So far this offseason, Ohio State has seen a pair of role players – Musa Jallow and Ibrahima Diallo – entered the transfer portal in search of more opportunities elsewhere. These days in college basketball, attrition via transfers has become the norm. So, naturally, there are plenty of players with ties to the Buckeyes elsewhere.
A few months ago, we did our annual review at how football players with ties to Ohio State performed last season, and now we’re back to take a look around the college basketball landscape to see how one-time transfers and decommits did in 2020-21.
We’ll begin with an Upper Arlington product who once intended to suit up in scarlet and gray.
Once upon a time, Goodwin was committed to Thad Matta. When he got fired, the shooting guard from just down the road gave Chris Holtmann a chance but opted to join Mike Brey at Notre Dame.
In his third season with the Fighting Irish, Goodwin averaged a career-high 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 33.3 minutes per game in his first full year as a starter, but the team went just 11-15 last season, leading to questions of whether Brey would return or get the boot. The Buckeyes beat Notre Dame, too, winning by five in South Bend early in the season in a game in which Goodwin dropped 16 points. He has averaged double-figures in scoring each of the past two years. Yet Notre Dame has a sub-.500 record in his three collegiate seasons.
Goodwin, a rising senior, and Brey, whose program has a restless fanbase, each will be back for at least one more season together in what has a chance to be a fateful year for both of them.
Beverly’s four-year career at North Carolina State that included 121 games, 88 starts and 3,419 minutes quietly concluded with the point guard – who once signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Ohio State – helping to take his team to a 14-11 record and NIT berth. His efficiency from both inside the arc (43 percent) and beyond the arc (40 percent) was the best of his career, though he did set a personal low with seven points per game. Beverly added 2.7 assists and 1.2 boards a game as a starter for half of the year.
While Beverly won’t suit up for Kevin Keats in Raleigh anymore, his time in college will, in fact, continue. He signed to play one year at Eastern Kentucky, utilizing the additional year of eligibility offered to all winter athletes in response to the pandemic. He’ll reunite with A.W. Hamilton, the Colonels’ head coach who once coached Beverly at Hargrave Military Academy.
Just like Beverly, Funderburk attended Hargrave Military Academy, made a pit stop in Columbus, then ended up at North Carolina State. In the big man’s case, he was dismissed from the team during Holtmann’s first summer.
Funderburk’s last season in Raleigh – since he declared for the NBA draft and plans to pursue a pro career – concluded earlier this year after he put up 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, managing nearly identical statistics as the prior season while once again serving as a part-time starter. Among his biggest performances were a 21-point outing in a three-point win versus Boston College and 16 points with eight boards in a one-point victory at Pittsburgh.
Once an Ohio State commit in the early stages of Holtmann’s tenure, Watson’s pledge lasted a month and a half before he decided to play for his home-state Missouri Tigers. Initially, when he averaged 7.1 points in 22.8 minutes per game as a freshman off the bench, it seemed as though head coach Cuonzo Martin might’ve been looking at the future of his backcourt.
However, Watson’s minutes decreased dramatically the next year and plummeted last season as a junior. He managed 1.8 points and 0.6 rebounds in 7.2 minutes across 22 games as Missouri managed a 16-10 record and earned an NCAA tournament berth. After the Tigers’ season ended, Watson entered the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining and chose to attend Elon. There, he’ll reunite with head coach Mike Schrage, who was an assistant on Holtmann’s staff when he committed to Ohio State in 2017.
For one last go-round, Potter suited up for Wisconsin last season and averaged a career-high 12.5 points in 31 games with 20 starts. As part of a veteran Wisconsin team, he helped the Badgers to an 18-13 record, including a beatdown of North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Potter averaged a team-leading 5.9 rebounds per game, shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from behind the 3-point line. His year featured a trio of 23-point performances, though his Badgers did fall to Ohio State in their only meeting of the season.
Potter, who turned 23 years old last month, will begin his professional career this year. He declined the option of using his extra year of eligibility offered to all players by the NCAA.
LeDee lasted one year as a reserve at Ohio State before opting to pursue options elsewhere, ultimately ending up at TCU in his home state of Texas. The transfer managed 2.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in 11.7 minutes off the bench during the 2019-20 season before recording 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game the following year. For the third straight season and second with the Horned Frogs, the forward came off the bench, this time doing so for a 12-14 TCU team.
On April 1, LeDee put his name in the portal once more, and by the end of the month he committed to play for San Diego State, the Mountain West regular season and tournament champion last year. It’s unclear whether or not he’ll be eligible to play immediately since this was his second transfer.
Carton, a high-flying point guard, threw down a number of eye-popping dunks, topped 20 points three times and, importantly, said his mental health was in a better spot while a member of the Golden Eagles last season. The highest-profile transfer of the Holtmann era posted career-highs and team-highs in points per game (13) and assists per game (3.4) but did so for a disappointing Marquette team that went 13-14, missed the NCAA tournament and wrapped up the season with head coach Steve Wojciechowski getting fired.
Though he’s absent from nearly every NBA draft analyst’s big board with his turnover rate remaining an issue and outside shooting taking a step back last year, Carton leapt at the chance to go pro. He ended his collegiate career after one year at Ohio State and one year at Marquette with full intentions of going pro.
The update on Muhammad is that there is not much of an update.
He transferred to Arizona State a year ago, and head coach Bobby Hurley shortly thereafter said the plan for the shooting guard would be to redshirt. That didn’t change even after the NCAA gave everybody an extra year of eligibility. Muhammad underwent shoulder surgery near the beginning of the season that prevented him from playing for at least the first couple of months. He participated in the Sun Devils’ spring workouts last month and will make his Pac-12 debut later this year.
One year largely spent on the bench at Ohio State was enough for Gaffney to explore his options elsewhere, and he chose to take the junior college route. He headed down to Northwest Florida State College where the forward started 20 of 21 games, averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21.6 minutes per game with 42.1/33.3/64.9 shooting splits. He was one of 12 players to earn first-team All-Panhandle Conference honors. The Raiders finished 6-15, sputtering down the stretch with one win in their last 10 games.
It’s unclear where Gaffney will play next season.