The Ohio State Buckeyes got some significant news earlier this month as the program learned two of its key depth pieces this season would be transferring. Meechie Johnson would be leaving in the backcourt and Justin Ahrens would be departing on the wing.
Ohio State's Justin Ahrens tells me that he will transfer.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 4, 2022
Johnson and Ahrens arrived on campus in significantly different positions. Johnson was rated as a four-star recruit by 247Sports and ranked just outside the top 100 in the 2020 recruiting class. Many thought he could be a contender to start early for the Buckeyes. Meanwhile, Ahrens was a three-star prospect and 249th nationally, per 247Sports. Most figured he would be a valuable depth option and bench contributor.
However, Ahrens ended up being the more significant contributor for the Buckeyes. He played in 114 total games and started at least 18 games in each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Johnson saw more time this season, but only played 35.8 percent of Ohio State’s minutes this season, playing little in many of the team’s biggest games down the stretch.
Ohio State has a tremendous amount of roster uncertainty this offseason. And while that isn’t unusual in today’s world of college basketball, it makes these departures just a little more important. Ahrens was a proven player who could contribute when needed and Johnson had at least played some decent minutes off the bench. There’s a scenario where Ohio State would have needed these two next season, which could certainly hurt. The program will likely be fine, but it’s something to follow. Either way, everyone certainly wishes him the best moving forward.