A fourth member of Ohio State's once highly-touted 2015 recruiting class has decided to move on. Freshman point guard A.J. Harris will transfer from the program, head coach Thad Matta announced Tuesday evening.
“I have given freshman guard A.J. Harris permission to seek a transfer,” Matta said in a statement.
Harris appeared in all 35 games this season for the Buckeyes, starting four times. The Dayton, Ohio native averaged 2.8 points and 1.7 assists per game. Harris played an average of 13.7 minutes per game as he served primarily in a backup role to JaQuan Lyle.
“Mickey Mitchell and Daniel Giddens have asked for their release as well," Matta said. "We appreciate what A.J., Daniel and Mickey did for our program as freshmen and we wish them well.”
The Buckeyes are expected to return their top-six scorers from the 2015-16 team in Marc Loving, Keita Bates-Diop, Jae'Sean Tate, Kam Williams, Trevor Thompson and Lyle. Thompson recently announced his intentions to enter the NBA Draft, but he won't hire an agent which gives him the option to return to school. That's what is widely expected to happen.
Ohio State can still add multiple players in its 2016 class to fill the voids recently left by Harris, Mitchell and Giddens. The Buckeyes recently offered Andre Wesson and there's still potential for Markell Johnson to commit and reclassify to the 2016 class. Ohio State can also go the grad transfer route — former New Mexico guard Cullen Neal is expected to visit campus next month.