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Harvard forward Seth Towns announces he will transfer to Ohio State

The 2018 Ivy League player of the year sat out this past season with a knee injury and will be immediately eligible to play.

Ivy League Basketball Tournament - Championship Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

On Saturday night, former Harvard forward Seth Towns announced on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that he plans to join Chris Holtmann’s Ohio State Buckeyes for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. A former three-star prospect out of nearby Columbus Northland High School, Towns originally committed to play at Harvard in 2016 despite holding offers from Ohio State (then coached by Thad Matta), Michigan, Purdue, and seven others.

One of those seven other offers came from Chris Holtmann, who at the time was the head coach at Butler. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward will have two years of eligibility remaining, and will be able to don the Scarlet and Gray right away this upcoming season.

Towns, the 2017-18 Ivy League Player of the Year, averaged 16 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists during the 2018-2019 season. He also shot 44.1 percent from 3-point range and was an 80.5 percent free throw shooter. He injured his knee during Harvard’s loss to Penn in the 2018 Ivy League Tournament final, and that injury would end up holding him out for the next two seasons.

After having another knee surgery, Towns announced that he would be transferring away from Harvard in January. According to our favorite basketball robot Jon Rothstein, Towns was initially leaning towards Ohio State, Michigan, Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia, or Kansas. But, on Wednesday, that list was whittled down to Ohio State and Duke, who entered the picture at the last second. As late as last Sunday, before Coach K’s Blue Devils entered the picture, 247Sports had their crystal ball predicting that Towns would head to Columbus.

A Columbus product, Towns could team up with another Columbus native in Kaleb Wesson. A Towns-Wesson duo, paired with the embarrassingly rich depth Ohio State will possess next year, would surely place them in the preseason top-10 in the AP Poll. Expectations would be even higher next year if the Buckeyes had both Wesson and Towns.

What’s even more interesting is if Wesson’s decision would factor into Towns’, or vice versa. Having both played in the area, it would not be shocking if the two have spoken about a potential reunion. Would Kaleb’s staying make Towns more likely to come to Columbus, or would Towns coming to OSU entice Kaleb into returning?

On Monday night, I was spitballing what Ohio State’s lineup may look like if Towns came to Columbus and Wesson stayed for another year. It may look something like this:

(Editor’s note: this tweet was sent out three days before Carton announced he was transferring)

Luther Muhammad could also slot into a guard spot with Washington Jr. coming off the bench, but that depends if Holtmann prefers Muhammad’s defense over Washington Jr.’s offense on any given night.

What is downright not fair is that Ohio State’s bench could include Justice Sueing, who averaged 14.3 points per game in 2018-19 for Cal, Muhammad or Washington Jr., and E.J. Liddell, who came on strong at the end of last season. Imagine having those three guys sub in eight to nine minutes into the game, when Kyle Young, Towns, and CJ Walker check out. That’s nasty.

Now, if Wesson chose to leave, you could potentially see Ohio State slide one of Young, Sueing, or Liddell over to the five and play a bit smaller. I don’t anticipate Ibrahima Diallo logging a ton of minutes yet, but the Buckeyes will have at least five players who are between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-9 and will log lots of minutes. In that situation, the lineup may look like this:

G: CJ Walker

G: Duane Washington Jr.

F: Kyle Young

F: Seth Towns

F: E.J. Liddell

Having been very successful at Cal in two seasons there, Sueing could also start for the Buckeyes from day one. Coming off of an ankle surgery this season, his health will be a big factor in the early stages of next season. But Ohio State has an embarrassment of riches right now, and eight months to sort it all out.