Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball transfer portal summary

Although he ensured a number of players entered the transfer portal or graduated from the program, Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball coach Jake Diebler brought in several new names through the portal itself and through recruiting. According to 247Sports, Ohio State is ranked No. 16 in the transfer portal rankings.

Note: The NCAA transfer portal closed at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, but players who previously entered their names into the portal still have time to commit to other schools or withdraw their names from the portal.

Who is going?

The three seniors graduating from the program are guard Dale Bonner and forwards Jamison Battle and Owen Spencer. Although Spencer didn't see the field much, Battle was one of the best 3-point shooters in the country and reached the semifinals of the Hanes Men's 3-Point Championship on April 4.

Battle began his career at George Washington before moving to Minnesota for another two years and finishing his career with the Buckeyes. He finished second on the team with 15.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on an efficient shooting distribution of 47-43-92.

Bonner added solid perimeter defense and 3-point shooting, particularly as the season progressed, scoring a season-high 12 points against Virginia Tech in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on March 23.

Aside from the graduates, Diebler lost nearly its entire rotating backfield, including freshman Scotty Middleton and sophomores Roddy Gayle Jr. and Bowen Hardman, as well as sophomore big men Felix Okpara and senior Zed Key.

Gayle and Okpara, two starters from last season, entered the portal as surprise additions, with Gayle committing to Michigan and Okpara to Tennessee. More surprisingly, Okpara announced his decision to leave the club less than three weeks after agreeing to play for Diebler next season.

With Gayle's departure, the Buckeyes lose perhaps their best perimeter defender in the backcourt as well as a force that pushes to the rim. Okpara also displayed a great defensive presence, recording the second-most blocks per game in the Big Ten.

Middleton, who missed the final games of the season due to family issues, transferred to play for coach Shaheen Holloway and Seton Hall. The Pirates are getting a solid, young shooter from downtown as well as a solid perimeter defender.

Key didn't see the floor as much as he did in his junior season, but remained a fan favorite – there was perhaps no rotation player who got the crowd going as much as he did every time he made a block or a three-pointer. Key will play for Dayton next season.

Hardman didn't break the rotation until late in the season, just before Diebler took over as interim head coach. He occasionally provided an instant attacking impetus off the bench and has a chance to thrive from downtown in Akron next season.

Incoming outstanding performances

Diebler officially added five players this offseason – transfers Meechie Johnson Jr., Aaron Bradshaw and Micah Parrish, as well as top-125 additions Colin White and Juni Mobley.

Johnson began his career with the Buckeyes before moving to South Carolina after two seasons. He spent another two years in Colombia before announcing his return to Columbus. With sophomore guard Bruce Thornton and freshman Taison Chatman the only returning players in the backcourt, Johnson gives the Buckeyes three-pointers and solid on-ball defense next season – not to mention his large returning fan base.

Parrish also provides a solid defensive presence for Diebler. At 6-foot-3, the Detroit native is a 3&D player with the ability to defend 1-4 and knock down shots from anywhere on the court. However, Ohio State should hope that Parrish can return to the scoring efficiency he had in his first two years in Oakland, where he shot over 40 percent from the field and 35 percent from downtown.

The latest transfer added was Bradshaw, who will replace Okpara as the six-foot-two star. Despite being on the field for less than 15 minutes per game last season, he was efficient on both ends when given enough time. Bradshaw should expect to provide a dominant team presence as a backup, if not a starter, and could hope to be in the mix with rising sophomore Devin Royal as the big man.

As Mr. Ohio Basketball, White must travel just over 100 miles to get to Ohio State from Ottawa-Glandorf High School. He brings the power to finish through contact in the paint, but can also help stretch the floor and defend 2-4.

Mobley, who is the No. 42 recruit nationally, can support Thornton, Johnson and Chatman in the backcourt with his three-level scoring, especially from beyond the arc. Coming from Wasatch Academy in Utah, Mobley averaged over 21 and five assists per game, helping his school finish in the top 10 nationally.

With only one scholarship spot remaining on the Buckeye roster, Diebler appears to have taken a comprehensive approach to the transfer portal to address any future issues. The Buckeyes can hope to return to the NCAA Tournament next season with more veteran leadership after missing the past two years.

Anna Harden

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