What production does Ohio State have to make up in 2022-23?
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What production does Ohio State have to make up in 2022-23?

Chris Holtmann knows the hit Ohio State is taking. It’s not something he could really plan for, but is the Buckeyes’ reality heading into 2022-23.

Initially, Holtmann and the rest of the coaching staff planned to build its team around guard Malaki Branham next season, taking over as the centerpiece held by E.J. Liddell in 2021-22. Now, both ate off to the NBA after the freshman guard “progressed in a phenomenal way,” his head coach said.

But it changes the Buckeyes’ plans.

“A player of his caliber maybe leaving a year earlier than you thought, let’s be honest, it completely changes the complexion of your roster,” Holtmann said. “You really have to make plans.”

In this case, Holtmann said, the transfer portal helps, giving the Buckeyes an opportunity for instant production from players granted immediate eligibility. But it changes the approach Ohio State has had recruiting, focusing on the idea in the final months of last season that it needs to find that next player to build around knowing that the Buckeyes would likely lose Branham.

But Branham and Liddell aren’t the only players from 2021-22 that Ohio State is losing, with Kyle Young, Jamari Wheeler, Cedric Russell, Joey Brunk and Jimmy Sotos each ending their college basketball careers, while Meechie Johnson Jr. and Justin Ahrens both entered the transfer portal.

At this point heading into 2022-23, with Harrison Hookfin having not announced whether he will return next season or not, the Buckeyes have only five players returning from last year’s roster: Zed Key, Eugene Brown III and Kalen Etzler, who redshirted his freshman season, along with Justice Sueing and Seth Towns, who missed all but 31 minutes of play a season ago due to injury.

Here’s a look at what Ohio State has to replace.

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