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BuckIQ: Kyle Young return key for NCAA Tournament hopes at Ohio State

Ohio State sophomore Kyle Young returned from injury to help spark the Buckeyes to a win. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio State Basketball

BuckIQ: Kyle Young return key for NCAA Tournament hopes at Ohio State

COLUMBUS — Kyle Young only needed a few seconds to offer a reminder of what Ohio State had been missing.

Stuck on the sideline for the last four games with a stress fracture in his leg, the Buckeyes had been noticeably lacking an additional big presence inside, the boost of energy Kyle Young provides on both ends and the extra dose of hard-nosed effort the sophomore brings to the rotation.

So, less than 20 seconds after making coming off the bench for his first appearance after the injury, Young was attacking the glass, snagging a rebound and setting the tone for what would become another critical Big Ten win at home for Ohio State as it makes another push to return to the NCAA Tournament.

And if the Buckeyes are going to get there or go steal a road win on Sunday at Indiana, Young is going to be one of the most important pieces as long as he’s healthy.

“He played with activity, and that’s who Kyle is,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said after the win over Penn State on Thursday. “We missed that, and we missed his experience, too.

Kyle Young-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State basketball

Ohio State will be relying on Kyle Young down the stretch. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“He’s been on a minutes restriction, so I thought in my head we could get 15 minutes out of him potentially. It’s not like he’s been out for six months, so we were going to still play him fairly regularly. But I was worried about his conditioning.”

There was no need for concern with Young, who instead gave Ohio State 25 minutes — with his performance in the last one of the game providing another clear example of his value. A late layup on one end and clutch defensive stop at the other helped seal the victory, capping off a versatile performance with 6 points, 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks.

What makes Kyle Young so effective for the Buckeyes? Former Ohio State big man Terence Dials was back in the Lettermen Row film room for a BuckIQ episode looking at just what the forward brings to the program and the role he can play on the road against the Hoosiers.

Roll the tape!

Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.

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Kid Buckeye

Young has the best basketball IQ on the team.

Terence Dials

Terence Dials played forward for Ohio State men’s hoops between 2001-2006, and was named Big Ten Player of the Year for his final season. Dials led the team as a captain and to the NCAA tournament in 2006, eventually being inducted into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. He now lives in the Columbus area with his family.

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