The depth of the frontcourt for the Ohio State basketball team has gotten thinner. Shortly after cleveland.com reported Friday that center David Bell was transferring out of the Buckeye basketball program, Scout was told that the big man received his release from OSU and will transfer.
Sonny Johnson is the boys’ basketball coach at Garfield Heights (Ohio) High School, where Bell played before coming to OSU. Bell was a three-star recruit coming out of high school and was a member of the Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class.
The Cleveland native redshirted his freshman season as a Buckeye before seeing minimal playing time over the next two years. Playing behind Trevor Thompson as a redshirt freshman for the 2015-16 campaign, Bell played in 23 of the team’s 35 games off the bench, averaging 1.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per contest. This past season the 6-9, 225-pounder was the backup to both Thompson and then-freshman Micah Potter. Bell played in 15 of the club’s 32 games, averaging 1.3 points and 1.9 boards in 6.1 minutes per outing.
Being a redshirt sophomore this past season, Bell has two years of eligibility remaining. Per NCAA transfer rules, though, he will have to sit out next season.
Bell becomes the second center to leave the OSU program this offseason. Thompson, who was a junior this past season, declared for the upcoming NBA draft. With Bell and Thompson out of the picture, that leaves Potter and incoming freshman Kaleb Wesson out of Westerville (Ohio) South as the only two centers on OSU’s roster.
Bell’s exit frees up a scholarship for head coach Thad Matta and his staff. Here is the scholarship breakdown with 2017-18 eligibility as things currently stand:
- Seniors (2): G Kam Williams and F Jae’Sean Tate
- Juniors (5): F Keita Bates-Diop (who redshirted this past season due to injury), G C.J. Jackson, G Jimmy Jent, G Joey Lane and G JaQuan Lyle
- Sophomores (2): C Potter and F Andre Wesson
- Freshmen (3): G Braxton Beverly, F Derek Funderburk (who redshirted this past season) and C Kaleb Wesson
- Total scholarships for 2017-18: 12
Jent and Lane are both former walk-ons who were put on scholarship for the 2016-17 season. It’s not clear if they’ll be on scholarship again for the 2017-18 season, but for argument’s sake they have been tallied in the scholarship count above.
The Buckeyes have three recruits in the 2018 class presently committed. They are three-star small forward Justin Ahrens (6-5, 180) of Versailles, Ohio, four-star small forward Darius Bazley (6-7, 185) from Cincinnati Princeton and four-star shooting guard Dane Goodwin (6-4, 175) out of Upper Arlington, Ohio.
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