Ohio State has pulled a familiar face out of the transfer portal.
Former Minnesota forward Jamison Battle, who entered the transfer portal last month after two seasons with the Golden Gophers, announced he will continue his college basketball career in scarlet and gray in 2023-24.
Battle is ranked by 247Sports as a four-star transfer prospect and the No. 25 overall player in the transfer portal. He has one year of college eligibility remaining as he enters his fifth season.
A 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward who started his career as a standout at George Washington across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, Battle became an impact scorer immediately upon transferring into the Big Ten. Battle led the Gophers with an average of 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in 2021-22, and knocked down 36.6% of his 3-point attempts as a high-volume long-range shooter (7.1 attempts per game).
The Battle File
- Class: Fifth-year senior
- Size: 6-7, 225 pounds
- Pos: SF
- School: Minnesota
- Transfer Rating: ★★★★
- Transfer Rank: #25
Injury issues kept Battle out of four games for the Gophers this past season, when his scoring average dipped to 12.4 points per game, but Battle still put up 20 or more points on six different occasions. Battle went off for a season-high 31 points against Illinois during a Feb. 20 Minnesota loss.
Battle averaged 12.3 points per game in three head-to-head matchups with the Buckeyes over the past two seasons, including an 11-point effort in the Gophers’ 70-67 upset win over Ohio State at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 12.
Battle started all 56 games in which he appeared for Minnesota. Across his first four years of college basketball between George Washington and Minnesota, Battle has played in 103 games, started 101 of them and holds career averages of 14.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Battle is a career 42% shooter from the floor and a 35% shooter from 3-point range.
The Minneapolis native had in-home visits with the likes of Indiana and Butler prior to his commitment to Ohio State, which has now landed three Big Ten transfers in the past three years (Penn State’s Jamari Wheeler and Indiana’s Joey Brunk, 2021-22).
What it Means For OSU
The addition of Battle addresses a major positional need for Ohio State, which stands to lose a slew of wings this offseason.
Starting forward Justice Sueing, who was second on the roster with an average of 12.3 points per game this past season, declared for the NBA draft at the end of March following six seasons of college basketball. Senior transfers Sean McNeil and Isaac Likekele, who both occupied guard/forward positions at times for the Buckeyes in 2022-23, both exhausted their eligibility at the end of the year.
Season scoring leader Brice Sensabaugh, a third-team All-Big Ten selection as just a true freshman for the Buckeyes, entered his name in the NBA draft last month. While he maintained his college eligibility for the time being, it appears more likely than not Sensabaugh will remain in the draft, given the first-round draft grades he's received from several analysts.
Ohio State also lost 6-foot-7 guard/forward Eugene Brown to the transfer portal on March 30 after three seasons in the program. Sueing, Sensabaugh, McNeil, Likekele and Brown combined to score an average of 44.3 points in a combined 95 starts for Ohio State last season.
|KALEN ETZLER (RS)
Battle should help replace some of that production right off the bat in 2023-24, giving Ohio State a ready-made scoring threat at the small forward position with extensive experience in Big Ten play.
Battle's 3-point shooting ability will also be a major benefit for the Buckeyes, who could lose three of their top-six long-range shooters in terms of percentage from last season. While Battle has never made better than 36.6% of his 3-point attempts in a season, he's also never taken fewer than 6.4 per game for a full year. For his career, Battle averages 2.5 makes a game from beyond the arc. No Buckeye on the 2022-23 roster made more than 1.8 threes per game this past season.
The addition of Battle also means less pressure for incoming four-star freshman wings Devin Royal and Scotty Middleton to produce straight away for the Buckeyes.
Including Sensabaugh and Owen Spencer, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship this past January, Ohio State would now be one player over the 13-man scholarship limit with the addition of Battle. However, Sensabaugh's potential departure and other possible transfer portal moves are likely to free up space on the Buckeye roster.