The college basketball season has officially ended, as Villanova capped the season on Monday night with a dominant victory over Michigan. The end of play certainly doesn’t mean the end of interesting things for Buckeye fans (and college basketball fans in general) to follow, and we’re heading into a crucial offseason for Chris Holtmann and his staff.
With the loss of four players (Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich) to graduation or the NBA, Ohio State has several open scholarships for the 2018-19 season, despite the addition of four freshmen. As of right now, Ohio State has 11 scholarship players, and with a cap of 13, they’re very interested in adding a transfer to cement the roster.
It isn’t hard to see that the Buckeyes are very interested in adding a grad transfer or two, because if you’ve seen any report about a player looking to transfer, Ohio State has been named as a team that reached out in almost every circumstance. Obviously there’s a big difference between a coach reaching out on Twitter and a legitimate chance at landing a player, so let’s take a look at who the Buckeyes could realistically add, against who seems like more of a pipe dream.
C.J. Walker, Guard, Florida State: Of all the players that list interest from Ohio State, Florida State sophomore guard C.J. Walker is the first of the bunch to actually schedule a visit to Columbus. The Indianapolis native averaged 8 points on 41 percnt shooting, 2.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds in the past season, as he started in all but one of Florida State’s games.
Walker may not be as flashy of an option as some of the other players on this list, but he seems like the most realistic option at this point. Unfortunately, he will have to sit out a season, before being eligible to play his final two years.
Joe Cremo, Guard, Albany: One of the best pure scoring options on the market, the Albany star would bring an immediate boost to Ohio State’s offense. With the loss of Keita Bates-Diop, the Buckeyes will need a new go-to scorer, and Cremo seems like a perfect fit.
Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo told ESPN he has received interest from Creighton, Arizona, Ohio St, Wichita St, St Joes, Louisville, Uconn, West Virginia, Texas tech, St Bonaventure and SMU.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 31, 2018
He has yet to schedule a visit, but there is serious interest on both sides, and if Ohio State can get him on campus, they have as good of a chance as any team to land him.
Cremo put up 17.8 points on 46 percent shooting, 3.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds a game last season for the Great Danes.
Miles Reynolds, Guard, Pacific: Another guard that would be eligible to play right away, Pacific guard Miles Reynolds is a great option for the Buckeyes after his only season in Forest Grove. Reynolds seems likely to visit Columbus (if he doesn’t commit to Oklahoma before he schedules a visit), and if Ohio State misses on Cremo or Walker, Reynolds is their top priority.
Pacific grad transfer Miles Reynolds will take a visit to Oklahoma next weekend. Sooners went to see him yesterday. Ohio State, Nevada, DePaul have also reached out.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 28, 2018
13.3 points, 2.8 assists. Immediately eligible.
Reynolds averaged 13.3 points on 41 percent shooting, 2.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds last season, as he served as the second scoring option for Pacific.
Ehab Amin, Guard, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: Another guard with an elite ability to score and good size (sensing a trend here), Amin may be the most exciting player on this entire list. An injury sidelined him for the past season, but the 6-foot-3 guard was dominant as a junior, and has attracted quite a bit of interest.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi graduate transfer Ehab Amin has heard from Florida State, Texas A&M, Iowa State, OK State, Seton Hall, Nevada, BYU and Ohio State, he says. Averaged 16.9 PPG during 2016-2017 season.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) April 1, 2018
Amin put up 16.9 points per game on 46 percent shooting, 2.9 assists and 6.6 rebounds a game as a junior, as he helped lead his team to a second place finish in the Southland conference.
Possible, but unlikely
Marcus Carr, Guard, Pitt: Pitt’s mass exodus isn’t likely to benefit Ohio State too much. While the Buckeyes’ neighbors to the east are certainly going through some issues as they transition from Kevin Stallings to Jeff Capel, the only one of their eight departures to show interest in Ohio State, Marcus Carr, doesn’t seem too likely of an option for the Buckeyes.
Since obtaining his release from Pitt, PG Marcus Carr is hearing from these schools:— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 26, 2018
(Photo: @PghSportsNow) pic.twitter.com/DdQyPAg074
Carr averaged 10 points on 39 percent shooting, four assists and 2.8 rebounds a game as a freshman at Pitt, and while he certainly has the talent to play at Ohio State, he seems more likely to end up at another school.
Cheddi Mosely, Guard, Boston: Cheddi is likely headed to Wake Forest or St. Bonaventure, as both parties have gone separate ways.
Former Boston University Men's Basketball guard Cheddi Mosely (@CheddiMoselyy) tells me he plans on visiting both Wake Forest and St. Bonaventure. Mosely has one year left of eligibility and will be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer.— Greg Levinsky (@GregLevinsky) March 28, 2018
Tariq Owens, Forward, St. Johns: Only looking at Western Kentucky, Maryland and Texas Tech. Ohio State was never a huge contender here.
St. John’s graduate transfer Tariq Owens is down to Maryland, Texas Tech & Western Kentucky, per a source. Plans to visit Texas Tech after the Final Four.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) March 28, 2018
Ryan Taylor, Forward, Evansville: Probably headed to a blue-blood, either Arizona, Indiana, UCLA, Georgetown or Purdue. Ohio State would love to have Taylor, but he’s one of the hottest names on the market, and the Buckeyes don’t have that kind of pull under Holtmann quite yet.
While at this point it’s still pretty early to predict the transfers Ohio State ends up with, it’s almost certain that they land at least one to fill their empty scholarship spots. With all things considered, including visits, other interested teams, location, fit, and anything else, I feel that Ohio State will exit the transfer market with two new players: C.J. Walker, and Joe Cremo. Despite Walker not being able to play until 2019, he’s exactly what Chris Holtmann wants in a point guard, and could develop into a great leader.
Cremo would bring the scoring that the Buckeyes need, and his great shooting would be perfect for replacing some of the production lost from Kam Williams and Keita Bates-Diop. Obviously the Buckeyes will need players like C.J. Jackson, Kaleb Wesson, Musa Jallow, Kyle Young, Micah Potter and any of their incoming freshmen to step up as well, but landing these two would be a great start for the 2018-19 season and beyond.