Ohio State landed its second transfer portal prospect of the past two weeks on Monday.
Former Baylor guard Dale Bonner, a Shaker Heights, Ohio, native who averaged 4.7 points per game in 29 appearances with the Bears in 2022-23, announced that he will join the Buckeye roster for his final year of eligibility in 2023-24.
The 6-foot-2 guard began his college career at Division II Fairmont State in 2018, where he redshirted as a true freshman and spent the subsequent two seasons before transferring to Baylor in 2021-22. Bonner led Fairmont State in scoring with an average of 17.8 points per game as a redshirt freshman in 2019-20 and upped his output to a team-best 20.2 points per game the following season. Bonner was recruited to Fairmont State by current Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla.
The Bonner File
- Class: Sixth-year senior
- Size: 6-2, 170 pounds
- Pos: CG
- School: Baylor
- Stats (2022-23): 4.7 PPG, 2.7 APG
- Eligibility: One year
Bonner appeared in 60 games for Baylor over the past two years, starting six of them while averaging 3.9 points and 2.1 assists in 18.3 minutes per game. Bonner had six games with double-digit scoring numbers this past year. A 44.1% shooter from the floor, Bonner knocked down 37.2% of his 3-point attempts in 2022-23 and hit 74.5% of his free throws. Bonner also averaged 1.2 rebounds per game for the Bears this past season.
Bonner helped lead Baylor to a regular-season Big 12 championship in 2021-22, when the Bears entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed and finished at No. 4 in the final AP poll. Bonner and the Bears went 23-11 this past season and exited the NCAA Tournament in the second round as a No. 3 seed.
What it means for OSU
Bonner will provide a veteran backcourt presence for Ohio State alongside second-year guards Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle as well as incoming freshman Taison Chatman. The addition of Bonner will help replace the production and leadership of outgoing guards Isaac Likekele and Sean McNeil, who exhausted their final seasons of eligibility after transferring into the program last year.
After shoring up the small forward/power forward position with the addition of Minnesota transfer Jamison Battle on April 6, Ohio State was in pursuit of a guard to provide depth behind the young players who established themselves as starters in Chris Holtmann's rotation by the end of last season.
The Buckeyes were initially scheduled to host ECU transfer guard Javon Small this week, but Small canceled his visit on Friday. Three days later, though, the Buckeyes filled that need by adding Bonner to the 2023-24 roster.
Along with outgoing seniors Likekele, McNeil and Justice Sueing, Ohio State lost 6-foot-7 wing Eugene Brown to the transfer portal last month and could also lose star freshman Brice Sensabaugh to the NBA draft. Sensabaugh entered his name into the draft while maintaining collegiate eligibility on March 25.
With the additions of Battle and Bonner, Ohio State now has 15 players on scholarship for the 2023-24 season – two over the 13-man scholarship limit. However, that total includes Sensabaugh and Owen Spencer, who was a walk-on that received a scholarship in January.
|KALEN ETZLER (RS)
Pending developments with Sensabaugh, Spencer and potential other transfer portal entries on the Buckeye roster, Ohio State may have room to add another transfer this offseason. Oregon State transfer forward Glenn Taylor, who averaged 11.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game as a second-year Beaver in 2022-23, is visiting with the Buckeyes on Monday.
Oregon State transfer Glenn Taylor tells me that he's currently visiting Ohio State.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 17, 2023