Holtmann Deals With Vanishing Roster

By Jeff Rapp, July 1st, 2017

With a three-sentence press release on Friday, The Ohio State University announced that new men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann just went from 10 scholarship players next season to eight.

Apparently, signee Braxton Beverly didn’t see a fit with Holtmann – or vice versa, most likely – and the 6-0 point guard was granted his release from the program. Also, forward Derek Funderburk, another Thad Matta recruit, will not play for the Buckeyes after sitting out last season as was originally planned.

This is all tOSU had to say about the latter development: “Note: Redshirt freshman Derek Funderburk has been dismissed from the Ohio State men’s basketball team for failure to meet team expectations.”

The terse news comes a few weeks after Holtmann suspended the lanky combo forward for the same reason, offering no further insight.

Funderburk decided to redshirt after classmate Micah Potter seized a spot ahead of him in the rotation. He never played a game in scarlet and gray other than an exhibition.

Beverly was set to join forces with fellow signee Kaleb Wesson, a 6-9 natural post who won “Mr. Basketball” honors his senior season at nearby Westerville South. Soon after Holtmann’s hiring, OSU also was able to announce the good news that in-state star Kyle Young had agreed to become a Buckeye.

A 6-8 forward who just led Massillon (Ohio) Jackson to a state championship, Young committed to Butler University but reconsidered playing for the Bulldogs when Holtmann left to take the OSU job. BU graciously released Young from his letter-of-intent so he could re-connect with Holtmann at OSU without having to sit out a season.

Speaking of classy, Beverly posted a mature statement on Twitter on Friday evening thanking Matta and OSU athletic director Gene Smith for the opportunity to be a Buckeye. He also wished the program good luck.

He has not yet commented about his schools under consideration, although one report claims he will head directly to N.C. State.

Beverly’s coach at Hargrave Military Academy, A.W. Hamilton, recently joined the Wolfpack coaching staff.

A product of Hazard, Ky., Beverly had a 70-point game at Hargrave and showed solid ball handling and playmaking skills.

On Senior Day, Ohio State honored just one player: Marc Loving. In reality, five other 2016-17 Buckeyes joined Loving out the door: starting point guard JaQuan Lyle (dismissed from program), starting center Trevor Thompson (sought early entry for the professional ranks), backup center David Bell (transferred to Jacksonville), Funderburk and walk-on Jimmy Jent, who’s father, Chris Jent, is one of four former OSU assistant coaches now looking for work.

Now Beverly is another casualty.

Former walk-on Joey Lane has been granted a scholarship for the upcoming season. Lane provides depth at guard for a thin roster.