Honesty Is the Holtmann Policy

Ohio State men's basketball coach Chris Holtmann is so transparent that the he should be considered a danger to flying migratory birds.

His players appreciate that. 

"I feel like that's what everybody wants," said sophomore Kaleb Wesson. "You want somebody to be real with you everyday, push you everyday. You want to get better."

It's not a surprise Wesson feels this way. Holtmann has said he tries to recruit players with that kind of attitude. 

"If they don't want to be coached in an honest way, this probably isn't the right place for them," responded Holtmann when he talked to reporters about how frank he is with his athletes. 

Oh, yeah. And he's also frank with the media. 

Even before his Buckeyes went on a four-game losing streak, Holtmann was straightforward about how leery he was to be a nationally ranked team. 

When asked what it would take to duplicate his program's success in 2018, Holtmann conceded, because of a number of factors, he didn't think they could match the win-loss record of the past calendar year. 

He doesn't appear to be wrong. Since he made those comments, Ohio State has been outscored 297-261; they have been outrebounded 141-124. They have shot a mere 39.9 percent from the field. 

Holtmann is so open, he's even candid about when he can be candid. He doesn't want the Buckeyes to feel the full weight of the losses, after all. 

"I'm much more comfortable being honest in the good times," he said. 

This is not one of those times, but Holtmann still is optimistic about his team. 

"I like this group a lot. I really like this group a lot, and I really enjoy coaching this group," he said. "I believe in this group, that they're going to have the right attitude and right approach, and that's going to give us a chance to get better." 

He said it, so you can believe him, but after the team's 75-61 loss at home to Maryland he added something else.

"I think it's a challenge. It's not for the faint of heart or weak-minded people."

With games upcoming against Purdue (12-6), Nebraska (13-6), and Michigan (17-1), and with Kyle Young now out for an extended period of time, he's not lying about that either.