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Wright State Transfer Tanner Holden Commits to Ohio State

The 6’ 6 guard averaged 20.1 ppg this season for the Wright State Raiders.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 16 Div I Men’s Championship - First Four - Bryant v Wright State
Tanner Holden (2) brings the ball up court against Bryant in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While North Carolina was ending Coach Krzyzewski’s career last night, Ohio State quietly picked up a massive transfer to help fill the hole left by EJ Liddell and Malaki Branham’s departures.

Tanner Holden is an experienced playmaking guard who exploded this season, ranking top-five in the nation in scoring while averaging 20.1 ppg. Holden has played three years for the Raiders, but it was the 2021-22 campaign where he really made his name known.

Holden was a workhorse for Wright State this year, ranking 41st nationally in percentage of minutes played, and exhibited a superb ability of getting to the free throw line, ranking top-20 in fouls drawn per 40 minutes played. Holden’s best game of the year came in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament against Bryant, in which he scored 37 points off 10-14 FG and 11 rebounds, leading his team to a first-round matchup against Arizona.

This transfer makes a whole lot of sense to me. Ohio State will be without star three-year forward EJ Liddell, and likely Malaki Branham as well. The Buckeyes were in desperate need of scoring and playmaking, as Liddell and Branham were their top-two scorers, averaging a combined 33.1 ppg.

Ohio State still has work to do in the transfer portal if they want to compete for the Big Ten title next year; Liddell’s production is virtually impossible to replace without somebody stepping up. Still, this is a step in the right direction.