Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson to return from suspension for Big Ten tourney

Kaleb Wesson will return to the court for Ohio State with the Buckeyes’ NCAA fate hanging in the balance. 

Coach Chris Holtmann said on the Big Ten coaches’ media conference call Monday that Wesson will play Thursday against Indiana after being suspended for the final three games of the regular season. 

#Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann, just now on the Big Ten teleconference, on Kaleb Wesson: “It’ll be interesting to see after a bit of a layoff how quickly we can get back to playing when he’s at full strength and when our team’s at full strength.”

Wesson, the Buckeyes’ top scorer (14.6 points per game) and rebounder (6.7), was suspended March 1 for violating athletic department policy. Ohio State has dropped all three games in his absence, including an overtime loss to Wisconsin on Sunday. 

That slide has the Buckeyes in a delicate position entering the Big Ten tournament. Now 18-13 overall, OSU is at No. 44 in the latest KenPom rankings. In the latest bracket projections released Monday, the Buckeyes are a 12 seed according to Sporting News, the Washington Post and ESPN, and CBS has them as an 11 seed. 

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Indiana, meanwhile, has worked its way into a bubble position after a dreadful stretch in the middle of the season, and the loser of Thursday’s game could well be out of the NCAA picture. 

The Buckeyes won the regular-season meeting between the pair, 55-52, on Feb. 10 in Bloomington, with Wesson scoring 10 points. 

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