Ohio State could be without its best player in its quest to win its first 10 Big Ten games of the season.
Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop is dealing with an illness and is questionable for the Buckeyes’ game Thursday against Penn State, an Ohio State spokesperson tweeted. He will be a game-time decision.
Bates-Diop is averaging 19.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game this season in a team-high 32 minutes per game. If he is unable to play, sophomore forward Andre Wesson would likely be his replacement in the starting lineup.
Without Bates-Diop, Wesson would be tasked with covering Penn State power forward Lamar Stevens. The 6-foot-8, 226-pound forward averages 15.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game and has been the Nittany Lions’ second-most productive player this season.
Bates-Diop has been the go-to player for the Buckeyes all season. In nearly every game the star forward has gotten off to a slow start, Ohio State’s offense seems to follow suit. Offensively, the team would need to rely on forward Jae’Sean Tate and center Kaleb Wesson to help step up the interior production for the team.
Junior Keita Bates-Diop is questionable (illness) for the @OhioStateHoops home game vs. Penn State tonight. His availability will be determined at game time (8 p.m./BTN)..
— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) January 25, 2018