Ohio State without Meechie Johnson Jr. for Wisconsin game

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes guard Meechie Johnson Jr. (0) drives around Wisconsin Badgers guard Jordan Davis (2) during the second half of the NCAA men's basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

MADISON, Wis. -- Ohio State guard Meechie Johnson Jr. will miss Thursday night's game at No. 13 Wisconsin with a facial injury suffered during Tuesday's practice.

The Buckeyes announced the news about two hours before the No. 16 Buckeyes were set to tip against the Badgers. It's not yet known how long Johnson will be sidelined by the injury. Ohio State will host Penn State on Sunday and IUPUI on Tuesday, but it's unlikely he will return by then. He did not make the trip to Wisconsin.

"I wish my brothers good luck tonight!" he wrote in a message posted to Twitter. "It sucks to not be there tonight and be in a game like this especially on the road, but injuries is apart of the game and I'll be back soon! Go bucks"

A second-year freshman, Johnson has averaged 6.6 points in 19.7 minutes per game. He has shot 40.0% (20 for 50) from 3-point range and played in all 13 games including one start. He hit the game-winning shot against Seton Hall on Nov. 22

In the previous meeting between these teams this season, Johnson had 8 points, two rebounds, two assists, a steal and a turnover in 19:01 as Ohio State beat Wisconsin 73-55 on Dec. 11.

Sunday's win against Northwestern marked one calendar year since he made his Ohio State debut at Rutgers. After graduating high school early and joining the Buckeyes in December, 2020, Johnson has played 30 games for the Buckeyes, scoring 107 points (3.6 per game) and shooting 41.9% (26 for 62) from 3-point range. 

Johnson is the only new addition to Ohio State's availability report. Graduate transfer Seth Towns and fifth-year senior Justice Sueing both remain out with long-term injuries.

Johnson's absence likely means more minutes for Jimmy Sotos and Cedric Russell against the Badgers.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy