In a surprising move, Ohio State basketball fans were caught off guard as shooting guard Roddy Gayle Jr. announced his departure from the team via the transfer portal. Gayle’s decision was made public on Wednesday night through Instagram.

Gayle had been an integral part of the Buckeyes lineup for the past two seasons, solidifying his spot as a starting player heading into this season. Known for his scoring prowess, Gayle averaged 13.5 points and 3.1 assists per game, making him a valuable asset on the court. Additionally, he contributed 4.6 rebounds per game, showcasing his versatility as a player. However, Gayle’s performance wasn’t without its flaws. He struggled with turnovers, averaging 2.4 per contest.

The timing of Gayle’s departure is noteworthy, as it comes on the heels of former Buckeye Meechie Johnson’s decision to transfer back to Ohio State from South Carolina. It was widely speculated that Gayle and point guard Bruce Thornton would form the starting backcourt duo next season alongside Johnson. With Gayle’s exit, this dynamic duo has been disrupted, leaving uncertainty in the team’s lineup.

Gayle’s departure also highlights a larger trend within the Ohio State basketball program. He is the third player to leave via the transfer portal this season, joining former teammates Scotty Middleton and Bowen Hardman. This exodus gives head coach Jake Diebler an additional scholarship to work with as he navigates the offseason.

Furthermore, Gayle’s transfer means that only two of the four signees from the 2022 recruiting class remain with the team: Thornton and center Felix Okpara. Brice Sensabaugh, who opted to turn pro after his freshman season, was the first from this talented class to leave Columbus.

As Ohio State basketball looks to regroup and rebuild following Gayle’s departure, questions linger about the team’s future lineup. In Diebler’s first offseason as the head man, it will be crucial for him to hit a couple more homeruns via the transfer portal if he plans on making to the NCAA tournament in his first full season.