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E.J. Liddell: Status of Ohio State player for game against Illinois on Thursday

Liddell will start in a conference clash against the Illini.

Iowa v Ohio State
E.J. Liddell of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after dunking the ball during the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Value City Arena on February 19, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Update: Liddell will start against Illinois despite dealing with the flu over the past several days. This is a huge boost for Ohio State, who will look to add a signature win to its resume Thursday.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have listed star forward E.J. Liddell as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Illinois Fighting Illini due to a non-COVID illness. Liddell has been dealing with the flu for several days, although he did play in the team’s win over the Indiana Hoosiers Monday.

Liddell has been the driving force for Ohio State’s success this season, averaging 19.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s even extended his shooting range, connecting on 39.3 percent of his triples so far this year. If he doesn’t play, look for Zed Key and Kyle Young to get extended minutes in the paint. Illini center Kofi Cockburn was going to be tough matchup for anyone, but Ohio State will be even more challenged to defend him if Liddell doesn’t play.

The Buckeyes were listed as 6-point underdogs per DraftKings Sportsbook, and that’ll shift further towards Illinois if Liddell is out.