Ohio State could be without a pair of forwards for at least the remainder of the regular season.
Alonzo Gaffney won't play against Illinois on Thursday and Kyle Young remains day-to-day due to a high ankle sprain, Chris Holtmann said on Wednesday afternoon.
The absence of Gaffney, a freshman from Cleveland once ranked as the No. 50 overall recruit in his class, comes with a degree of mystery. Holtmann said the 6-foot-9, 198-pound forward remains a part of the team, but said he was unable to get into specifics about Gaffney why is unable to play.
“Zo will be out,” Holtmann said. “I can't really speak more to that, but he'll be out for tomorrow.”
Holtmann also said he did not know of a timetable for Gaffney's return. Gaffney has not been with the team for the past two games at Nebraska and against Michigan, but Holtmann had previously cited an illness as the reason he was unavailable to play.
Gaffney has recorded 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game this season. He has appeared in 17 games, with all of his appearances coming off the bench.
Young has been sidelined since he suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first half of the Buckeyes' 79-72 win against Maryland on Feb. 23. He has since attended games wearing a medical boot on his right foot.
“Kyle is still day to day,” Holtmann said. “I would say his improvement has been incremental, and he is anxious to get back, and we're anxious to get him back. But it was a significant sprain.”
In order to maximize itself, Holtmann has said, Ohio State needs Young available to play. With the postseason near and only two regular season games remaining, he has to weigh the costs and benefits of playing versus sitting out.
Since the Buckeyes aren't in the Big Ten title race, it wouldn't be a surprise for him to miss the pair of games this week.
"I think all that know our team, and in particular this week, he adds a lot of value with what he brings," Holtmann said. "But you're also mindful of what's in the best interest of him and what's in the best interest of our team long-term, as well."