The absence of C.J. Jackson forced Ohio State to mix and match its lineups at a nearly unprecedented level for this season when it played at Maryland last Saturday.
Here’s a detailed look at how Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann rotated his players throughout a 72-62 loss to the Terrapins.
*The starting lineup of Keyshawn Woods, Luther Muhammad, Justin Ahrens, Andre Wesson and Kaleb Wesson was the eighth different starting lineup of the season. The lineup had played in the prior two games, totaling 4:11 and being outscored 13-6. In this game, it stayed on the court past the first media timeout and wasn’t broken up for 5:21 after it had taken a 7-4 lead.
*Woods got a rare break here as Duane Washington Jr. replaced him as one of three substitutions. Holtmann has been reluctant to play his two freshmen guards together without either Woods or Jackson in the game, but a game like this forced his hand. This first lineup of the Washington and Muhammad with Musa Jallow, Andre Wesson and Kyle Young had seen bit time in five prior games totaling 3:26. This shift lasted 2:55, during which the Buckeyes were outscored 8-5 before Woods returned to replace Muhammad with 11:44 left.
*The next lineup of Jallow, Washington, Woods, Young and Kaleb Wesson hadn’t played together in the last 10 games. It was outscored 4-2 in 2:07 before Andre Wesson replaced Young.
*With 7:46 left in the first half and Maryland ahead 20-16, the Buckeyes went with their starters again. In the next 2:54, they were outscored 5-3 as Maryland increased its lead to 25-19.
*Muhammad was pulled from the game with 4:49 left in the first half after committing his third turnover. He didn’t return until the second half. This put a never-before-used lineup of Washington, Woods, Ahrens, Andre Wesson and Young on the court with the Maryland lead at 27-19. In the next 2:08, it rattled off a 6-0 run to pull back within two points at 27-25 before Kaleb Wesson replaced Ahrens with 2:41 to play.
*The second half started with a lineup of Woods, Washington, Ahrens and the Wesson brothers. It had played for 18 seconds in the first half, but it played the first 2:33 of the second half and allowed four points while scoring three. Then it was back to the starters for the next 1:21 before Jallow replaced Ahrens with Maryland ahead 39-36.
*With 14:45 left and the Maryland lead at 42-36, a lineup of Muhammad, Washington, Jallow, Andre Wesson and Young was outscored 5-0 in 1:36. On the ESPN broadcast, Dan Dakich said, “Tough lineup out there for Ohio State,” while noting the lack of real offensive options among the group.
*That group was broken up with 13:09 to play and the Maryland lead at 47-36 and Kaleb Wesson replaced his brother.
*Woods checked out with 14:45 left in the half and Maryland ahead 42-36. That left the freshmen guards on the court together. When Woods returned with 12:55 to play, Maryland had increased its lead to 49-36. That 7-0 run came against two different lineups.
*The first group to start carving into the lead consisted of Woods, Washington, Ahrens and the Wesson brothers. This group took the court with 11:16 left and Maryland leading 50-36, and in the next 2:36 it outscored the Terrapins 7-4 to make it an 11-point deficit at 54-43 with 8:40 left when Young replaced Kaleb Wesson.
*This was Ohio State’s best lineup in the game. It had outscored Maryland 6-0 during the first half, and in a 3:36 shift here, it put together a 12-5 run. Kaleb Wesson replaced Young with 5:04 to play and Maryland ahead 59-55, and the Buckeyes wouldn’t get any closer.
*It was back to the starters with 4:29 to play and Ohio State hanging around at 61-55, but they couldn’t overcome the deficit. That group stayed on the court until there were 38 seconds left and Maryland led 67-58.
*For the game, the starting five played together for 13:27, scored 18 points and allowed 17.
*A new lineup of Woods, Washington, Ahrens and the Wesson brothers totaled 7:02, scoring 10 points and allowing 11.
*The best lineup was another new one: Woods, Washington, Ahrens, Andre Wesson and Young was plus-13 (18 points scored, five allowed) in 5:44.
*Of the 13 different lineups used, seven were new. That’s the highest percentage since the Buckeyes used 16 lineups (nine new) in their Big Ten opener against Minnesota.
*Individually, Ahrens had the best plus-minus at plus-10.