The final piece of Ohio State’s roster puzzle has fallen into place.
With just one scholarship spot remaining, the Buckeyes have earned a commitment from Oklahoma State transfer Isaac Likekele, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard with four years of college basketball experience and the versatility to play a number of positions for Ohio State.
My next chapter.. THE Ohio State University & Team 124 pic.twitter.com/QcT567e4AI— B1G IC3 (@_Issaaac) May 4, 2022
A three-star recruit out of high school and the No. 156 player in the class of 2018, Likekele averaged 8.9 points, 3.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game across 114 appearances and 110 starts for the Cowboys over the past four seasons. Likekele averaged a career-high 10.9 points and 4.5 assists per game as a sophomore in 2019-20, but put up 7.1 points, 3.4 assists and 5.5 rebounds this past year.
The Likekele File
- Year: Super Senior
- Size: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds
- Pos: Guard
- School: Oklahoma State
- Stats: 7.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists per game last season
The Arlington, Texas, native entered the transfer portal on April 26, opting to use his additional year of eligibility outside of the Oklahoma State program despite staying onboard through a postseason ban that cut short the Cowboys’ 2021-2022 schedule.
Likekele was Oklahoma State’s fifth-leading scorer this past season, but led the team in assists per game and was second in rebounds. Likekele shot just 18.2 percent from the 3-point line, 43.7 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from the free-throw line this past year, but figures to be a defensive asset and Swiss army knife of sorts for the Buckeyes in 2022-23.
An All-Big 12 honorable mention as both a sophomore and junior, Likekele is the only player in Oklahoma State history to have accrued at least 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 400 assists.
Having drawn comparisons to Draymond Green and Jae’Sean Tate due to his frame and do-it-all skill set on the hardwood, Likekele can run the point for the Buckeyes if called upon to do so, but could also play as big as the power forward position in a potential four-guard lineup for Ohio State next season.
Likekele is the third guard Ohio State has landed out of the transfer portal this offseason, joining Wright State transfer Tanner Holden and West Virginia transfer Sean McNeil. Holden committed to the Buckeye program on April 2 to become Ohio State’s first transfer portal pickup, and McNeil came aboard on April 24.
Ohio State initially looked to pursue a transfer big man with its final available roster spot, but given the heavy losses the program has sustained in the backcourt since the end of the season – Malaki Branham, Jamari Wheeler, Meechie Johnson, Cedric Russell, Jimmy Sotos and Justin Ahrens are all departing – a veteran guard will be a welcome addition just the same.
Prior to Likekele’s commitment, incoming true freshman Bruce Thornton would have been the lone point guard on the Buckeye roster in 2022-23, although Holden, McNeil and Justice Sueing may all have pitched in their own ballhandling contributions.
With Likekele now in the mix, though, there will be less pressure on Thornton and several other Buckeyes can spend less time playing out of position.