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Freshman point guard D.J. Carton entering the transfer portal

The Ohio State guard had taken a leave of absence from the team back in January

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

In a bit of shocking news on Thursday, Ohio State freshman point guard D.J. Carton has elected to enter the transfer portal, per OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg.

Carton had taken a leave of absence from the team back in January, citing his struggles with mental health issues as the reason for his exit. The announcement came just before Ohio State hosted Indiana on Feb. 1, and the guard would miss the team’s remaining 11 games of the season.

It appeared as though Carton was on the path to making his return, if not this season then almost certainly next, as he had just recently returned to campus and re-enrolled in classes. Head coach Chris Holtmann said the freshman would need to go through an extensive mental examination with the medical team before any return to the basketball activity would be allowed.

With the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments both cancelled because of COVID-19, Carton would not have gotten the chance to return this season anyway, even if he had passed the medical tests. Now, he will be taking his talents elsewhere, as he has instead decided to leave the Buckeyes in favor of the transfer portal.

As the top player in Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class, ranked as the No. 34 player in the country and the No. 4 point guard in the cycle, Carton was showing real promise in his first season in Columbus. Playing nearly 24 minutes per game, the first-year ball-handler was averaging 10.4 points and three assists per game before taking his leave of absence. The Buckeyes will certainly miss what Carton could have potentially brought to the team in year two.