Ohio State's Kyle Young being evaluated for concussion, status unknown for Michigan game
INDIANAPOLIS – Ohio State forward Kyle Young is being evaluated for a concussion after taking a blow to the head during Friday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game, coach Chris Holtmann said.
The play took place with 17:04 to play during the second half of what would be an 87-78 win against Purdue inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Manning the paint against 6-10, 265-pound Purdue center Trevion Williams, the 6-8, 225-pound Young was called for a foul as the Boilermaker charged through the lane and drew contact. As the players untangled themselves, Young remained on the floor, holding his head with both hands before slowly getting back to his feet.
Young spoke briefly with the coaches, remained in the game for four more possessions – two on offense, where he had an assist, and two on defense – before being removed from the game with 15:38 to play as Ohio State called a timeout after Purdue had pulled within 53-43.
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He would not return, and his status for Saturday’s semifinal rematch against Michigan is uncertain. After the win, Holtmann was asked why Young, who suffered a concussion 19 days ago against Michigan and missed the following game against Michigan State, was not immediately removed from the game.
“I’d like to look back and know the exact scenario right now,” the coach said. “In that moment, we pulled him initially out of an abundance of caution. He said he wanted to play and gave us the indication that he was OK. Perhaps looking back on it I could’ve pulled him and maybe should’ve done that, but in that moment I just looked and trusted what he said.”
After he went to the bench area, Young received nonstop attention from the Ohio State medical staff. He sat on his chair for a while before getting up and walking behind the cloth backdrop behind the bench risers that features the Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin logos. He remained back there for several minutes before briefly returning to the bench and then, towel over his head, heading to the locker room at about the midpoint of the second half.
Until that point, Young had been putting together a career performance. When he closed the first half with a corner three, it gave Ohio State a 49-31 lead and Young a few milestones. His 18 points had already tied a career high, and his 4-for-4 shooting performance from three-point range marked the first time he had made more than two in a single game.
During his first three years, Young had made four total threes.
“He did a lot of good things for us in the first half,” Duane Washington Jr., who finished with a team-high 20 points, said. “I told him he’s gonna have to make some shots today. That’s what I told him before we came into the arena. I told him, ‘You’ve got to put some in for us today. I’ll be looking for you.’ I tried to find him a couple times and he put them up and they were good.”
Since returning from the concussion, Young had scored three points in a loss to Iowa, two in a loss to Illinois and 11 in Thursday’s 79-75 win against Minnesota.
Without him, the Boilermakers were able to dig in, overcome the 18-point halftime deficit and force overtime before the Buckeyes closed with a flourish. Down low, Williams would finish with 26 points on 12-for-23 shooting. All but four of his points came after halftime.
“He’s a first-team all-Big Ten guy,” sophomore forward E.J. Liddell, who was also a first-team all-Big Ten player and who drew a lot of defensive responsibilities against Williams, said. “You guys saw what he did all year. He’s a great player. I give him nothing but props.”
It gets no easier or less physical for the Buckeyes, who finished the game with Young in the locker room, Liddell on the bench after fouling out and Seth Towns guarding Williams in the post. Michigan’s 7-1 center, Hunter Dickinson, was named Big Ten freshman of the year and scored 22 points in the lone meeting between these teams this season.
Holtmann said he was going to meet with the doctors for an update on Young’s condition. Washington said he checked on him after the game.
“You definitely realize when Kyle’s not on the court,” Washington said. “Hopefully he’s good.”