Ohio State exits former Wright State guard Tanner Holden from transfer portal

Ohio State wasted little time finding a possible replacement for Malaki Branham at the gunner’s position.

The Buckeyes landed their first offseason signing from the transfer portal this Saturday when former Wright State guard Tanner Holden announced he would remain in Ohio and join the Scarlet and Grays. Holden will be eligible to play with the Buckeyes for two years.

Holden, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound guard from Wheelersburg, Ohio, averaged 20.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in 2021-22 as an All-Horizon League player and led the Raiders to a conference tournament championship and their first ever NCAA tournament win.

The Holden File

  • Year: Junior
  • Size: 6-foot-6, 185 pounds
  • Position: Guard
  • School: Wright State
  • statistics: 20.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game last season

Holden, who was not ranked in the 2019 recruitment cycle, was an instant impact player for Wright State as a true freshman, averaging 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 61.1 percent from the floor. Holden made the Horizon League all-freshman team in 2019-20 and continued to improve from there. As a sophomore, Holden increased his pointing average to 15.8 points per game, shooting 52 percent from the floor and 7.1 rebounds for the Raiders.

But Holden’s best season was his most recent, averaging 21.4 points per game during Wright State’s five-game postseason run, which included a conference title and an NCAA tournament berth as the No. 16 seed. Holden scored 37 points to lead the Raiders to a first-four victory over Bryant, but Wright State’s season came to an end after that when they faced No. 1 Arizona on March 18 with 17 points.

Holden had 20 games with at least 20 points last season and scored 37 or more points on two occasions. Holden shot 49.7 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from 3-point range and was second in the country in both free-throw marks (221) and attempts (280). Holden started all 36 games for Wright State as a junior and has started 91 of his 92 collegiate appearances overall.

Holden announced its intention to enter the transfer portal with a statement on social media last Tuesday.

Considering that Branham, Ohio State’s Star Freshman Guard, drafted for the NBA On Friday, Holden looks like a perfect fit for a Buckeye team that needs to score in their backcourt in 2022-23. Branham will retain his college eligibility for now, but is widely expected to be a first-round pick.

Ohio State is also losing senior guards Jamari Wheeler, Cedric Russell and Jimmy Sotos from its backyard this offseason, making the addition of a veteran at Holden all the more important for Chris Holtmann and company.

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