Micah Potter is no longer with the Ohio State men’s basketball team, but Buckeyes fans haven’t seen the last of the Mentor, Ohio, native.
Today, Wisconsin announced that it has added Potter as a transfer following the completion of his semester at Ohio State. Because he began the semester with the Buckeyes, playing in the team’s exhibition game before deciding to transfer, Potter will have 1½ years of eligibility for the Badgers after sitting out one year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Potter will be eligible to play for the Badgers next December.
The Big Ten no longer has restrictions on players transferring within the conference, and Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann has often expressed that he has no issues with supporting players who transfer regardless of their eventual destination. After leaving the Buckeyes program two days before the season opener at Cincinnati on Nov. 7, Potter remained enrolled in classes and took visits to both Wisconsin and Vanderbilt before choosing the Badgers.
According to an article on Wisconsin’s website, Potter was weighing his decision to transfer before playing in the exhibition against UNC Pembroke, where he had 13 points and six rebounds but played only 10 minutes, the lowest total among recruited scholarship players.
"The reason I waited so long to make the decision (to transfer) was really because I love Ohio State – I grew up a Buckeyes fan and I tried to make it work as long as I could," he said. "But in the end, I needed to make a decision that was best for me. I needed to go somewhere I would fit in a little better.”
Holtmann was supportive of Potter’s decision to leave the program and publicly pledged to assist in finding a new school if needed.
“I have no bad blood with Coach Holtmann or Ohio State or anything like that," Potter said. "I just wasn't maximizing my potential, I wasn't maximizing my potential because I wasn't fitting, and I wasn't playing well. I was performing only in flashes. The style of play was not what fits my skill set.
"As much as I didn't want to leave, I needed to leave and I'm very excited about going to Wisconsin. Pretty much as soon as I got there on my visit, I fell in love with it (the school). It's hard not to like Madison. It's beautiful there. And it’s Wisconsin basketball. You can't get much better than that.”
Can’t wait to get to Madison! #OnWisconsin https://t.co/CLCobVBpnF— Micah Potter (@BigJam_23) December 10, 2018
A former three-star prospect, Potter started the 2016-17 season opener as a true freshman but struggled to find consistent playing time during his two full seasons. He made 30 appearances as a freshman and started 12 games while splitting time with center Trevor Thompson, then made 29 appearances including four starts as a sophomore while giving way to freshman center Kaleb Wesson in the starting lineup after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the fourth game of the year that limited his availability for nearly two months.
For his career, Potter averaged 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game.
Potter’s ultimate goal is to play the power forward position, where he could use his outside shooting to stretch opposing defenses. At the other end of the floor, though, he struggled to defend on the perimeter and it seemed unlikely that he would share court time with Wesson at Ohio State.
“It's a perfect fit in terms of our system, how he plays, how we play with our bigs and what he can bring to the table as a player,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “He has plenty of experience in our league and, at a high level, he has been part of successful teams. We had watched him in high school and part of his AAU career, and also having the chance to play against him and watching him on film, we thought it was a good fit.”
Ohio State and Wisconsin only play each other once this season, when the Badgers come to Value City Arena on March 10 in the final game of the regular season.