When Ohio State point guard Evan Turner went down hard on his back Saturday, it left Buckeyes fans breathless.
After the game news was released that Turner broke two bones in his back, and that he would be gone for about eight weeks of the season.
Turner is a big part of this basketball team, and they’re going to miss him a lot in these next 56 days. He led the team in points, assists, rebounds, and steals last season, finishing second for Big Ten Player of the Year.
Ohio State has a great coach in Thad Matta, and he will have this team winning games, but they will not be as effective as they are with Evan Turner.
Last season when David Lighty went out with his injury it was William Buford who stepped up for the team and fit the role that the team needed to continue to win.
If the Buckeyes still want to make it to the big tournament in March, then someone else will need to step up off the bench.
This will be a challenge for the Buckeyes because they don’t have any freshman that they can throw in, and they will have to wait another year for the big talent to roll in, so they will have to make do with what they have.
I look for Jeremy Simmons and P.J. Hill to get more playing time at the point guard position like they did last season, and it will be up to the starting five to take their game up a notch.
William Buford has been having a flat year, as he hasn’t seemed to find his shot. If he can get things heated up for the Buckeyes they will have a big threat on the offensive side.
John Diebler has been doing a terrific job on the perimeter and is now the Buckeyes' number one weapon, because they can kick it out to him and his shot drops almost every time.
David Lighty is back and I think he is the key player on this team for the Buckeyes to continue to win. He’s been to the Final Four and the National Championship. He was there when they won the NIT.
Lighty needs to gather the younger kids around him and let them know that they just suffered a blow, but they need to learn how to win without Evan Turner for the next eight weeks.
If the Buckeyes can win most of their games over that stretch then they will be just that much better when Turner returns.
They have a big game against Butler this weekend and they can make a statement early if they can win, because the Bulldogs are a good team.
The impact of Ohio State losing Evan Turner is similar to the Cleveland Cavaliers losing LeBron James, but they are not completely lost without him, and I think they will come through this stronger.