Ohio State has a huge challenge Saturday against Michigan.
That challenge will be even more difficult without one of the Buckeyes biggest contributors.
Forward Kyle Young, a starter and energetic, physical presence on the floor, will miss Saturday’s huge Big Ten Tournament semifinal against rival Michigan due to a concussion he suffered in Friday’s quarterfinal win over Purdue. The basketball program announced Young’s injury before tip-off on Saturday morning.
Young is a huge reason why the Buckeyes have won two games in the Big Ten Tournament. He had 18 first-half points in the quarterfinal win over Purdue before exiting the game, and he’s been a key to Ohio State’s success all season. But just minutes into the second half Friday, Young took a hit to the head and did not return after a couple of possessions on the floor. The Buckeyes downed the Boilermakers in overtime despite missing Young for the final 20 minutes of the game.
“Losing Kyle was big,” Ohio State forward and All-Big Ten selection E.J. Liddell said after beating Purdue. “You all saw the effect he made. You just saw the effect that Kyle had on the game and the impact. We picked him up and we got the W for him.”
Now the Buckeyes have an even bigger challenge ahead of them in the semifinal against their rival. It won’t be easy to beat Michigan, a team that beat the Buckeyes in Columbus back in the middle of February in a back-and-forth game between two of the top teams in the country.
Ohio State will enter the second matchup between those two teams down a body, but the Buckeyes bench has certainly been able to pick up the slack and help them to the final four of the Big Ten Tournament. Without Young, they’ll have to do more of that Saturday.
And they’ll have to get another win for Young — and without him.
The No. 5 seed Buckeyes and No. 1 seed Wolverines will tip off at 1 p.m. inside Lucas Oil Stadium and on CBS.