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Myron Medcalf, ESPN Staff Writer 136d

Chris Holtmann is expected to win -- right now

Men's College Basketball, Ohio State Buckeyes

After Monday's mess of a news conference after the ouster of Thad Matta and a whiff on Creighton's Greg McDermott earlier this week, Ohio State hired Butler coach Chris Holtmann on Friday.

It's a good recovery for athletic director Gene Smith, who created confusion and tension within his fan base after the surprising announcement on Matta's future.

Now, Holtmann will accept an elite Big Ten post, a $24 million contract over eight years and the pressure attached to the latter.

Here are five questions Holtmann will face at Ohio State:

How will Holtmann handle Gene Smith's expectations?
Holtmann reached the NCAA tournament in three consecutive seasons at Butler, and last season he led the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16, where they lost to North Carolina, the eventual national champion. In a short time -- he served three years as Gardner-Webb's head coach before leaving to join Brandon Miller's staff at Butler in 2014 -- the 45-year-old emerged as one of America's rising stars.

But his new boss wants to win now. Proof? Smith fired a coach who had reached the Final Four twice and led Ohio State to five Big Ten titles. A lackluster two-year stretch cost Matta his job.

Holtmann will make $3 million year. That's "improve immediately" money. He will enter a situation where Smith desires instant progress. He wants Ohio State basketball to commence its journey back to the top of the Big Ten.

Smith reflected on his friendship with Matta throughout Monday's news conference. Yet, he still made the decision to remove Matta for the sake of the program. Yes, Holtmann has an eight-year deal and the security that comes with that package. But he should get accustomed to Smith's scrutiny of his early efforts to reboot Buckeyes basketball.

Smith did not suppress his frustration on Monday. Now that's Holtmann's problem to fix.

How will he adapt to the football shadow?
At Ohio State, football is the first, second, third and fourth priority.

Ohio State fans love basketball. They pack Value City Arena, which recorded a top-10 mark in attendance from the 2011-12 season through the 2013-14 season.

More than 80,000 football fans attended the spring football game in March, though. They're obsessed with Urban Meyer's program. Butler has FCS football. But Ohio State football is a monster that gobbles all in its path.

That's great news for any basketball program hoping to hum through the season without the weight Holtmann might have endured as the leader of Butler's top sport. The bad news is that football sets the standard for the entire athletics department at Ohio State and establishes a perennial pursuit of excellence backed by a $167 million budget. Remember, Matta reached the Final Four in 2012 and the Elite Eight in 2013. Now he's gone.

Those football fans won't worry about a year or two of stumbles under Holtmann. But if we're three years into this gig, and Meyer has snatched another national title or two by then, Holtmann will feel the weight of a fan base that wants its favorite basketball team to compete with the best squads in the country, too.

Will Holtmann compete for five-star talent?
Smith's message on Monday included his concerns about the recruiting challenges in Matta's final season, a 17-15 campaign. The Buckeyes had been a program that landed Greg Oden, Jared Sullinger and D'Angelo Russell, the last five-star signee at Ohio State under Matta. And then the pool dried up.

Smith wants NBA prospects on the roster. That's Holtmann's assignment. At Butler, the reigning Big East coach of the year manufactured a top-30 incoming recruiting class led by Ohio native and top-100 prospect Kyle Young. He understands the Midwest and national recruiting landscapes. And he has the energy to chase top players.

Yet he never signed a five-star talent at Butler. The Bulldogs thrived on prospects who developed into top-tier players. Holtmann must identify and sign players who arrive in Columbus, however, with the juice to help the Buckeyes compete for a Big Ten crown.

Eight players in the Matta era were selected in the first round of their respective NBA drafts. Now, Holtmann must refill the recruiting coffers at Ohio State with a new fleet of stars.

How will he fare against the Big Ten's coaches?
Holtmann is a great fit for the rebuilding Big Ten.

The Big Ten boasts the nation's most intriguing blend of youth and experience within the coaching ranks. Richard Pitino, the Big Ten's coach of the year last season, and Chris Collins ended 2016-17 as two of the nation's most promising leaders under 50, a list Wisconsin's Greg Gard joined the previous season. And Tom Izzo, John Beilein, Fran McCaffery and Matt Painter serve as the conference's veteran coaches. But it's also a league with a flurry of newcomers. Archie Miller comes to Indiana. Brad Underwood made the switch from Oklahoma State to Illinois. Now, Holtmann will join that group.

It's a conference in flux, so Ohio State's situation is not unique.

Plus, Holtmann won against Jay Wright, Ed Cooley, Greg McDermott and Chris Mack in league play. He can handle the best in the Big Ten, too.

Will struggles in the first year break him?
Ohio State is in bad shape after back-to-back seasons without an NCAA tournament appearance. Kaleb Wesson (the No. 70 in the ESPN 100) is the school's only top-100 incoming recruit. Three of Ohio State's top four scorers from last season have left the program.

Holtmann just left a top-25ish program with Big East title aspirations to join a program that will probably spend another season in the Big Ten's bottom tier. But if any coach is built for the upcoming season, it's Holtmann. When Miller abruptly quit at Butler, Holtmann stabilized the program.

During his time with the Bulldogs, former players Andrew Smith and Joel Cornette both died. And staffer Emerson Kampen lost his 8-month-old son to a neurological disorder.

Holtmann didn't endure drama at Butler. He overcame trauma -- events more severe than the bumps he might incur with a rough first season and limited roster.

He can handle Ohio State.

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