COLUMBUS, Ohio — This season, everyone already knew the talent that Ohio State had lost from the previous season as key contributors Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich all graduated while Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop departed for the NBA.
Now, the Buckeyes lose even more depth just two days before the start of the regular season as Ohio State announced on Monday that junior forward Micah Potter would be transferring out of the program.
Micah Potter was not regularly found in the starting rotation over his two seasons with the Buckeyes, starting just 16 of the 59 games he appeared in, but he was a key contributor off the bench as he averaged 4.1 PPG and 1.8 RPG in just an average of 12.1 minutes per game and he was always good for a block here and there.
More importantly, Potter brought size to the Buckeyes. At 6′ 9″ tall, Micah was one of Ohio State’s biggest assets in the post.
Ohio State now has only three players listed above 6′ 6″: freshman forward Jaedon LeDee, sophomore forward Kyle Young and sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson.
Kaleb Wesson is by far Ohio State’s most dominant force in the paint, but Micah Potter was a good asset to have coming off of the bench.
Just last week in Ohio State’s exhibition vs. UNC Pembroke, Potter scored 13 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting performance and recorded six rebounds as well as a block in just eleven minutes on the floor for the Buckeyes.
Those are serious numbers for a player coming off of the bench, even if it was just in an exhibition game against a low-caliber opponent.
Potter may be transferring due to the lack of playing time he’s received, as Kaleb Wesson is cemented as the starting 5 for Ohio State and head coach Chris Holtmann seemed to have no plans of playing both Wesson and Potter on the court at the same time, at least not for long periods of time.
“In today’s day and age, it’s hard to play guys like that,” said Holtmann on the prospect of playing both Wesson and Potter at the same time. “It’s on rare occasions where you play two traditional bigs. I think it’s certainly something I would like to look at, but 95 percent of teams don’t play that anymore.”
Let’s be honest. We all know this season isn’t supposed to be a championship-caliber season for Holtmann and the Buckeyes, and that’s okay. Holtmann has already cemented an aura of winning with his miraculous first season coaching Ohio State as the Buckeyes finished second in the Big Ten standings last year after being unanimously picked to finish towards the bottom of the conference.
This season is all about developing young talent and preparing for the arrival of Ohio State’s star-studded 2019 recruiting class, consisting of four-star forward Alonzo Gaffney, four-star forward EJ Liddell and five-star point guard DJ Carton. The 2019 Ohio State recruiting class is currently the top-ranked class of the Big Ten and seventh in the entire country.
The future is certainly bright for the Ohio State men’s basketball program, but losing Micah Potter on top of all the talent the Buckeyes already lost this past offseason will certainly make what should be a challenging season all the more difficult.
Ohio State will open up their regular season this Wednesday, November 7th at Cincinnati at the newly-renovated Fifth Third Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00pm ET and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
Be sure to follow Buckeye Beat Report for more news and content on your Ohio State Buckeyes!