Ohio State freshman D.J. Carton enters transfer portal after stepping away for mental health reasons

Ohio State freshman guard D.J. Carton announced Thursday he has decided to make a fresh start for himself and will transfer from the program, making him one of the most highly sought-after transfers on the open market.

As a freshman last season, Carton averaged 10.4 points and 3.0 assists for the Buckeyes playing primarily at point guard while knocking down 40% of his 3-point attempts. He was a catalyst for OSU as it steadily rose up the rankings to open the season and nearly took over the No. 1 spot earlier in the season.

Carton stepped away from the Buckeyes program in late-January in a courageous decision to focus on his mental health, revealing that he had been suffering with mental health issues “for a couple years.” At the time it was believed to be temporary, but by then, unbeknownst to many, his OSU career was over. He played his last game for OSU on Jan. 26 when he scored 17 in a win over Northwestern and did not return to the team.  

“After some careful thought and consideration, I have decided to make a fresh start and enter the transfer portal,” he said in a statement. “I wish Coach Holtmann and my teammates the best of luck next year.”

Ohio State also issued a statement saying it fully supports him as he seeks a new home.

“We 100% support D.J. in this decision and we genuinely wish him all the best moving forward. We appreciate all he contributed to our program. We will assist him in any way we can.”

Carton, a former top-50 national recruit, chose the Buckeyes as a recruit in 2019 over Indiana and Michigan. Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Marquette, Kansas State and a host of other programs across the country also offered him a scholarship during his recruitment.

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