Ohio State freshman Daniel Giddens requested his release from Ohio State and is expected to transfer from the program. That news came as a surprise as the center was the first big man off the bench for the Buckeyes this season and even started seven games in his one year in Columbus, averaging 38 points, 36 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Following Giddens out the door is Mickey Mitchell, whose decision to transfer was confirmed by Scout. Mitchell was not declared eligible until Dec. 18. He played in 23 games for Ohio State and took over a starting role after Jae'Sean Tate was lost to injury in late February. The freshman averaged 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Giddens might not be the last freshman to transfer as reports indicate that reserve point guard A.J. Harris is weighing a move. Harris came off the bench in all but four of Ohio State's games this season, averaging 2.8 points per game in 13.7 minutes of action. The Dayton native was the only point guard in the 2015 class when he signed at Ohio State as JaQuan Lyle was a late addition. Perhaps he is interested in becoming a starter elsewhere.
The guarantee that one and prospect that two freshman might be moving on has the Ohio State fan base reeling, especially when you add in the loss of freshman Austin Grandstaff in the form of a transfer to Oklahoma earlier this season.
While potential replacements exist for those scholarships -- both in the high school ranks in the form of Markell Johnson and at the collegiate level in New Mexico graduate transfer Cullen Neal -- it's worth noting that while this level of attrition in one season is unprecedented, Thad Matta has seen players leave via transfer before. With that in mind, let's take a look at players who have left the program to finish their college basketball careers elsewhere.
Eric Wallace, 2008
Wallace came to Ohio State as a wing in the 2007 recruiting class. He appeared in 15 games as a freshman, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. He transferred to DePaul where he played in 24 games during the 2009-10 season, scoring 6.3 points per game. Wallace wasn't done bouncing around, finishing his career at Seattle scoring 9.4 points per game during 2011-12 season.
Noopy Crater, 2009
Anthony "Noopy" Crater came to Ohio State as a member of the 2008 recruiting class, but only played in 10 games that season. Plagued by marijuana problems, Crater played in just 10 games in his one Columbus season, scoring a total of 12 points. The drug problems helped accelerate his transfer from the program as Crater left Ohio State mid season and transferred to South Florida. He played in 49 games over two seasons with the Bulls and scored 3.6 points per game.
Walter Offutt, 2010
Offutt came to the Buckeyes as a member of the 2008 recruiting class with Crater, B.J. Mullens and William Buford. He played in 21 games during his first season, scoring 0.9 point per game after coming off a high school knee injury. The following year he played in two games but elected to leave the program after not seeing as much playing time as he expected. Offutt ended his career at Ohio University, helping the team to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012 when he averaged 12.4 points per game.
Jordan Sibert, 2012
The most successful player to transfer out of Thad Matta's Ohio State program, Sibert played in 49 games over his first two seasons at Ohio State, averaging 2.5 points in 9.9 minutes per game. the guard left for in-state Dayton and helped the Flyers to an Elite 8 run in 2014. That run, which saw Sibert and Dayton top Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, featured 12.2 points per game from the guard while playing in 37 games. His final season in Dayton saw Sibert score 16.1 points per game and get the Flyers to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament.
J.D. Weatherspoon, 2012
Sibert wasn't the only player to leave the program that year as Weatherspoon opted for Toledo as his landing spot. The forward, who came to Ohio State with his high school teammate Jared Sullinger, played in 35 games over his first two seasons as a high-energy defender off the bench. He played in 34 games during his first season in Toledo, scoring 10.6 points per game and hauling in 6.5 rebounds. He bettered that during the 2014-15 season, logging 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Austin Grandstaff, 2015
Grandstaff didn't even wait for the calendar to turn to 2016 before he left Ohio State, eventually landed at Oklahoma. The shooting guard played in the Buckeyes first 10 games this season, scoring 4.4 points per game and hitting 33 percent of his threes. The Texas native was not satisfied with limited minutes and opted to head closer to home and become a Sooner.
Daniel Giddens, 2016
The second and potentially not last of the 2015 recruiting class to transfer out, it's unknown where Giddens is headed. While the center played a good chunk of time in his freshman season, there is no clear path for him to start at Ohio State as Trevor Thompson, who started 28 games for the Buckeyes, has two years of eligibility remaining.
Mickey Mitchell, 2016
The mass exodus is underway. With Mitchell gone and some indications that Harris may be considering a transfer, it appears that JaQuan Lyel may be the only member of the 2015 recruiting class to start next season with the Buckeyes.