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March 14, 2019

Chris Holtmann

C.J. Jackson

Keyshawn Woods


Ohio State - 79, Indiana - 75

COACH HOLTMANN: Certainly a tough win. A lot of credit to Indiana. I knew, based on how much respect we have for their team and for Archie, that they would come back and battle. That's just in their DNA. So we knew it could certainly get tight. But our guys weathered the storm. Players win games and these two to my right here, obviously along with having Caleb back and his defensive presence was the difference. Look forward to tomorrow.

Q. Can you talk about what it meant in general just to have Kaleb back and how it opened things up for the rest of the team?
C.J. JACKSON: Obviously it was good having him back. He's one of our key guys. And just having one of our brothers back that -- we have been working all season long, all season long. It's always good to have one of our players back.

KEYSHAWN WOODS: Like C.J. said, Kaleb draws a lot of attention. He opens up the floor for everybody else. And then also on the defensive end he's a great presence, too, protecting the rim. And he's a great talker and communicator. So it's great to have Kaleb back on the floor with us.

Q. Did you feel like when you were up 20 there in the second half that maybe you let up a little and let Indiana back in, or did they just come and force the issue?
KEYSHAWN WOODS: A little bit of both. We kind of got out our way a little bit. And also they were forcing the issue. But we regained our poise at the end when it really mattered and we got the win.

C.J. JACKSON: Like Keyshawn said, we knew they were going to come back, kind of how Coach talked about how they weren't going to quit fighting. And that's what they did. And we just had to continue to be who we are in those type of moments and continue to fight and stay together. And we did that.

Q. The nature of this tournament is you play again tomorrow and you've got to start looking ahead. You'll face a team that's gotten you a couple times this year. Is that any extra motivation going into this, that they've gotten the better of you a couple times, and another shot at Michigan State?
C.J. JACKSON: Yeah, we know what type of team they are. Like you said, we played with them a couple times this year and we'll definitely be ready tomorrow at 11:30.

KEYSHAWN WOODS: You always want to play a team that beat you twice. It's another game for us. It's an important game for us. We've got to keep winning if you want to advance in the tournament. We've got to prepare tonight for Michigan State.

Q. As much as you want to focus on the game, when the whole world's talking about the bubble and if you win it means this and if you lose it means that. How hard is it to keep that out of the narrative within the team, and were you able to do that?
COACH HOLTMANN: You know, I think that that conversation's been going along for -- they start bubble talk, I think, in November. So that conversation has been going on for a while. And I think it requires some discipline. And I'm not sure that we've always been great at it. But as much as possible, we've just tried to focus in on trying to play more possessions and quality basketball than what we did the previous time. So, is it hard? Sure. I mean, it's everywhere this time of year, right? I think our guys did a pretty good job here this last week and a half.

Q. Woods' background, I'm not sure he ever played in the NCAA Tournament, to borrow off what --
COACH HOLTMANN: Play-in game one time.

Q. Looked like a guy that wanted to be in the tournament and really laid it out there. Just talk about 9-of-13 today, he really hit the shots in the final minute that kind of got you a little bit closer to the finish line.
COACH HOLTMANN: Tremendous. He was tremendous. I thought he was tremendous in every way. I thought he's looked, since the 10-minute mark of the Wisconsin game, like a guy that wasn't ready to see his career over any time soon. And that's what you hope in seniors. Like, that is what we've been kind of hoping to see, honestly, in light of being down Kaleb, we've been hoping to see that. And he and C.J. were both terrific.

Q. You guys had a couple of pretty good games with Michigan State. How do you guys get to the next level, and how have you seen Michigan State maybe change in the past month or two?
COACH HOLTMANN: I've watched them a little bit. But not as much, honestly. They had Nick Ward both times. He went out the second half of our game. I don't know what his status is now. But they're terrific. They're an elite team, can get to a Final Four, can win a national championship. They're deserving of everything that's come their way. We'll need to play exceptional basketball for 40 minutes. But we're excited about the opportunity.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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