As the transfer portal closes, here are five thoughts on where Ohio State stands (2024)

Adam JardyColumbus Dispatch

That sound you heard just before the stroke of midnight was the collective sigh of the college basketball landscape celebrating the first major milestone of the offseason.

On May 1, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, the transfer portal officially closed. Any player with eligibility remaining had until that point to enter their name into the portal and retain eligibility for the 2024-25 season, otherwise they would be forced to sit out a year before playing. At least, that’s how the rules are currently written, although the NCAA isn’t much in the business of denying waivers these days.

Nonetheless, while players can still transfer to schools after Wednesday night, the influx of players entering the portal will now draw to a close. One technicality: a few new names could still pop up in the coming days as compliance offices formalize any last-minute requests. Requests only have to be made before the deadline, not finalized paperwork.

Under first-year coach Jake Diebler, Ohio State has lost five players to the portal and signed three more. Two roster spots remain, and the Buckeyes might not be far off from adding more frontcourt talent.

Here are five thoughts on where the Buckeyes stand with the portal now closed.

Ohio State took some hits

While the transfer portal hadn’t given Ohio State a whole lot of immediate production in recent seasons (Jamison Battle, Keyshawn Woods, and Sean McNeil notwithstanding), it hadn’t really hurt the Buckeyes with key players leaving, either. In the last 10 seasons, just one top-five scorer transferred out of the program: JaQuan Lyle in 2017. He finished third at 11.4 points per game.

This year, the Buckeyes lost three. Roddy Gayle will play at Michigan after finishing third at 13.5 points per game, Zed Key will play at Dayton after finishing fourth at 6.6 points per game and Felix Okpara will play at Tennessee after finishing fifth at 6.6 points (Okpara scored 231 points in 35 games; Key had 238 in 36). Of the three, Gayle and Okpara still had two years of eligibility remaining.

All three could reasonably have impacted the rotation in 2024-25.

The roster is high on upside

There are a few known, high-level contributors on the roster. Bruce Thornton has been a lineup mainstay since the second he walked on campus two seasons ago. Meechie Johnson grew into a second-team all-SEC player who averaged 13.4 points in two seasons at South Carolina. Micah Parrish and Evan Mahaffey have proven themselves capable rotation pieces.

Otherwise, there’s a lot of guarded optimism for a roster with talent that still needs molding. Aaron Bradshaw was a top-five national recruit and McDonald’s All-American a year ago, before a foot injury sidelined the start to his year at Kentucky, where he averaged 4.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks. Likewise, Ohio State’s Taison Chatman and Austin Parks had the starts to their freshman seasons affected by offseason injuries and struggled to make impacts once they got to full health during the year. Chatman was the highest-rated player in Ohio State’s four-man 2023 recruiting class, checking in at No. 33 in the 247Sports.com rankings.

Even Devin Royal, who played his way into a prominent role late in the year, finished only seventh on the team in scoring at 4.7 points per game. This year, Bradshaw, Royal and Chatman will be expected to step into more significant roles while Parks will have an opportunity to carve out a role as a backup center. There is reason to believe each has more to offer than what was shown last year, and they will have chances to prove that this season.

Will there be enough shooting?

Ohio State shot 34.5% from 3 last season, the fifth-lowest mark in the Big Ten. When you remove fifth-year forward Jamison Battle and his 91-for-210 (43.3%) shooting mark, the rest of the Buckeyes were a combined 163 for 526 (31.0%) from deep.

Thornton shot 33.3% (58 for 174) as a sophom*ore, down from 37.5% (42 for 112) as a freshman. In his three seasons as a primary rotation player, Johnson has shot 32.1%, 32.7% and 32.1%, respectively, from deep, showing enough of a track record to wonder how much more improvement can be reasonably expected. Micah Parrish shot 35.3% in 2021-22, his first season at San Diego State, but dropped to a career-low 29.2% on a career-high 161 attempts last season.

Freshman Juni Mobley cemented himself as a prolific prep shooter. Thornton and Johnson figure to take a lot of shots, particularly in late-game situations. There’s probably not a sharpshooter on this roster like Battle, and it seems unrealistic to think one is going to be added at this point. It’s going to take a collective effort for the Buckeyes to be able to pressure teams from the perimeter.

Needs remain, particularly in the frontcourt

Although Johnson, Bradshaw and Parrish were all viewed as impact additions, the Buckeyes have been linked with and missed out on several other transfers. Most notably, Ohio State targeted Oakland’s Trey Townsend, only for him to pick Arizona instead.

Aside from better shooting, two needs remain, and they’re both down low. Ohio State could use another versatile forward down low and another center to add support to a rotation of Bradshaw and Parks. It’s folly to draw conclusions until the roster is complete, but it does look like a team with more high-end talent and versatility than a season ago

It will be on Diebler and his new coaching staff, which still needs one more addition, to maximize the potential of this group.

