News broke last Thursday morning of Ohio State freshman shooting guard Austin Grandstaff’s intention to transfer. Grandstaff had averaged 11.5 minutes and 4.4 points per game so far this season for the Buckeyes and was shooting 33 percent from 3-point range before seeking out a new opportunity.
“It was a decision I’ve been thinking about for a little bit,” Grandstaff told Today’s U on Wednesday. “I love the coaches and the college, but I had a son in June and I wanted to be around my son. Also I wasn’t getting the minutes and I didn’t see that changing any time soon.”
Early this season, Grandstaff played 18 minutes in a win against Grambling State, then scored a season-high nine points in late November against Louisiana Tech, but saw just four minutes against Northern Illinois one week ago.
With the deep, talented roster the Buckeyes have – which includes only one senior – Grandstaff was competing for minutes with talented underclassmen, junior Marc Loving, sophomore Keita Bates-Diop and freshman JaQuan Lyle – a situation that didn’t appear to be changing for at least two years.
“I think being able to play, that will be a factor,” Grandstaff told Today’s U. “I’m not very good at sitting, while being away from my son, and with the situation not getting better probably until my junior year. The guys getting the minutes were a year or two older, so I didn’t see it getting better. I think minutes will have something to do with my decision.”
The list of schools that have reached out to the 6-foot-4, 188-pound sharpshooter continues to grow every day. That list includes Baylor, SMU, Texas Tech, Butler, St. John’s, Oregon, Tennessee, DePaul, Nebraska, South Carolina, Creighton, Oklahoma State and San Diego.
— Austin Grandstaff (@AustinGstaff_3) December 18, 2015
“Right now I haven’t narrowed anything down and I will start taking visits this week,” Grandstaff said. “I’m looking to start at my new school this spring semester, so everything will happen quickly.”
While he does not have current leaders and maintains he is open to all opportunities, the first schools Grandstaff named to Todays U were schools in the Lone Star State, which is where his son is.
“I think it’s more that they are closer to home,” Grandstaff said “I’ve talked to (Baylor and SMU) a little bit. I haven’t narrowed anything down. Honestly, my dad handles most of it and I haven’t been thinking about it much as of late. I’m just enjoying being home. When I start narrowing it down I’ll know more.
— Austin Grandstaff (@AustinGstaff_3) December 23, 2015
“Texas Tech and Oklahoma State have started getting into contact a little bit. My dad and I are supposed to talk about it either tonight or tomorrow. Texas Tech is close, but I haven’t really looked into it that much. I’ve been talking to their coaches a little bit. I know their program is getting better, but I haven’t looked into it that much.”
Coming out of Rockwall High School, Grandstaff was ranked as the 54th best player in the nation by the 247Sports Composite at 98 overall, boasting a 4-star rating. He initially chose Ohio State over offers from Alabama, Arizona, Creighton, Florida, Georgetown, Iowa State, Marquette, Maryland, UMass, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas A&M, UNLV, Virginia, Washington, Xavier and many others.
“At this point I’m open to anything until I start cutting my list and taking visits,” Grandstaff said. “I’m really just open right now. I get five officials again, I think, and I will be able to play this time next year when conference starts up.”
With a taste of Division I basketball and half a season’s experience at one of the nation’s better basketball programs under his belt, Grandstaff reflected on how his game has improved since high school.
“I think defensively I’ve improved quite a bit, the coaches have told me that,” Grandstaff said. “Also, just learning how to play without the ball. In high school, I had the ball in my hands 90 percent in the time, so just learning to play with other people and not having the ball in my hands all the time.”
It seems that Grandstaff is actually looking forward to some time off. Or at the very least, he’s looking at it with a good attitude.
“I think having a year off will be a blessing in disguise because it gives me a year to work,” he said. “I’ll get stronger and make sure my shot is still good and just be ready when I get the chance to play again. I think it will be a big year.”