Ohio State’s D.J. Carton Takes Leave From Team to Contend with Mental Health Issues

Indiana’s next opponent is going to look different than it did a few weeks ago in Bloomington.

And basketball is taking a back seat to real life.

Former IU recruiting target and current Ohio State freshman point guard D.J. Carton announced on Thursday evening that he is stepping away from the Buckeye program to strengthen his mental health.  The Iowa product announced the news on his Twitter account.

In the social media post, Carton stated that he has been dealing with mental health issues for a couple years.

The 6-foot-2 Carton has played a significant role during his freshman season in Columbus, averaging 10.4 points and 2.9 assists per game.  Carton has appeared in all 20 of Ohio State’s games, playing an average 23.9 minutes per contest.  He is OSU’s third leading scorer and is shooting 47.7 percent from the field overall including 40 percent from three-point range.

In the Jan. 11 meeting with the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Carton played 28 minutes and scored 10 points.  He struggled to take care of the basketball, committing 7 turnovers.

Carton is coming off his second highest scoring game of the season.  He went 6-of-8 from the field at Northwestern and produced 17 points, 2 assists and 1 turnover on Jan. 26.

Carton was a highly coveted IU recruiting target in the class of 2019.  He chose to attend Ohio State over Indiana and Michigan during the summer of 2018.

Indianapolis native C.J. Walker has been the primary starting point guard for OSU but Carton and Walker have both played together and split time running the point.  Walker is the only other point guard on the Buckeye roster beyond Carton that has seen significant action this year.

Walker, a redshirt junior, averages 7.5 points, 3.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Duane Washington Jr. will likely be counted on to take on some of the primary ball-handling duties.  The sophomore guard is Ohio State’s second leading scorer but he only played eight minutes against Indiana in the first meeting due to what head coach Chris Holtmann cited as performance related issues.

After a strong start to the season that saw the Buckeyes 11-1 and No. 2 in the country, Ohio State is 13-7 overall and just 3-6 in the Big Ten.  OSU has lost 6 of their last 8 games.

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