With Jaedon LeDee's intention to transfer from Ohio State, the Buckeyes how have two available scholarships for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
While it is still early, Ohio State will certainly be looking to add a grad transfer, and some notable names are already on the market. Here are a few the Buckeyes could be looking at.
Joey Brunk, Center, Butler
This is probably the most logical name on any list right now. Brunk, a redshirt junior-to-be, announced earlier this week that he would be transferring to Butler, where he was recruited to by Chris Holtmann.
Embrace your journey pic.twitter.com/40C72OqhzH
— Joey Brunk (@JoeyBrunk) March 27, 2019
Last season at Butler, the 6'11 center averaged 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. While those numbers do not exactly jump off the page by any means, Ohio State doesn't exactly need a superstar. The Buckeyes are looking for post depth behind Kaleb Wesson and Brunk, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining, provides exactly that.
Beyond that, of course, is the Chris Holtmann connection. Holtmann was the head coach at Butler when Brunk began his career there, so the two have a relationship. There is almost certain to be mutual interest, and it would not be a very big surprise to see Brunk in a Buckeyes uniform when it is all said and done.
If there is any competition beyond the Buckeyes, it would be the Indiana Hoosiers. Brunk, a native of Indianapolis, has expressed a desire to potentially stay in the state, and if Indiana is interested (which they could be since they do not have very much big depth outside of De'Ron Davis), it could get murky for Ohio State.
Justin Pierce, Forward/Guard, William & Mary
Another player that the Buckeyes have been linked to is 6'7 guard/foward Justin Pierce, who is transferring from William & Mary,
— Justin Pierce (@JustinPierce23) March 15, 2019
Pierce had a very good season for William & Mary last year, averaging 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds.
The Glen Ellyn, Illinois native could certainly have some interest in returning to the midwest, and could step in for meaningful minutes at the 2 or 3 spot (or even potentially the 4 spot) and could be in line for heavy minutes if he could play all three, and play them well. Luther Muhammad was hardly inspiring on the offensive end last year, and the Buckeyes could certainly use a bigger guard to provide more rebounding ability, as Ohio State was quite undersized at many points last year.
Other competition for Pierce includes Gonzaga and Notre Dame.
Brady Ernst, Forward/Center, Florida Gulf Coast
Again, the Buckeyes aren't exactly looking for a superstar, and they need a depth piece, so what better place to look than Florida Gulf Coast 6'10 big man Brady Ernst?
Source: Brady Ernst is leaving Florida Gulf Coast and will be a grad transfer. Immediately eligible. Started his career at Iowa State.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 13, 2019
Ernst, who began his career at Iowa State, averaged just 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season in 16.7 minutes per game.
Daniel Giddens, Center, Alabama
THERE IS NO CHANCE OHIO STATE ACTUALLY GOES AFTER GIDDENS AGAIN. It is just funny that it would honestly be a decent fit.
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) March 27, 2019
Giddens, of course, began his career at Ohio State, transferring after the 2015-16 season. Now, the 6'11 big man is on the move again, after averaging just 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game this past season.
It is funny how these things work themselves out, huh?
There will be new names that pop up between now and the summer cycle, but one thing is absolutely certain: Ohio State will be taking a grad transfer in the 2019 class.
If the Buckeyes are able to land 7'0 big man Ibrahima Diallo, then the chances of them taking a center as a grad transfer would be less, especially if they feel Diallo would be able to contribute immediately, at least off the bench.
If they cannot reel in Diallo, it is a near certainty that the Buckeyes will be taking a big man as a grad transfer in the 2019 class. Buckle up. You'll be hearing a lot of names in the next few months.