Keita Bates-Diop will not play in today’s second-round NIT match-up with Florida according to radio reports. Bates-Diop did not take the floor for warm-ups and Ohio State officially announced the starting five, without the sophomore in it.
Ohio State starters: Lyle, Williams, Loving, Mitchell, Thompson. pic.twitter.com/ATgAqvYPnF— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) March 20, 2016
While a blow for Ohio State, this news is not entirely unexpected, as Thad Matta called Bates-Diop “questionable” on Friday.
"We still don’t know if he’ll be able to go on Sunday," Matta said. "Hasn’t done a whole lot with us so who knows?"
Bates-Diop misses his second straight game due to illness. The Buckeyes’ second leading scorer was replaced in the starting lineup by redshirt sophomore guard Kam Williams in the opening round overtime win over Akron on Tuesday, scoring 18 points. Williams again gets the start today.
A 6-foot-7 sophomore out of University High School in Normal, IL, Bates-Diop is averaging 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds this season and is a key player when Matta decides to play a smaller lineup. Bates-Diop has been the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer this season, and, with Jae’Sean Tate out with injury, Ohio State is without its top two rebounders against the Gators.