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James Daniel, Howard graduate transfer, picks Tennessee over Ohio State basketball

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The Buckeyes miss out on a critical graduate transfer target.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

A crummy offseason for Ohio State basketball just got worse.

With JaQuan Lyle leaving the program, along with Trevor Thompson and David Bell, Ohio State needs bodies for next year’s team, especially guards. But a critical graduate transfer target has decided to go elsewhere.

Howard’s James Daniel picked former Texas coach Rick Barnes and Tennessee today over Ohio State and DePaul:

Daniel could have brought one critical skill to the Buckeyes, beyond providing guard depth: the man gets buckets. Daniel averaged a blistering 27.1 points per game in 2015-216, leading the country. Injuries robbed him of most of last season.

Ohio State continues to look at other possible graduate transfer targets, like Pitt’s Cameron Johnson, but as we head into the end of May, the possibilities are getting slimmer and slimmer. There’s a chance that the Buckeyes could strike out on all graduate transfer or JUCO options, and head into next season with just two true bigs, and maybe even two guards total, depending on what happens with Kam Williams, who has not yet decided if he will return to the program or not.

If everybody stays healthy and out of foul trouble, a smaller roster might still work. But it means that the Buckeyes are just one injury or suspension from potential abject disaster. After the last few seasons, this isn’t a program that can afford that.