Busting Brackets

Meechie Johnson's return to Ohio State headlines busy off-season for the Buckeyes

He Gets Us Hall of Fame Series
He Gets Us Hall of Fame Series / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Diebler Ball taking over in Columbus? Ohio State ended the season 8-3 (including the Big Ten and NIT Tournaments) after firing head coach Chris Holtmann and hiring interim head coach Jake Diebler. After an impressive stretch of games for the Buckeyes former assistant coach, pulling off wins against Purdue, Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa, and Virginia Tech, Diebler was named the next head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes basketball program. 

The most intriguing part about this hire and the unit he has at his disposal, is that they have the potential to return a lot of familiar faces, and we'll get too see what Diebler does in his first off-season as the program's head coach. He’s already done a little bit of everything, and it could pose Ohio State as a serious threat coming out of the Big Ten next season.

Ohio State off-season storylines 

3. Scotty Middleton and Roddy Gayle Jr. enter transfer portal

The Buckeyes have lost two key pieces to the portal throughout the first week of their off-season. Both Roddy Gayle Jr. and Scotty Middleton have entered the transfer portal after being key contributors to last year's team.

Last season, Gayle averaged 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. Gayle’s only downfalls are his lack of shooting from behind the arc, and he oftentimes finds himself dribbling into no man's land that leads to turnovers. Gayle has started 35 of the last 36 games for the Buckeyes and was the highest Ohio State recruit in the 2022 class. He now enters his junior year and will be a valuable piece in the transfer portal. 

Freshman, Scotty Middleton will also be an intriguing player to watch as he enters the portal. He is expected to draw a lot of consideration from different schools. Middleton has the ability to score from all facets, handle the basketball, and be a sneaky defender on and off the ball. He'll provide a lot wherever he heads.

Middleton didn't start to see consistent and productive minutes until Holtmann was fired, which makes this somewhat of a shocker, considering Middleton's best basketball of the season was with Diebler as the head coach. Middleton ended the year averaging just 4.4 points and shooting 39.4% from the field coming off the bench, but had a stretch run the final five games where he averaged 7.6 points. Now he looks for a new home.