Another starter is heading elsewhere.
Ohio State rising junior Luther Muhammad has decided to enter the transfer portal, a program spokesman announced on Sunday.
Generally regarded as the team’s best on-ball perimeter defender, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound shooting guard started 56 of 64 games the past two seasons, averaging 25.9 minutes per game. He averaged 7.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal per game while shooting 37.8 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from 3-point range and 79.9 percent from the foul line across his two years as a Buckeye.
Muhammad’s transfer is the latest departure in an offseason filled with roster transition for the Buckeyes.
Outgoing senior Andre Wesson graduated, Kaleb Wesson opted to enter the 2020 NBA Draft, DJ Carton chose to transfer after taking a mid-season leave of absence and Alonzo Gaffney, who ended the season away from the team, is leaving the program. As replacements, Ohio State added Seth Towns as a graduate transfer from Harvard and has two incoming freshmen – four-star shooting guard Eugene Brown III and three-star power forward Zed Key – set to join the team this summer.
Muhammad was set to again have a major role – possibly as a starter – on a team that already lacked depth at guard.
With Muhammad out of the picture, point guard CJ Walker and combo guard Duane Washington Jr. will likely be the starters in the backcourt. They’re the only true guards on the roster. Musa Jallow, who redshirted last season due to two ankle surgeries, could also play shooting guard if needed.
The Buckeyes will need to explore graduate transfer options to add depth at guard. They’d already been in the mix with a number of transfer guards who will have to sit out 2020-21 with multiple seasons of eligibility remaining, but the latest loss necessitates additional depth for next year’s backcourt.
Accounting for Muhammad’s transfer, Ohio State is expected to be two under the 13-scholarship limit, provided Kaleb Wesson doesn’t make a surprising decision to remain in school for his senior season.
Muhammad entered the program as the highest-rated prospect in the four-signee 2018 recruiting class. Jaedon LeDee transferred to TCU after just one season, so Justin Ahrens and Washington are the only two remaining players in Chris Holtmann’s first full class at Ohio State.
A native of Irvington, New Jersey, Muhammad signed with the Buckeyes as a four-star prospect ranked No. 79 overall and 14th among shooting guards in his class. He chose Ohio State over Notre Dame, St. John’s, Virginia, Xavier and others.
Muhammad has two remaining seasons of collegiate eligibility.