For the second time in a week, the Basketball Buckeyes have added to their backcourt by nabbing a veteran out of the transfer portal. Abel Porter, a point guard who played at Utah State for three seasons, starting for most of the last two years, announced over the weekend that he was heading to Ohio State.
Unlike Jimmy Sotos, the guard from Bucknell who transferred last week, Porter is a graduate transfer and will be eligible to play next season. His addition was much needed, as Ohio State's backcourt depth was severely compromised with the departures of freshman D.J. Carton and sophomore Luther Muhammed. Porter's numbers aren't huge--last season he averaged 5.6 points and 3.2 assists per game--but he will give coach Chris Holtmann an experienced ball handler to back-up returning starters C.J. Walker and Duane Washington.
Porter's story is unique. He graduated high school in 2014. He then spent two years on a church mission and was originally a walk-on Utah State. He was a redshirt his first year so he comes to Ohio State as a 24-year old who perhaps can add some leadership. He's also been a part of very good teams at Utah State that won the Mountain West conference tournament back-to-back years. Before college basketball was halted this year, the Aggies upset San Diego State in the league championship game. Porter had some memorable moments at Utah State, including a buzzer beating 3-pointer in the 2018-19 season, to win a road game at New Mexico.
The sub-headline from the news of Porter's transfer is that it seems to indicate that Kaleb Wesson is definitely turning pro. While rules allow players to declare for the draft and still return (as Wesson did last year,) Porter's addition means Ohio State is out of scholarships for next season. Of course, in today's day and age, there could be another departure, but it seems obvious that Wesson's decision, this time around, is final. Assuming that's the case, Chris Holtmann's roster for next season includes four guards in Walker, Washington, Porter and Musa Jallow, four wing players in Justin Ahrens, Cal transfer Justice Sueing, Harvard transfer Seth Towns and incoming freshman Eugene Brown and four post players in Kyle Young, E.J. Liddell, Ibrahima Diallo and incoming freshman Zed Key.