Ohio State Confirms Weatherspoon to Transfer
Sophomore forward has not decided on future opportunity
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Though it was anything but a secret he was unhappy with his situation at Ohio State, the University confirmed Monday that J.D. (James Devan) Weatherspoon will leave the program.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“After discussing my future with my family and my coaches, we determined transferring to another school would be the best opportunity for me,” Weatherspoon said in a statement Monday.
“My family and I will begin that process immediately.”
A sophomore out of Columbus Northland, Weatherspoon averaged only six minutes per game for the Buckeyes this past season and played only three total minutes in the NCAA Tournament—all against Loyola-Maryland in the first round.
He has not declared where he will transfer to, but the 6-6, 215-pound wing player will not be at Ohio State next season when the Buckeyes attempt to make another run at the Final Four without star big man Jared Sullinger.
Sullinger was a high school teammate of Weatherspoon’s at Columbus Northland, where they played for Jared’s dad, James “Satch” Sullinger. That may have contributed to Matta’s decision to recruit the high-flying forward out of high school.
“Coach Matta and my teammates have been great to me at Ohio State,” Weatherspoon said.
“Our fans and the Columbus community have supported me while in high school and at Ohio State.”
Weatherspoon averaged 2.7 points a night in 35 career games at Ohio State. He averaged 3.0 points and shot 61.7 percent from the field in 25 games this past season, but the return of Deshaun Thomas likely meant that playing time would continue to be an issue next season.
Even though it will hurt Ohio State’s depth—the Buckeyes also losing senior William Buford along with Sullinger—Matta understands and supports Weatherspoon’s decision to look for more minutes elsewhere.
“J.D. has done everything we've asked,” Matta said Monday.
“I can relate to a young man's desire to play. I was in his shoes during my collegiate career. His teammates and our staff appreciate the hard work J.D. has put in to make our team better. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Matta is known for his time as a player and coach at Butler University, where he was a two-year starter. If you recall, Matta actually transferred from Southern Illinois University, where he began his career in 1985, to Butler, where he became a co-captain as a senior in 1990.
The decision obviously worked out well for Matta, who led Butler in assists (100) and three-point field goal percentage (.433) in 1987–88 and in free-throw percentage in 1988–89 (.872).
He finished his career in sixth place on Butler's all-time list for free-throw percentage (.800), and earned a Bachelor ofScience (BS) degree from Butler in 1990.
Ohio State has won two Big Ten regular-season championships, a Big Ten tournament title (2011), advanced to a pair of NCAA tournaments, including the 2012 Final Four, and won a combined 65 games with Weatherspoon on the roster.
He played sparingly as a rookie, averaging 1.8 points and 0.8 rebounds in 10 games before being ruled ineligible academically for the winter quarter of his freshman season. He returned to the Buckeye roster prior to the East Regional in March 2011.
Weatherspoon was a member of the All-Ohio Red AAU basketball team with Sullinger, Jordan Sibert and Aaron Craft. He averaged nearly 15 points and 8.0 rebounds a game as a junior at Northland and 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds as a senior.
In most cases, a student-athlete who transfers from one NCAA institution to another is permitted to practice and receive athletics aid immediately at the second institution. As a general rule, the transfer student is required to serve an "academic year-in-residence" at the second institution prior to competing.
Related Story: Sibert to Transfer by Brandon Castel
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