Following Ohio State’s 76-75 loss to No. 20 Purdue on Thursday night that dropped the Buckeyes to 10-5 and 0-2 in the Big Ten, it appears the team’s uphill climb to the NCAA tournament just got a whole lot steeper.
OSU coach Thad Matta said in the postgame press conference that junior forward Keita Bates-Diop will undergo surgery on a stress fracture on his shin next week. Bates-Diop did not play against the Boilermakers. He had missed five games earlier in the season with a high-ankle sprain he suffered on Nov. 17 against Providence.
Bates-Diop originally suffered this injury in the summer and after attempting to play through it, the injury kept reoccurring, Matta said.
“That’s definitely a punch in the gut to us,” he said. “It is what it is and we got to move forward.”
Matta called the 6-foot-7 Bates-Diop the team’s best defender considering his length and his ability to rebound with the taller players in the country.
The Normal, Illinois, native played just nine games this year, starting three times. He averaged 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in an average of 23.3 minutes. Matta said that Bates-Diop will receive a medical redshirt.
1/5 Correction: Matta said Bates-Diop will have surgery next week. It was originally printed as Friday.