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Tanner Holden enters transfer portal, departs Ohio State after one season

Holden’s playing time decreased drastically down the stretch, and he has opted not to return to Ohio State.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Joseph Scheller/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

It was heavily speculated after his playing time disappeared during the second half of the season, but we finally have some concrete news on Ohio State guard Tanner Holden. Holden, a senior from Wheelersburg who appeared in 27 games for the Buckeyes this past season after transferring from Wright State last summer, has entered the transfer portal.

Holden established himself as the first man off the bench for Ohio State early in the season, playing 15 minutes or more in 10 of the first 11 games. His minutes waned after the turn of the calendar year, however, and he logged 10+ minutes just twice over the final 16 games of the season, including eight healthy scratches.

Holden was efficient when he did play, averaging 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds over 27 games, averaging just under 14 minutes per contest. He shot 47.8% overall and hit seven of his 14 three-point attempts.

His final memorable moment in a Buckeye uniform came in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against Michigan State. With Ohio State leading 17-15 with 8:44 remaining in the first half, Holden splashed a three-pointer from the far corner just in front of the MSU bench. Clearly someone from the Spartans’ bench said something to Holden as he shot the ball, because after the shot went in, Holden turned around, pointed at the Michigan State bench, and yelled. Holden was immediately assessed a technical foul, and he did not re-enter the game from that point on. Joey Hauser hit both technical free throws to get Michigan State back within three, 20-17. Ohio State would go on to win the game, 68-58.

While there was no part of his game that clearly lagged while he was on the floor (other than the opportunity to do more), Holden fell out of the rotation by season’s end. Head coach Chris Holtmann chose not to give any further explanation for this beyond the fact that Holden was “doing good things in practice, but that’s just what the rotation is.”

While positionally Holden would’ve been in line for more minutes next season with the departures of Justice Sueing, Isaac Likekele, and (probably) Brice Sensabaugh, it’s also understandable that Holden would choose to move on after riding pine down the stretch for the second-worst team in the Big Ten as a fourth-year player.

In three seasons at Wright State prior to his transfer to Ohio State, Holden averaged 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in 33 minutes per contest. He shot 49.7% overall, and starred for the Raiders at the 2022 NCAA Tournament First Four in Dayton, where Wright State defeated Bryant for their first NCAA Tournament win in program history. Holden scored 37 in that game.

Holden has one year of eligibility remaining due to the COVID-19 waiver added from the 2020-2021 season.

Good luck to Tanner wherever he winds up playing!