Ohio State's Seth Towns to return for one more season

Adam Jardy
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes forward Seth Towns (31) dribbles past Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey (23) during the second half of the men's basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Purdue won 67-65.

A young Ohio State team will feature one more experienced player for the 2022-23 season.

Seth Towns, a Harvard graduate who has spent the last two seasons with the Buckeyes, will play his seventh season of college basketball and finish his career at Ohio State, he told The Dispatch. A Northland graduate, Towns underwent back surgery last summer and spent the 2021-22 season working his way back from the injury.

Now, for the first time since entering his sophomore season at Harvard, Towns is fully healthy and on track to be a contributor for an Ohio State team that could have as many as eight newcomers after losing five players to graduation, two to the transfer portal and possibly two to the NBA draft.

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After undergoing surgery in early September, Towns had aimed to play for the Buckeyes by mid-to-late January. Instead, he was officially ruled out for the entire season February 8 but is continuing to progress toward full availability this season.

It’s been a long road to this point for Towns, the 2018 Ivy League player of the year who suffered a knee injury in Harvard’s conference tournament game that would sideline him for the next two seasons. He graduated from Harvard in 2020 and opted to transfer for his final two years of eligibility, picking his hometown school and childhood favorite Ohio State ahead of Duke and others.

He made his return to the court seven games into the 2020-21 season, playing two minutes in a 77-70 win against UCLA inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse as part of the CBSSports Classic. He would go on to appear in 25 games for the Buckeyes, averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game. Towns entered the offseason with no issues involving his knees and projected to be a primary rotation player, but a back injury lingered and led to surgery that would cost him the season.

Towns has a seventh year because the NCAA afforded all players who participated during the COVID-19 pandemic an extra year of eligibility. He is believed to be the first seventh-year player in Ohio State men’s basketball history.

Ohio State will also return forward Justice Sueing, a sixth-year player who missed all but the first two games of last season with a groin/abdominal injury. Ohio State’s other returning players are third-year wing Gene Brown III and center Zed Key and redshirt freshman forward Kalen Etzler. Malaki Branham, who would be entering his second season, is going through the NBA draft process and could still return but is widely projected as a first-round pick.

The Buckeyes have signed a five-man freshman class and added Wright State wing Tanner Holden through the transfer portal. They remain in the market to add another guard and a post player.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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