COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men's basketball program is spending the summer making a lot of changes. Most noticeably was the move to bring Chirs Holtmann in as the new head coach but there have been other moves within the program that are going a long way to put a charge in a team that has missed the NCAA Tournament for two straight years and needed a shot in the arm.
The Buckeyes made a big move in bringing in a new strength coach with Quadrian Banks and another key move was the addition of a nutritionist for the team, something that the team has not had in the past.
"They got rid of everything and started completely fresh," sophomore forward/center Micah Potter said on Thursday afternoon. "Now we have a nutritionist full time, we never had that before. A new strength coach, new coaches, they are changing up the locker room, they are doing everything. Guys see the changes and see the positivity within the changes and guys are loving it."
Over on the football side, the team has seen a lot of success with having someone tasked to monitor dietary plans of the team and now that is something that the basketball team will have as well.
"We have workouts every morning and we have breakfast afterwards. She is there telling us what to eat," Potter added. "She schedules our meals and we have snacks in the locker room and she's completely changed all of that, made it a lot more healthy."
A nutritionist will not be there for every meal that the team eats, but the goal is to put them on the path to making healthier choices and finding the right meals to fuel their bodies. Of course, there may be a cheat meal or two mixed in there.
"If you go to a place like Thurman's, you have got to get a burger, you can't deny that," Potter joked. "I give myself at least one cheat meal a week just because I am going to go nuts (if I don't), I have got a big sweet tooth."
The education goes beyond just calorie consumption.
"From a hydration standpoint too, utilizing her for that because I cramp up a lot," Potter said. "Being able to understand how much water I need to drink, being as big as I am and how much I sweat, it has been a big help. I already feel better."
It may take some time getting used to having a person in that role but the team has embraced the addition, even if it may change some late-night snacking habits on High Street or at Raising Canes.
"Guys are buying into her as well," Potter said. "They are just not used to her because we have never had that for the basketball program as well. Having her around is a huge help."
This move is just one of many around the program and according to Potter, while they miss the coach that recruited the majority of the team in Thad Matta, they are excited to see what the future holds under the new leadership.
"We all hated to see coach Matta go, we loved him to death along with all of the rest of the coaching staff," Potter said. "The changed happened and coach (Holtmann) has won us over already with the rest of the coaching staff. All of the guys are comfortable, we all get along really well. Everyone is happy and having fun. Workouts this morning were awesome."