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D.J. Carton to take time away from Ohio State men’s basketball team to address mental health issues

The freshman is the team’s second-leading scorer.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday night, the Ohio State athletic department issued a statement saying that men’s basketball freshman guard D.J. Carton would be taking time away from his team to “deal with personal matters.” Carton will miss the Ohio State Buckeyes’ game against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.

Carton followed up the announced with a social media post that explained that he has been dealing with mental health issues for multiple years, and said that he was “not doing my teammates justice if I don’t work on this now.”

As part of the athletic department’s statement, head coach Chris Holtmann said, “D.J. remains a valued member of our program and we will continue to love and support him. Please respect the family’s privacy in this matter.”

Carton is the Buckeyes’ second leading scorer with 10.4 points per game. He is also second on the team in assists with 2.9 per outing, and he is contributing 2.8 rebounds per contest as well. A member of Holtmann’s highly ranked freshman class, he was Iowa’s Mr. Basketball in 2019 and was a first-team all-state player for Bettendorf High School.

The Buckeyes, who are 13-7 overall, but 3-6 in the Big Ten, will now have to rely more on junior transfer guard CJ Walker as the team’s primary ball handler. Walker is averaging 7.5 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game.

The Buckeyes will host the Hoosiers on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 12 p.m. ET in a game broadcast on ESPN.