Ohio State senior forward Andre Wesson suffered a fractured right eye socket in the Buckeyes’ season opener and is expected to miss two weeks, reported by Adam Jardy of The Columbus Dispatch.
Andre Wesson is the only senior on scholarship, and his loss will be felt as the Buckeyes’ best defender on a young roster featuring four true freshmen and three sophomores.
Andre Wesson went down during the second half of Ohio State’s season-opening 64-56 win against Cincinnati at Value City Arena Nov. 6.
Cincinnati’s Chris Vogt pulled down a defensive rebound, and both Andre Wesson and teammate C.J. Walker converged in an attempt to grab the ball. Walker’s left elbow inadvertently hit Andre Wesson in the right side of the face near the free-throw line with 6:02 left in the game and the Buckeyes leading 53-45.
Andre Wesson immediately hit the deck, crouching on his knees and covering his face with his hands, with the referees stopping play six seconds later with the Bearcats on offense. Andrew Wesson was able to get up and walk off under his own power, heading straight to the locker room.
After he left the game, a team spokesman said the senior wing would not return after being poked in the eye. After the game, Andre Wesson’s brother, junior big man Kaleb Wesson said his brother “got a cut on his eye,” and head coach Chris Holtmann said he was being evaluated during the postgame press conference.
Andre Wesson will be missed the most on defense, where he typically guards the opposing team’s best player. Against Cincinnati, he defended the American Athletic Conference preseason player of the year Jarron Cumberland, who finished with 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting, scoring four of his points in the final 5:57 with Andre Wesson in the locker room.
“We don’t have another guy in our program that’s like Andre,” Holtmann said Nov. 8. “Andre connects our defense as well as anybody I’ve coached.”
As a junior last season, Andre Wesson averaged 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds, shooting 43.0 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from three in 30.0 minutes per game.
The absence of Andre Wesson could potentially lead to an opportunity for freshman Alonzo Gaffney to see the floor. The 6-foot-9 forward was the No. 50 recruit in the nation but did not play against Cincinnati.
The No. 18 Buckeyes will host UMass-Lowell on Sunday, Nov. 10 at Value City Arena and No. 10 Villanova on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
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