Musa Jallow could become redshirt candidate for Ohio State

Adam Jardy
Ohio State Buckeyes guard Musa Jallow (2) steals the ball from Purdue Boilermakers forward Grady Eifert (24) during the 1st half of their game at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Janauary 23, 2019. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

He continues to make progress in his return to the court, but the clock is ticking on a redshirt decision for Ohio State junior Musa Jallow.

After undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle during the preseason, Jallow has yet to play for or practice for the No. 6 Buckeyes as they enter Wednesday night’s game at No. 7 North Carolina. Tuesday afternoon, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said the two sides have discussed a medical redshirt this season but aren’t yet at the point of a decision.

“I think we’re still a few weeks away from really determining if we would redshirt him or try to bring him back with the group,” Holtmann said.

Jallow initially suffered an injury to his right ankle prior to the postseason during his freshman year at Ohio State. It ultimately held him back that following spring when he was invited to a United States U18 national team camp but did not make the team. Despite the late-season injury, he played in 33 games and made 10 starts as a freshman despite having reclassified, graduating a year early from Bloomington (Indiana) North and not turning 18 until midway through Big Ten season.

As a sophomore, Jallow played in all 35 games, making 13 starts and proving himself to be a key member of Holtmann’s rotation down the stretch. In the final five games of the year, Jallow averaged 26.2 minutes while helping the Buckeyes clinch an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, he established himself as a team leader with how he handled a rough season with inconsistent playing time.

But when preseason camp started, Jallow was one of three players held out of initial action. The other two, sophomore wing Justin Ahrens and freshman forward E.J. Liddell, have returned to action while Jallow remains sidelined. He began the season watching games in a walking boot but has since shed the apparatus. On November 12, Holtmann said Jallow had been able to do stand and shoot but otherwise not do much else while adding that there was not yet a timetable for his return.

That hasn’t changed much since then.

“He’s able to do some non-contact stuff in practice but it’s really been limited to that,” Holtmann said Tuesday.

Jallow’s absence has hurt Ohio State’s depth on the wings, especially when senior Andre Wesson went down with a fractured right eye socket in the opening game that sidelined him for nearly two weeks. When healthy, he is one of Holtmann’s top defenders and is among the team’s most athletic members.


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