since being at Butler,most notably taking top 100 rated recruit Kyle Young of Massillon,Ohio away from Ohio State,just before Young was scheduled to take an OSU visit.

My thoughts on Holtmann are these-Considering the time constraints (a issue created by Gene Smith's ridiculous decision to wait until June to fire Thad Matta),I'm not sure that Ohio State could have done better unless the huge names would have been brought in.
At 45,Holtmann is young enough to be in Columbus for years,should he do what he seems to be capable and young enough to have the energy that recruiting at a high level takes.
When you hire a coach that is untested at the highest level of the game,there is always a risk and for every coach that moves up successfully,there is one that reaches a plateau and cannot do as well after a move up the ladder,but hiring a coach from Butler is not the risk that it would have been years back.
Some coaches do better as the underdog than they do when they have the resources that so many schools don't have,so we will see if Holtmann can make the best of having the type of program that has the ability to write the check that can cover most amenities and facilities.

I certainly preferred Holtmann to the other coach that was reported to have gotten an offer from Columbus in Creighton's Greg McDermott.
Both would have came from similar sized schools from the same conference,but Holtmann is almost ten years younger and McDermott was unsuccessful at Iowa State,which makes me think that he might be one of those "underdog" type coaches as mentioned above.

Ohio State is certainly not loaded (just nine returning scholarship players)for the upcoming season and they are behind a bit in recruiting for the next class,so Chris Holtmann has his work cut out for him in the immediate future and it'll take a little time to turn the Buckeye basketball program back into a perennial tournament team-we'll see if he's up to the task.

For a very interesting column written by from the Butler/Indianapolis perspective on what the Buckeyes are getting and what the Bulldogs are losing,read this by the Indianapolis Star's Greg Doyel.

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