dj-carton-ohio-state.jpg
USATSI

Ohio State freshman D.J. Carton announced Thursday evening he is stepping away from the basketball program to focus on his mental health. Carton, the Buckeyes' third-leading scorer and second-leading assist man, has been a key cog in their season, running the offense and operating as one of the best and brightest freshmen in the Big Ten.

"I have been suffering with mental health issues for a couple years," Carton wrote in a post on his Twitter account. "I have been through a lot. I'm disappointed to say I'm not 100% right now. I am not doing my teammates justice if I don't work on this now. I am doing everything in my power to strengthen my mental health."

Carton said his time away from Ohio State's basketball program will be temporary, and Ohio State simply announced he would be taking time away. He's expected to miss Saturday's game against Indiana.

"D.J. remains a valued member of our program and we will continue to love and support him," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said in a statement. "Please respect the family's privacy in this matter."

Carton is averaging 10.4 points and 3.0 assists per game for Ohio State in what's been a splashy freshman year for him since his heralded arrival. 

Without Carton, the Buckeyes will look to junior CJ Walker to run the offense full-time. Walker has made 19 starts this season. 

Ohio State (13-7, 3-6 Big Ten) welcomes Indiana to Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday before a two-game road stand against Michigan and Wisconsin. Its lost six of its last eight games but is still clinging to the NCAA Tournament outlook, as Jerry Palm has the Buckeyes a projected 9-seed in his updated Bracketology.