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Gonzaga didn’t see best of Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop in first meeting

UPDATED: Fri., March 16, 2018

Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop drives against South Dakota State’s Reed Tellinghuisen during the first half Thursday. (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)
Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop drives against South Dakota State’s Reed Tellinghuisen during the first half Thursday. (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)

Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop has played in 32 games and only twice failed to reach double figures: Rutgers (season-low six points) and Gonzaga (seven points).

The versatile junior forward was a handful for the rest of Ohio State’s opponents. Bates-Diop was the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and earned some All-American honors after averaging 19.4 points and 8.8 rebounds.

At 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, Bates-Diop can score from behind the arc (54 3-pointers), create off the bounce or go to work in the post. He showed all three aspects with 24 points and 12 rebounds – his 19th double-double – in Thursday’s win over South Dakota State.

Gonzaga’s Johnathan Williams has the size, strength and athleticism to defend Bates-Diop. He did a nice job on the Buckeyes’ standout in the November meeting, but the Zags also had success when they went to a zone defense.

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