Since Ohio State’s loss to Penn State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament, coach Chris Holtmann has shed some light on why he juggled his lineups and rotations throughout the game. With the benefit of roughly two weeks in between games, let’s take a look at how the Buckeyes substituted in their third game against the Nittany Lions.
One thing to keep in mind: Holtmann said that with Penn State sagging off Jae’Sean Tate and not honoring Kaleb Wesson outside of the paint, there wasn’t enough space for the offense – and Keita Bates-Diop in particular – to be successful.
*The game got off to a smooth start for both teams, and we didn’t reach the under-16 media timeout until the 14:03 mark so that was when Holtmann made his first substitutions of the game. The starters were broken up as Penn State led 9-4.
*Keita Bates-Diop and Kaleb Wesson both came out of the game at that point. Bates-Diop returned at the 11:21 mark but Tate checked out, joining Wesson on the bench. Trailing 12-9 at the time, the lineup of Bates-Diop, Andrew Dakich, C.J. Jackson, Micah Potter and Andre Wesson tied it at 15 in the next 2:23.
*Kaleb Wesson checked back in at the 8:58 mark, putting him on the court with Bates-Diop but without Tate. In only 53 seconds, the lineup of Bates-Diop, Dakich, the Wesson brothers and Kam Williams took a 20-15 lead.
*Tate checked back in with 8:05 to play in the half, putting him on the court with both Bates-Diop and Kaleb Wesson. The trio, joined by Dakich and Williams, pushed it to a six-point lead at 24-18 before Penn State called timeout and Jackson replaced Dakich with 6:30 left. That put the five starters together with the lead at 24-18, which would be Ohio State’s biggest of the game.
*The starters were outscored 6-4 in the next 1:23 before Andre Wesson replaced his brother, leaving Bates-Diop and Tate on the court together. Tate picked up his second foul with 4:51 to play, and he came out with 4:16 left, putting both him and Kaleb Wesson on the bench.
*Substitutions for the rest of the half were situational, although Kaleb Wesson picked up his second foul with 2:09 to play.
*The starters played 6:20 of the first half and were outscored 15-8 even as the Buckeyes trailed by just one point. There was a much shorter second-half leash: Kaleb Wesson checked out 1:46 into the second half in favor of Dakich.
*Kaleb Wesson checked back in with 15:53 to play and Penn State’s lead up to 40-35. Bates-Diop and Tate were both also in the game, but after a pair of C.J. Jackson free throws the Buckeyes allowed a Tony Carr three-pointer and a Shep Garner layup to push the deficit to eight points.
*With 13:47 left, Andre Wesson and Williams replaced Tate and Jackson. They joined Bates-Diop, Dakich and Kaleb Wesson, and it was here that Ohio State made a run. During the next 4:51, that group turned a 45-37 deficit into a 51-49 deficit with a 12-6 run.
*Tate and Jackson returned to the game for Andre Wesson and Williams with 8:56 to play, which put Bates-Diop, Kaleb Wesson and Tate on the court together for what would be the last time. In the next 66 seconds, Penn State scored four points to take a six-point lead before both Kaleb Wesson and Tate checked out with 7:50 to play.
*This lineup of Bates-Diop, Dakich, Jackson, Andre Wesson and Williams essentially played the rest of the game. The only substitution the rest of the way came with 3.1 seconds left for the final full-court inbounds attempt for the Buckeyes. Entering the game, this lineup had played together for a combined 7:04 all season. With the chance to advance on the line, it played 7:47, scored 19 points and allowed 14.
*For the game, lineups that had Bates-Diop, Tate and Kaleb Wesson all on the floor were a combined minus-14 (17 points scored, 31 allowed) in 12:53. That means that in the other 27:07 of the game, Ohio State outscored Penn State 51-38 in what was a one-point loss.
*The lineup of Bates-Diop, Dakich, Andre Wesson, Kaleb Wesson and Kam Williams scored 17 points and allowed six in only 5:44.
*Ohio State tied a season low with only 12 different lineups used.