Kaleb Wesson’s suspension is over.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann announced on Monday’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference that his starting center and leading scorer will play on Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament against Indiana, thus ending a three-game suspension for a violation of athletic department policy.
The #8 seed Buckeyes take on the #9 seed Hoosiers at 12:30 pm on BTN.
Without Wesson in the lineup, Ohio State went 0-3 with losses at Purdue and Northwestern, and then an overtime loss at home to Wisconsin on Sunday.
“It was obviously a challenge beyond the fact that we were playing good teams,” Holtmann said of Wesson’s absence. “It was a challenge. It is different if you know he is going to come back versus not expecting him to come back. We did try to tweak and change, and we’ve played without him for portions of the season. It’s the game planning that teams can go into when attacking you defensively if they know he’s not going to play. I’m not sure we always handled that as well as we should have.”
Having been off now for two weeks, there is a question of just how quickly Wesson will be able to pick up where he left off back when the Buckeyes were defeating a ranked Iowa by 20 points.
“With him coming back now, it will be interesting to see after his layoff how quickly we can get back to playing when he was at full strength and the team was at full strength,” Holtmann said.
“I don’t think we can expect too much. I think we’ve got to be careful not to expect too much. But it is nice to have him back. If he’s off really a couple of days we’re worried about his conditioning, much less 14 days. But trust me, he has done early morning workouts and afternoon workouts as well.”