It’s not addition by subtraction, but the transfer of Ohio State’s Luther Muhammad to unknown parties is also not a debilitating and unexpected blow to the aspirations of head coach Chris’ fourth team. Holtmann in Columbus to be his best to date.
Despite the start of 56 of 64 games, all but two of which this season, Muhammad has entered his name on the NCAA transfer portal and will become the fourth OSU player who could have returned for 2020-21 to leave the program. .
It sounds bad, but all four have different motivations and none took Holtmann or his team by surprise, according to those close to the program.
Muhammad’s exit leaves Buckeyes a bit skinny in the backcourt, but staff think qualifying transfer Judge Sueing can make a difference, as the OSU did in Holtmann’s first year with the attacking Jae’Sean Tate.
First-year student Eugene Brown and young Musa Jallow, who redshirted last season due to foot surgery, could also fill the gap left by Muhammad’s absence.
The OSU starting backyard next year is set by senior CJ Walker and junior Duane Washington Jr., who both played well in the streak in the Buckeyes’ 9-2 final, this which brought a global record of 21-10.
Muhammad is the third player on this team to be transferred, after freshmen D.J. Carton and Alonzo Gaffney.
Junior center Kaleb Wesson, the OSU’s top scorer in the past two years, has announced plans to participate in the NBA draft.
Wesson plans to hire an NCAA-approved agent and therefore leaves the possibility of returning to Ohio State open, but those who participate in the program see his departure as near-certainty.
Muhammad averaged 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Buckeyes, who finished second in the country after an 11-1 start, fell from the Top 25 for several weeks and then rallied to win nine of their last 11 games and tied for fourth in the league.
Holtmann suspended Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. from a Jan. 14 home game against Nebraska for “failure to meet program expectations”. OSU won without them to break a four-game losing streak.
Muhammad returned to the starting lineup after the game and noted the Buckeyes’ closing burst with a career high of 22 points in an upset end of Maryland No. 7 in late February.
The OSU list is likely to go from a graduate or undergraduate transfer in the coming days, having already added the country’s No. 1 graduate transfer to Seth Towns at Harvard two weeks ago.
Cities still have two years of eligibility.
Bucknell’s goalkeeper Jimmy Sotos is a solid target in Ohio State after entering the transfer portal on Saturday.
Guard 6-3 of Elk Grove, Ill., would consider OSU, Butler, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Xavier.
Sotos is not eligible next season, but could be if the NCAA grants the immediate single transfer waiver it plans or if it obtains a waiver.
OSU staff question whether, if Sotos does not receive immediate eligibility through a change in NCAA rule, whether it wants to ask them to play in 2020-2021 or would be better served in the long term by becoming eligible for a once Walker graduated.
Sotos averaged 11.5 points last season at Bucknell and scored 810 points and had 111 three-point field goals in three seasons.
For the latest news on Ohio State, follow Sports Illustrated Buckeye Maven on Facebook and @BuckeyeMaven on Twitter.