Ohio State will be without its top two point guards on Wednesday.
Jimmy Sotos has been ruled out of the Buckeyes' game against Northwestern due to a shoulder injury. He joins fellow senior lead guard CJ Walker – who's dealing with torn ligaments in his right hand – on the bench, leaving the team without an abundance of options in a suddenly-lean backcourt.
In the 37th minutes of his second start of the season – and first with Walker out of commission – against Rutgers on Saturday, Sotos hit the floor for a loose ball and appeared to injure his shoulder, leaving the court to head to the locker room to get it looked at. He subsequently had it examined and, thus, won't play versus the Wildcats. It's unclear how long he will be absent from the lineup.
Head coach Chris Holtmann now has to turn to an unenviable situation at lead guard without Walker or Sotos – or even Abel Porter, whose career came to an end in the preseason due to a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
"I think it'll require guys to move around different positions if Jimmy's not available, and we'll have to have a really good understanding of what we're trying to do," Holtmann said on Tuesday.
Guard Duane Washington Jr. and forward Justice Sueing will likely spend time as Ohio State's primary ball-handlers on Wednesday evening after playing off of the ball for the vast majority of the season. Freshman guard Meechie Johnson, who began practicing a week ago and made his collegiate debut over the weekend, could be in line for unexpectedly important minutes, too. Justin Ahrens and Musa Jallow are candidates to see bumps in minutes at shooting guard and small forward, too.
Ohio State-Northwestern tips off at 7 p.m. and will be shown on Big Ten Network.