Ohio State has its third and fourth departures from the 2019-20 roster, with forward Aixa Wone signing a grant-in-aid to sign with Georgia Tech Monday and guard Janai Crooms announcing on Twitter Thursday that she will be entering the transfer portal.
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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ohio State University for allowing me to fulfill my dream of playing Division-I basketball,” Crooms said in a statement. “However, after much thought, prayer and consideration, I feel it is in my best interest to enter the transfer portal and explore other options.
“I would also like to express my appreciation to my coaches, professors and Buckeye Nation for welcoming me with open arms, and supporting me every step of the way. I want to send a final thank you to my teammates, for becoming my sisters for life. I love each and every one of you and am so grateful for everything you’ve done for me over the past two years.”
Crooms finished her sophomore year averaging 6.7 points and 3.4 assists per game, with the assist total finishing second on the team to junior guard Braxtin Miller. She shot 46.7 percent from the field, but struggled to get her three-point shooting up, hitting just 20.8 percent of her attempts from deep. The second-year guard started the first 10 games, but after missing the Sacramento State matchup due to a suspension, she continued to come off the bench for the remainder of the season.
In her freshman year, she averaged 8.8 points and 2.2 assists per game, starting in 19 of the 29 games. She was very effective from the field in her first year, hitting on 48.0 percent (98 of 204) of all attempts and 46.5 percent (20 of 43) of her shots from three. Both of those percentages led the team.
But Crooms said on March 8 during the Big Ten tournament that she grew into her role as a spark plug off the bench.
“Yeah, I take on that a lot. That’s kind of my role in practice and games,” Crooms said. “All throughout the season that’s just been my role. And I think I’ve lived up to that.”
It was officially announced by Georgia Tech Monday that Wone would be moving on from the Buckeyes to play for the Yellow Jackets after just one year with Ohio State.
In her first season for Ohio State after being recruited out of Spain, Wone struggled to find her footing, averaging 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per game while playing just 9.1 minutes per game. She averaged 34.0 percent from the field.
Crooms and Wone join freshmen guards Kaelynn Satterfield and Kierstan Bell as the players from this past season’s roster to leave the team. Crooms, Satterfield and Bell were the three players that were suspended against Sacramento State due to a violation of team rules.
Ohio State now has six players who earned minutes last season returning, as well as five-star guard Rikki Harris, who redshirted due to injury. The Buckeyes are also bringing in three recruits in the 2020 class in three-star guard Anyssa Jones, three-star forward Gabby Hutcherson and five-star point guard Kateri Poole.
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