Ohio State basketball: CJ Walker’s commitment big boost for Buckeyes backcourt
During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
— Blake Wood (@BlakeAwood) April 8, 2018
Ohio State has secured its future in the back court, which should qualify this offseason as a success for Chris Holtmann even though he still has an opportunity or two to add to his roster. Even with CJ Walker not being eligible to help the Buckeyes next season while he sits out due to transfer rules, nabbing a guard with as much big-time starting experience at a program like Florida State is a significant pickup. Factor in Holtmann’s familiarity with Walker after previously recruiting the Indianapolis native — and how critical it is for Ohio State to beef up the guard spots — and the move only looks better for the Buckeyes.
As far as perfect fits go, this one has to be just about ideal. Walker is going to be in line for a starting role as soon as he gets clearance to play. He is going to be closer to home and there should be a built-in comfort level with the coaching staff — especially after getting another year to develop and practice with Ohio State.
In the short term, the Buckeyes are going to need to keep exploring graduate transfers to fill out the roster and help replace the production of Keita Bates-Diop. And Holtmann may well be pursing a ball-handling guard to complement C.J. Jackson before the reins are inevitably handed to Walker.
His playing time started dwindling down the stretch with the Seminoles, but Walker started every game but one for a team that went to the Elite Eight. The 6-foot-1 sophomore averaged more than 8 points per game with 2 assists. His ability to potentially help as a scorer and provide confidence with the basketball in his hands on the big stage should have the Buckeyes excited for his future.
For Holtmann, this is another encouraging sign that he knows what Ohio State needs and the ability to sell his program to players who can help him. There may well be bigger commitments in the future, and adding a graduate transfer in the coming weeks obviously would make a greater impact on Holtmann’s second season. But Walker represents a significant boost for the future of the Buckeyes, and he’s officially in the fold.
Read more answers to questions about the Ohio State Buckeyes here.