It wasn't that long ago that Ohio State's 2015 basketball recruiting class, a five man group that was the highest ranked in the Big Ten, was thought to be the engine that would drive the Buckeyes back to the top of the conference. Now, that class is in shambles, and the Buckeyes will need to rebuild in a hurry, as yet another talented member of the group will transfer.
According to Ohio State coach Thad Matta, Buckeye point guard A.J. Harris will transfer from the program. He'll be the fourth member of the group to transfer, as four-star shooting guard Austin Grandstaff (now at Oklahoma) left early in the season, and news broke that four-star center Daniel Giddens would also depart the program on Monday night. It was announced earlier Tuesday that Mickey Mitchell would also leave. JaQuan Lyle has announced, via Twitter, and since reiterated that he would stay.
Harris, who will have three years of eligibility remaining, averaged 2.8 points and 1.7 assists per game, over 13.7 minutes. The diminutive guard saw his minutes go up and down during the season, as Ohio State's coaching staff tried to find the best ways to deploy him and JaQuan Lyle, but given his speed, his potential, and the fact that the Buckeyes are very light on point guards, Harris figured to play an expanded role for Ohio State next season.
Ohio State now has four open scholarships to use for 2016 or 2017, and with much of the 2016 already accounted for, the likelihood that the Buckeyes pursue a graduate transfer, especially at guard, probably increases. The Buckeyes will need to plug the rapidly growing holes on their roster quickly though, if they want to take a crack at Big Ten contention next season.
Best of luck to Harris in his future endeavors.