MINNEAPOLIS — No. 3 Ohio State went to Minnesota for a game Sunday night at Williams Arena without a key part of its rotation available. And without the services of sophomore guard Duane Washington Jr., who is day to day because of a rib injury, the Buckeyes took their first loss of the season as the Golden Gophers won 84-71.
Washington’s absence forced coach Chris Holtmann to switch up his rotations while coping with the fact that he only had three available scholarship guards at his disposal.
Here’s a look at how the absence of Washington, who averages 22.9 minutes per game, impacted Ohio State’s substitutions against Minnesota.
• Without Washington, Holtmann went with his starting lineup for the first game of the season. The grouping of CJ Walker, Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson was broken up when Andre suffered a fractured right eye socket in that opening game and had only 2:41 of playing time in two appearances since it played 12:37 of the Cincinnati game and outscored the Bearcats 17-14. Since that game, it had scored nine and not allowed a point in limited time.
• Against the Gophers, this group played the first 5:23 of the game until the first media timeout and trailed 11-9 when freshmen D.J. Carton and E.J. Liddell replaced Walker and Young, respectively. This group gave the Buckeyes their final lead, scoring five points and allowing two for a 14-13 lead with 12:09 to play.
• The first new lineup of the season then took the court when Walker and Young replaced the Wessons, giving the Buckeyes a three-guard lineup for the first time. Walker, Carton and Muhammad were in the backcourt and with Liddell and Young in the frontcourt.
• The Buckeyes played with three guards from 12:09 until 8:56. They did not score, and they allowed two three-pointers to fall behind 19-14.
• Trailing 24-16 at the under-8 timeout, it was back to the starters. It didn’t last long, though, because Andre Wesson picked up a second foul with 5:59 left and checked out. That group got a Kaleb Wesson three-point play to pull within 24-19.
• A previously unused lineup of Carton, Walker, Muhammad, Liddell and Kaleb Wesson took the court with 5:59 to play and played for the next 4:22 while being outscored 8-6.
• It was back to the starters to open the second half, with Minnesota leading 38-29. It was the largest deficit Ohio State had faced all season and only the second time the Buckeyes trailed at the break. In the first 4:46, the starters played the Gophers to a 7-7 draw.
• This time, Holtmann went right to a three-guard lineup, bringing Carton in for Young. The forward didn’t return until the final minutes of the game. This lineup of Walker, Carton, Muhammad and the Wesson brothers was outscored 6-1 in 1:15 before Justin Ahrens replaced Muhammad with 13:59 to play and the Minnesota lead at 50-37.
• That group lasted 12 seconds until Kaleb Wesson picked up a fourth foul with 13:47 to play when he was called for a charge. He was replaced by Liddell with Minnesota leading 51-37.
• Trailing by 18 points, a lineup of Walker, Carton, Ahrens, Gaffney and Kaleb Wesson had a 5-1 run in 1:04 that made it a 68-54 Minnesota lead with 4:56 to play.
• Ohio State’s last gasp came with a lineup of Walker, Carton, Andre Wesson, Liddell and Kaleb Wesson. That group started together with 4:45 to play and the deficit at 69-55 and got it as low as nine points before Holtmann began swapping Young and Kaleb Wesson for offense and defense with 2:38 to play. In 2:17, the lineup scored nine points and allowed five. Entering the game, this group had outscored opponents 13-2 in 6:20.
• The lineup of Walker, Carton, Andre Wesson, Liddell and Young entered the game having outscored opponents 23-1 in 7:36 spread across three other games. It finished this one having scored seven and allowed 10 in 2:31.
• The starting lineup was plus-1 (19 points scored, 18 allowed) in 11:24. This was the most-used lineup.
• Ohio State used 15 new lineups in this game, tied for a season high. The other game with 15 was the first game played without Andre Wesson.
• Five of Ohio State’s 19 lineups featured all three available scholarship guards — Carton, Muhammad and Walker. That trio was on the court together for 9:12 and was outscored 24-7. None of the five three-guard lineups had a positive plus-minus. Ohio State played with three guards for 23.0 percent of the game.
• One game prior, the Buckeyes used three guards for 56.9 percent of the minutes before any walk-ons entered the game. In total, it amounted to 21:15 of playing time during which the lineups outscored the Nittany Lions 50-49.