The Ohio State basketball team is getting back their most important player

Jake Diebler has done a great job of navigating the transfer portal in his first season as head coach. Now, he's gotten the best player on the Ohio State basketball team to return.

Jan 20, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Bruce Thornton (2) dribbles past Penn
Jan 20, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Bruce Thornton (2) dribbles past Penn / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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The Ohio State basketball program has been in roster-retention mode since their heartbreaking loss to Georgia in the NIT last week. The transfer portal has opened and players from across the country have flooded the portal in hopes of landing in a better situation.

Jake Diebler's goal was to make it so Buckeyes didn't have to enter the portal. So far, he's done a great job of keeping most of his guys. While they did lose a key guard off the bench, they have yet to lose any starters. Felix Okpara even mentioned that he was staying put.

Now the Ohio State basketball team's best player has announced the same. Bruce Thornton has announced that he is coming back to the Buckeyes next season. Thornton was the Buckeyes' leading scorer, assister, and led the team in steals a season ago.

Keeping Thornton for next season is huge for Diebler. Thronton was the Buckeyes' most consistent player a year ago. It started with a great run at the end of the 2022 season. Since then, he's only gotten better as a scorer and as a passer. He'll be the best player on the team next year.

A lot of credit has to go to some of the NIL collectives as well. Ross Bjork has come in and has been a big proponent of NIL going back to his previous employer, Texas A&M. Now, he has an opportunity to help all of Ohio State's sports by embracing the different collectives that surround the university.

Thornton still has things he can improve in his game. His shooting percentages went down this past year, mostly because he had to take bad shots early in the year to generate any hope of offense. Now that Chris Holtmann is gone and Diebler runs some semblance of half-court offense, expcect those to improve.

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This is great news for Ohio State basketball fans out there. He's the most important player for this team moving forward and to have him back is huge.