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Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann hire draws national praise

It looks like the Buckeyes are getting a good one.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Butler Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

“His biggest strength was the relationships he built with our players...He’d say, ‘Keep a pulse on this guy, take him to lunch.’ If something was going on with a player, he’d have us bring him over to his house.”

East Carolina assistant coach Mike Netti, to SI’s Pete Thamel

A lot has been made of new Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtmann’s recruiting background, or success at Baylor. But this breakdown from Sports Illustrated shows other reasons for Buckeyes to be excited. Holtmann, who started back in NAIA as a player, also has a reputation for being low-ego, and for building strong relationships with his players to get the most out of every single guy on the team. Those are attributes that helps Thad Matta be so successful at Ohio State, and bodes well for Holmann’s ability to be successful in Columbus.

“With the advancement to the finals, this will be the first Buckeye women’s 4x400m relay to advance to the finals since the foursome of Chandra Kempel, Ayrizanna Favours, Ashley Caldwell and Jenna Griffin earned First Team All-America honors in 2008.”

Ohio State spokesperson

Speaking of a quartet, the 4x400m relay team punched their ticket to the finals at the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore.

Beatrice Hannan, Karrington Winters, Maggie Barrie and Aaliyah Barnes pulled together a time that qualifed them into the finals on Saturday. The quartet ran in the first of three heats on Thursday evening, and ended up in fourth place. However, since the other heats didn’t have a team outside of podium position to beat the Buckeyes’ time (3:29:97), the team of Hannan, Winters, Barrie and Barnes are off to the finals.

Here’s hoping this group of Buckeyes can bring home another title for OSU athletics.

“There’s something to be said for a coach as good as Matta was leaving the conference. I mean, Jake Delhomme was playing in a Super Bowl the last time Matta wasn’t coaching Ohio State.”

Caleb Friedman on Thad Matta leaving Ohio State, and the effect that has on the recruiting world (Inside NU)

As the college basketball world still unpacks the implications of Thad Matta leaving his post as Ohio State men’s basketball coach, some have broken down the impact Matta’s departure will have on the recruiting trail.

Inside NU, SB Nation’s Northwestern blog, looked into this, and came away with the conclusion that Northwestern may gain the ground on recruiting some key prospects - even though OSU may be getting a new head coach in the very near future.

The Wildcats are in a fight with the Buckeyes for a couple recruits, and the shock of Matta being removed from the equation tilts the edge in favor of NU - and possibly Michigan, who was also in the mix for the same recruits. Negative recruiting toward OSU (i.e. Matta’s health) was a factor in how the Bucks operated on the recruiting trail, however, a new hire would wipe away that card.

In the meantime, the unkown variable of who will be the next OSU basketbal coach helps the programs that were in the thick of recruiting battles with the Scarlet and Gray. However, if a hire of Chris Holtmann occurs, someone who has built a program and recruited well, the Buckeyes are back in business on the recruiting trail - and back in the hunt of being a force on the court.

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