Ohio State basketball loses key player to transfer portal

The Ohio State basketball team has lost another guard to the transfer portal.

Mar 3, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Devin Royal (21) holds back Ohio State
Mar 3, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Devin Royal (21) holds back Ohio State / Brooke LaValley / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Ohio State basketball program is trying to keep as many players as they can on the team for next year. Now that the season is over, players are flocking to the transfer portal from programs all across the country. Ohio State has already lost one guard to the transfer portal.

Unfortunately, they have lost another one. After having a strong finish to the season once Jake Diebler took over, Scotty Middleton has decided to leave Ohio State after just one year. The freshman is officially in the transfer portal. This was a player Diebler wanted to keep.

Middleton averaged only 4.4 points a game and shot just 39.8% off the bench. Still, he was the guy who was hitting big shots down the stretch to give the Buckeyes a chance to win games. His scoring average also went up once Holtmann was let go in mid-February.

In his final eight games, Middleton shot a whopping 60% from three. That's the type of player that anyone would like to have off the bench. Middleton must have decided that he could get more playing time if he went somewhere else. I can't fault him for believing that.

The Ohio State basketball team is holding out hope that another player doesn't leave in the portal. Diebler mentioned that his top priority once the season ended was going to be roster retention. So far, he's lost two guards off the bench. Things could be worse.

There is still plenty of time for other players to enter the portal though. The season isn't even technically over yet. How Diebler replaces the guys that go will determine how successful he is in his first full season as the coach of the Buckeyes.

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We wish Middleton the best in his future endeavors. Hopefully, he succeeds at his next stop.