Ohio State will have its full backcourt at its disposal this weekend.
After sitting out Tuesday's 80-68 win against Nebraska with suspensions for failure to meet program standards and expectations, Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. will rejoin the Buckeyes to play in their game against Penn State at noon on Saturday, Chris Holtmann said Friday.
The suspensions, which stemmed from an off-court incident that a source told Eleven Warriors was not criminal, were announced as one game apiece. However, there was potential for Muhammad and Washington to miss more games. After Tuesday's victory, Holtmann didn't guarantee that they would be back for the next game.
“It'll be kind of a day-to-day thing that we'll evaluate day-to-day,” Holtmann said on Tuesday. “We'll keep that in house. They had a great attitude. They were supporting their teammates in the locker room. They had a great approach.”
After the game, he also made the point that he suspended Muhammad and Washington for the long-term betterment of everyone involved.
“I don't know that there's a specific message,” Holtmann said. “It's just, like, I'm not coaching for just one game, ever. I'm not ever doing that. I'm not ever coaching just to win one game or put our best team on the floor for one game. They're more important to me than that, and it's more important to me than that. And if I ever get to the point to where I coach just for one game, I'm getting out. See ya. Peace out. I'm not doing it. For me, it's bigger than that. It's just bigger than that. It's bigger than that for them. It's bigger than that for me.”
The return of Washington and Muhammad to the court means Ohio State will bring the Buckeyes back to four scholarship guards after they had just DJ Carton and CJ Walker available to play against the Cornhuskers.
Washington is second on the team with 10.7 points in 22.3 minutes per game. He has hit 43.1 percent of his shots and 43.9 percent of 3-pointers. Muhammad, generally regarded as one of Ohio State's best defensive players, averages 6.5 points in 24 minutes per game.
Ohio State-Penn State tips off at noon and will be shown on ESPNU.