• 46°

Two more Buckeyes transfer

COLUMBUS (AP) — The exodus of the Ohio State basketball team’s heralded 2015 recruiting class continued today as two more players announced their plans to transfer.

A day after Daniel Giddens said he is leaving the program, Ohio State confirmed the departures of A.J. Harris and Mickey Mitchell. A five-member class ranked by Rivals.com as the fifth-best group in the nation is now down to one — guard Jaquan Lyle. Guard Austin Grandstaff previously left during the season.

“We appreciate what A.J., Daniel and Mickey did for our program as freshmen and we wish them well,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said in a statement.

Depending on your perspective, the latest exits either mean little — all were reserves who did not figure to start next season — or are symptomatic of a program at a major crossroads. Ohio State missed the tournament this year for the first time since 2008 and has steadily declined over the past three seasons.

Harris, a 5-9 guard from Dayton, averaged 2.8 points and 1.8 assists per game. Giddens, a 6-10 forward from Mableton, Ga., averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and a team-high 1.5 blocks. Mitchell, a 6-7 forward from Plano, Texas, averaged 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds.

The Buckeyes expect to return their top six scorers next season, including rising senior forward and St. John’s Jesuit graduate Marc Loving. Starting sophomore center Trevor Thompson declared for the NBA draft but has not hired an agent and is expected to return to school.