Ohio State officially introduced Chris Holtmann as its new men’s basketball coach with a Monday morning press conference at Value City Arena. For about half an hour, Holtmann and athletic director Gene Smith addressed the media and discussed the process that led to the hiring as well as hopes for the coming years for the Buckeyes.

The Dispatch had had you covered with videos, photos and multiple stories from the event, but not everything fits neatly into those pieces. Here are a few key points that came out of Monday’s press conference that might’ve been overlooked.

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1. Holtmann says he values and appreciates the program’s history

For a story I wrote in Monday’s paper, I spoke with a number of Ohio State alumni for their thoughts on what Holtmann needed to understand about the program in order to be successful. To a man, each of them offered the same thought: an appreciation for those who came before him and for the fact that the university is bigger than any of its constituents.

During his time at the podium, Holtmann addressed those topics in his opening remarks.

“One of the things the players said, which I thought was terrific, was they love when former players come around,” he said. “Whether it’s playing open gym or coming back around, they love that. In every special program, people realize that it’s bigger than them, that they’re a part of something great and it’s always going to be important to me that guys realize they’re a part of an amazing university and an accomplished athletic department and a tremendous program and that they understand that this program has been built upon the talent and toughness and work ethic of incredible players, coaches, managers and staff. We want them around as much as they want to be around.

“We have complete open doors. I can’t wait to meet them all. Several I’ve had a chance to talk to this past weekend. We’re indebted to them. We’re absolutely indebted to them and their connection to this program is extremely important. To all of them, I want to say thank you. To all that are in the Buckeyes basketball family, thank you. We are going to work extremely hard to make you guys extremely proud.”

2. Keita Bates-Diop is fully healthy

Somewhere, there is an alternate timeline in which Bates-Diop wasn’t forced to take a medical redshirt during the 2016-17 season and the result was a few more wins and no need for a leadership change.

Instead, Bates-Diop dealt with a stress fracture suffered during the summer that limited him in the early season. Then after suffering a high-ankle sprain, he was unable to overcome the injury and underwent season-ending surgery after playing in only nine games. He never showed what was advertised to be a breakout season, and it significantly hurt the Buckeyes.

But Monday, Bates-Diop revealed that he was cleared for a full return to action a few weeks ago and that he’s fully active. Conditioning remains an issue, he said, but he’s at least back on the court and preparing as if this year is going to be season he was primed for a season ago.

3. Goodbye, weak non-conference schedule

It’s been a growing frustration even as former coach Thad Matta pushed his teams deep into the NCAA Tournament during his first 11 seasons with Ohio State and one that only got louder when the easy wins stopped piling up: the non-conference slate of games has just not been very enticing.

At Butler, Holtmann wasn’t afraid to schedule the bluebloods of the college basketball world. Five of the Bulldogs’ non-conference games were rated as “A” matchups by KenPom and three others as “B” matchups. Ohio State had two “A” matchups, one of which was a predetermined game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and one “B” matchup, which was when the Buckeyes were assigned Providence as part of that Gavitt Games.

Expect his former philosophy to follow him to Columbus.

“We want to put a really challenging non-conference schedule together,” he said. “That’s something that I believe in and there’s probably some risk associated with that, but I’m OK with that. We want to play a really challenging non-conference schedule. Our players want that and we want that. We want to test ourselves because we know we’re playing in one of the best conferences in the country and we want to test ourselves for that. That’s the direction that I anticipate going.”

However, it might be a stretch to expect much in the way of surprises this year. Prior to hiring Holtmann, the Buckeyes had all but one non-conference game set and were just waiting on paperwork to be finalized for the last game, The Dispatch has learned.

4. Holtmann isn’t intimidated by Ohio Stadium’s occupants.

At Butler, basketball is king. At Ohio State, basketball sometimes seems like something to tide fans over between National Signing Day and spring football.

Holtmann said he’s got no problem with being at a football school.

“I love it,” he said. “Love it. I think it’s great. I think it adds to this place. I think it was exciting to me. Obviously you have tremendous respect for Urban (Meyer) and I appreciated him reaching out a couple days ago. I’m excited to pick his brain. Nothing but a positive.”

5. Smith expects butts in seats.

There’s more to unpack than just this, but athletic director Gene Smith said recognizes that selling out Value City Arena for every game isn’t a realistic proposition. However, doing so occasionally while boasting pretty great attendance is a goal.

“I go in things with a realistic view: we’re not going to sell out every game because we’ve got 19,000 seats, but we ought to be averaging somewhere around 17 and some of the games during the season ought to be selling out,” he said. “When Duke was here this place was rocking. It’s capable.”

Ohio State averaged 12,324 fans per home game last year. It didn’t top 10,000 for the home opener against North Carolina Central and topped the 17,000 mark just once: against Michigan State, when 17,449 fans saw a 72-67 win.