The Big Ten conference continues to make waves in the college basketball world, as former four-star recruit and current Ohio State freshman guard Austin Grandstaff announced he is transferring from the program.
Grandstaff, a lights out shooter in high school who was expected to make a steady contribution in the years to come, detailed the reasoning behind the decision to transfer with Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch. The Texas native stated, "All the coaches have been great to me, but I just feel like this isn't the right fit." Lack of fit and Grandstaff becoming a father over the summer could have a correlation in his reason to depart from the Buckeye program.
With Grandstaff no longer in the fold for Ohio State, let's take a look at how the departure of the freshman guard will impact the Buckeyes for the rest of this season and which recruits from the 2016 class could help fill the void.
The 2015-16 season for the Buckeyes was listed as a season of transition for the young Ohio State roster. With five true freshmen new to the program as of this year, and a lack of upperclassmen leadership, the 5-5 start has been justified due to the young lineup.
Grandstaff wasn't exactly a consistent fixture in the lineup, but the Rockwall High School (TX) product brought an undeniable shooting stroke that led him to be recruited by programs such as Arizona, Florida, Georgetown, Marquette, Maryland, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, among others. Grandstaff completed his senior season as the 86th-ranked senior in the class of 2015 and developed a reputation as one of the top shooters in his class. In 11.5 minutes per game, Grandstaff averaged 4.4 points and 33.3% from three point land, per ESPN.
With a young roster becoming even younger with the recent transfer news, here is a look at a couple of guards who could step in and replace Grandstaff next season.
- Kobi Simmons, 6'5" 170 pounds, PG
Simmons is big, intriguing prospect who has been crystal balled to Ohio State for quite some time. The 2016 recruiting class features some of the top point guards in the country regardless of class, and Simmons is right in thick of that conversation. The versatility of Simmons to man the lead guard spot or slide off the ball and be used as a scorer could give head coach Thad Matta a formidable backcourt should Simmons pledge to the Buckeyes.
- Eron Gordon, 6'2, 170 pounds, SG
Gordon is a pure scoring guard who can fill it up from multiple locations on the court. The younger brother of former Indiana guards Eric and Evan Gordon, Eron has seen his recruitment take a plethora of winds and turns. Labeled by many as an IU lean thanks to his famous last name, Gordon's recruitment with IU hasn't quite blossomed as anticipated which left the door open for LSU, Nevada and Seton Hall. The 118th-ranked player in 2016, makes the majority of his baskets by attacking the rim and using his tremendous upper body strength to finish through contact and get to the foul line.
Through 10 games, Grandstaff's impact was bleak to say the least, but it takes time for some recruits to adjust to the speed of the division one game. There were glaring holes for him defensively, but there was also plenty of optimism due to his long range shooting stroke and ability to spread defenses to make life easier for point guards JaQuan Lyle and AJ Harris. The Buckeyes got even younger this week, but the subtraction of Grandstaff could make joining the Buckeyes more appealing for Simmons.