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Outside expectations are higher

Despite some of the roster turnover and a second straight year of missing the NCAA Tournament, Ohio State has frequently been included among national top-25 lists. As of Wednesday night, the Buckeyes were No. 15 in CBS’ Gary Parrish’s “Top 25 And 1”, No. 19 in Jon Rothstein’s top 45 at FanDuel.com, No. 23 in Andy Katz’s rankings for NCAA.com and No. 24 in ESPN’s rankings last updated April 25.

The Buckeyes figure to open as a ranked team next season.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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As the transfer portal closes, here are five thoughts on where Ohio State stands (2024)

FAQs

Which Ohio State players are going to the NFL draft in 2024? ›

The 2024 NFL draft is complete. Four former Ohio State players found their NFL homes during the seven-round draft: Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., defensive tackle Mike Hall Jr., tight end Cade Stover and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg.

Why is there an emphasis on the Ohio State University? ›

The change from simply "OSU" was said to "reflect the national stature of the institution." University officials wanted the institution to be known as "The Ohio State University," again, since OSU could also mean Oregon State and Oklahoma State University.

Has Ohio State ever lost to an Ohio school? ›

The Buckeyes compiled a 5–2 record while outscoring opponents 110–14. The 14 points allowed came in Ohio State's only losses. The Buckeyes' 1921 loss to Oberlin remains their last loss to a team from the state of Ohio.

How many osu players were drafted in 2024? ›

Ohio State had six draft selections overall in both 2022 and 2023. The Buckeyes are expected to have at least four in 2024: Harrison, defensive tackle Mike Hall Jr., tight end Cade Stover and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, while players such as safety Josh Proctor and linebacker Steele Chambers could also be picked.

Where does Ohio State 2024 recruiting class rank? ›

The Ohio State Buckeyes have had one of the best offseasons in program history, adding key recruits and transfers in preparation for a national championship run. On3 has the Buckeyes ranked as No. 4 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten on their list of the best 2024 recruiting classes.

How many players did Ohio State lose to the transfer portal? ›

After losing 19 players in the winter, Ohio State lost just six this spring, running back Dallan Hayden, safeties Ja'Had Carter and Cedrick Hawkins, offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi, wide receiver Kyion Grayes and linebacker Nigel Hayes.

How did Ohio State do in the transfer portal? ›

Ohio State has not been one of the schools that has gone all in on the transfer portal. Under Ryan Day the last few years, the Buckeyes have continued to focus on adding high school talent and taken a pick-and-choose approach to the transfer portal, finding talent where they need it and filling holes when necessary.

How prestigious is Ohio State University? ›

The Ohio State University is ranked #43 out of 439 National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Why did Ohio State change their name? ›

The change from simply "OSU" was said to "reflect the national stature of the institution." University officials wanted the institution to be known as "The Ohio State University," again, since OSU could also mean Oregon State and Oklahoma State University.

Why do people like Ohio State University? ›

Ohio State is an incredibly comprehensive university with top-ranked and expansive programs. If you want to double major, change majors, explore majors or create your own, then you're in the right place!

What teams has Ohio State never beaten? ›

Football Bowl Subdivision Teams Ohio State Has Played And Never Beaten
  • Clemson (0-4) ...
  • Florida State (0-3) ...
  • Florida (0-2) ...
  • South Carolina (0-2) ...
  • Auburn (0-1-1) ...
  • Air Force (0-1) ...
  • Georgia (0-1) ...
  • Tennessee (0-1)

Has Ohio State ever lost to an unranked team? ›

Lopsided Loss to Unranked Opponent Keeps Ohio State Out of College Football Playoff for Second Straight Year. Nov. 4, 2017: Iowa 55, Ohio State 24.

Has Ohio State ever gone undefeated? ›

The program has also captured 41 conference championships (2 OAC and 39 Big Ten), 10 division championships, and has compiled 10 undefeated seasons, including six perfect seasons (no losses or ties).

Will Tommy Eichenberg get drafted? ›

With the 148th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders have selected linebacker Tommy Eichenberg.

Will Cade Stover get drafted? ›

Houston selected TE Cade Stover in the fourth round of Saturday's NFL Draft, which means he'll be teammates again with Texans QB C.J. Stroud. The pick was Philadelphia's at 123rd overall, and the Texans acquired it in exchange for their fourth-rounder, which was 127th overall, and a fifth-rounder in 2025.

Where will Cade Stover go in draft? ›

Texans pick Cade Stover in fourth round of 2024 NFL draft. What to know. The Houston Texans selected Ohio State TE Cade Stover with the 123rd pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Stover spent five seasons with the Buckeyes.

How many Michigan players will be drafted in 2024? ›

With 13 players selected during the 2024 NFL Draft, U-M surpassed its previous school record of 11 draftees set during the 2017 draft. It was also the fifth time in program history that Michigan had 10 or more players chosen (11 players in 2017 and 10 on three occasions: 1972, 1974 and 2020).

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