Jamari Wheeler announced that he will play his final college season for the Buckeyes after the last four years playing for the Penn State Nittany Lions. This means that the NCAA Tournament isn't even down to the final four competitors and yet the Ohio State Buckeyes have made an addition to next year's team.
Wheeler Leaving Penn State
Former Nittany Lion guard Jamari Wheeler announcer on Twitter on Tuesday night that he is transferring from to Columbus to join the team at OSU with Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes. This transfer will be a tough one for Penn State fans to accept, and it will be challenging for his former team members when they come up against him next season.
Wheeler has played for Penn State for the last four years but will play his final college season for the Scarlet and Gray as he has the advantage of an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
When Jamari Wheeler became available for transfer several weeks ago, it seemed as if he would leave, no matter how much Micah Shrewsberry wanted him to reconsider. What wasn't anticipated was that Jamari would choose to transfer to a top ten rival, but that's what's happened as he announced tonight he will play his final year of college basketball at Ohio State.
Jamari was clearly hoping to play his final year at a team that will be in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Buckeyes' Chris Holtmann has a good team spirit going in Columbus right now and with this move signals to Sandy Barbour and the rest of the PSU athletic administration his disdain which he made clear in media last Fall.
Jamari Wheeler was a 3-year starter in State College averaging 6.8 points, 3.5 assists per game and 4.2 rebounds. Wheeler has also became a much better shooter as his career has progressed and OSU was especially attracted to him as he achieved close to two steals per game as a senior; this was a big reason at the time that the Buckeyes couldn't pull away from Penn State when they played against them this year.
How Wheeler Helps Ohio State
The move helps Ohio State address its defense in the offseason, particularly in the guard spot as C.J. Walker leaves. Wheeler will join Meechie Johnson, Duane Washington Jr., Jimmy Sotos (who is expected to return after suffering a shoulder injury at the beginning of the season) as well as incoming freshman Malaki Branham.
Jamari Wheeler's addition to the team roster means Ohio State will need to have at least one player leave the program before he arrives as Holtmann's team has 13 scholarship players currently - one more than the limit.
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