basketball Edit

Chris Holtmann hire should be good for Ohio State

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Earlier this week, I wrote that Ohio State was making the right move at the wrong time when the school announced it was parting ways with Thad Matta. On Friday, several sources confirmed to that Butler's Chris Holtmann has agreed to take the job.

Given that athletic director Gene Smith had to find a new coach in June, I'm not sure that the Buckeyes could have done better than Holtmann, who looks to be a rising star in the industry.

After three relatively nondescript seasons as the head coach at Gardner Webb, Holtmann arrived at Butler as an assistant for the 2013-14 season. In the fall of 2014 he took over for Brandon Miller and has gone 70-31 overall and 34-20 in the Big East. He's made the NCAA Tournament all three years and is 4-3 in his three NCAA appearances.

So, we know Holtmann has proven to be a pretty capable coach. That's not going to be a concern as he takes over in Columbus. The question is: Can he recruit? Is Holtmann the guy who can get a player such as four-star forward Darius Bazley – who decommitted from the Buckeyes a month ago and will be making a big jump in the next rankings – back into the fold? Can he hold onto the commitment of Rivals150 shooting guard Dane Goodwin?


We don't know the answer on Bazley. On Goodwin, the odds appear to be favorable that he will remain a Buckeye. After all, Holtmann has proven to be no slouch on the recruiting trail. At Butler, he played a major role in landing Rivals150 players such as Kelan Martin, Kamar Baldwin, Kyle Young and Joey Brunk.

More importantly, Holtmann already knows Ohio and the Midwest very well, and he's had Butler involved with several players who already have Ohio Sate offers. So, when he goes to recruit four-star combo forward Jerome Hunter, four-star combo guard Dwayne Cohill and four-star wings Tim Finke and Musa Jallow, there will be an established relationship.

Other Rivals150 players from the class of 2018 that Holtmann was involved with at Butler who he could potentially recruit at Ohio State include four-star power forward Marcus Bingham, four-star combo guard Eric Hunter, combo guard Jordan Lathon and point guard Robert Phinisee.

Time is going to reveal the true answer as to how good of a hire Holtmann is for Ohio State, but in the here and now, he's as good as Buckeye fans could have hoped for and should be a very capable replacement to Matta.