Basketball

Chris Holtmann Provides Updates on Jimmy Sotos and C.J. Walker

The No. 21 Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Northwestern Wildcats Wednesday night as OSU fears they may be down two of their point guard options for the game.

On Tuesday afternoon, head coach Chris Holtmann spoke with the media and told reporters that senior C.J. Walker will miss his second straight game due to the torn ligaments in his right hand. The status of Walker is still unknown and his timetable is still indefinite. 

Walker’s replacement for last Saturday’s Rutgers game was Bucknell transfer Jimmy Sotos. However, Sotos injured his right shoulder during the Buckeyes 79-68 victory over the 15th ranked Scarlet Knights. 

“No definitive word right now on him.” Holtmann commented, “Jimmy continues to be evaluated.” 

With the potential of two point guard options out for tomorrow’s contest, this could expand the role for early enrollee freshman Meechie Johnson. Johnson began practice just last week for the Buckeyes and was able to get some valuable minutes in the last matchup vs Rutgers but did not record any stats. 

“I’ve got confidence in Meechie,” Holtmann said. “It’s a lot to ask a young man who just joined your program to step in and play a Big Ten game of this caliber, but we do expect him to play for sure.” 

On Sunday, Sotos posted to Instagram a photo of him in a hospital gown, which is never a good sight for any player. Holtmann mentioned that Sotos is still being evaluated and called him a game-time decision for tomorrow’s Northwestern game. 

The injury was a shame for Sotos who is still trying to find a rhythm on this Buckeyes squad. The game against Rutgers was his best performance yet, with a season-high 28 minutes played and six points scored. 

Now with Sotos down and the Walker injury at the TBD stage, they are the second and third Ohio State guards to be absent this season. Utah State graduate transfer Abel Porter’s career came to an end before it ever began as he learned of a heart disorder that sidelined him for the 2020-2021 season. 

With the depth chart taking such a hit, the sooner Walker can get back, the better.

“I don’t think he’ll come back until he feels comfortable that it’s healthy enough to and I completely understand that,” Holtmann said.

With Sotos most likely out, the load of responsibilities is expected to pile up on Duane Washington and feature more time for Musa Jallow and fellow guard Justin Ahrens. 

Ohio State is scheduled to take on Northwestern at 7:00 pm on BTN Wednesday night.