DJ Carton Enters Transfer Portal, Will Leave Ohio State After One Season

By Colin Hass-Hill on March 19, 2020 at 12:53 pm
DJ Carton

After one season, DJ Carton is moving on.

Ohio State announced Thursday afternoon that Carton has entered the transfer portal. The freshman had been away from the basketball team since Jan. 30, when he began a leave of absence to improve his mental health.

“We 100% support D.J. in this decision and we genuinely wish him all the best moving forward,” Chris Holtmann said in a statement. “We appreciate all he contributed to our program. We will assist him in any way we can.”

Shortly after the news dropped, Carton released a message on Twitter to confirm he has decided to move on from Ohio State and thank both the program and fans.

Carton, who entered the program as the highest-rated Ohio State signee since D'Angelo Russell in 2014, averaged 10.4 points, three assists and 2.8 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game in 20 games in his lone season with the Buckeyes.

The high-flying, athletic point guard from Iowa score a career-high 17 points in his final game of the season, a 71-59 win against Northwestern on Jan. 26. Four days later, Ohio State announced he'd be taking an indefinite leave of absence to “deal with personal matters.”

Carton soon clarified the announcement, noting he had chosen to step away from the basketball program for mental health reasons.

"I have been suffering with mental health issues for a couple years," Carton said in his statement on Jan. 30. "I have been through a lot. I'm disappointed to say I'm not 100% right now. I am not doing my teammates justice if I don't work on this now. I am doing everything in my power to strengthen my mental health. I will fight for my team and buckeye nation and I will come back stronger!"

Two days after Carton stepped away from the team, Chris Holtmann threw his support behind the freshman while also standing up for his program and its ability to support him. Holtmann never put a timetable on Carton's return to the team, hinting a couple times in press conferences that it seemed likely he wouldn't be back on the court this season.

Carton, a native of Bettendorf, Iowa, was the top-ranked recruit in Ohio State's 2019 haul, which was the highest rated recruiting class Holtmann has ever signed. He was the 34th-ranked overall prospect and the fourth-rated point guard in the cycle.

With Carton moving on, Ohio State now has only one true point guard – rising redshirt senior CJ Walker – on its roster. It's fair to expect the Buckeyes to investigate whether they can add another guard either to their 2020 recruiting class or via the transfer market.

Carton's departure puts Ohio State back at the 13-scholarship limit for the 2020-21 season.

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