Ohio State AD Gene Smith is more than upbeat about the direction of the basketball program. During a recent interview, Smith spoke glowingly about the work of head coach Chris Holtmann and the group of players on the roster.

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In an interview with Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors, Smith praised the culture surrounding the basketball program and Holtmann’s work on the recruiting trail. Smith also believes the Buckeyes have the pieces to be special “for the long run” with a bright future.

“When you look at the culture that we have and the student-athletes that we recruit and we got the number one class in the Big Ten this year, top-five nationally, and then you meet the young men like I have this summer and watch them work out – they’re exceptionally talented,” Smith said. “And so the future’s bright, and you have good leadership returning from last year and this team has a chance to be special for the long run. Chris and I have talked about that. Hopefully we have young men who will be with us for a while.”

Smith also discussed the need to maintain “stability” and allow Holtmann to build and develop the culture of the program. While Smith acknowledged results have fallen short at certain times, he still believes in what Holtmann has done with the program.

Holtmann has gone 107-56 overall in 5 seasons with the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, Ohio State has not captured a share of the regular-season B1G title or advanced out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament with Holtmann.