Ohio State basketball losing top 2019 recruit D.J. Carton to transfer portal

As if sitting at home instead of playing in the NCAA Tournament weren’t painful enough, the Ohio State basketball team got more bad news Thursday with the revelation one of its most talented players will not be back next season.

D.J. Carton announced he will not don a Buckeye uniform again after sitting out the second half of the season to deal with what he described as mental health issues.

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“I first want to say thank you to all Ohio State fans who supported me during the difficult times I went through this year,” the freshman wrote in a note posted on Twitter. “I also want to thank the university, my teammates, the coaches and all the staff who went above and beyond to help my family and me this year.

“After some careful thought and consideration, I have decided to make a fresh start and enter the transfer portal. I wish Coach (Chris) Holtmann and my teammates the best of luck next year. Please respect my decision.”

A four-star recruit from Bettendorf, Iowa, Carton was the highest-rated member of a 2019 Ohio State recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and 14th nationally by 247Sports.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound point guard averaged 10.4 points per game and handed out 59 assists while shooting 40 percent from 30-point range as the Buckeyes went 21-10 in a season cut short by the coronavirus.

Ohio State is already scheduled to lose senior forward Andre Wesson to graduation.

His younger brother, Kaleb, may leave for the NBA draft after going through the pre-draft process last year, but a nucleus including guards CJ Walker, Duane Washington Jr. and Luther Muhammad and forwards Kyle Young and E.J. Liddell is expected to return.

The Buckeyes also will add Justice Sueing, a transfer from California who sat out last season.

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