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Ohio State Buckeyes forward Felix Okpara enters Portal

The Buckeyes lost a second starter to the portal.

Sophomore forward Felix Okpara announced on his Instagram on Sunday that he is entering the transfer portal.

Okpara thanked former head coach Chris Holtmann and current coach Jake Diebler for his two years with the program, but decided it was time to move on.

“As I thought about the player I want to become and the program moving in a new direction, I believe it is in my best interest to continue my dream at another school,” Okpara said in his post.

This announcement comes less than 20 days after Okpara announced he will return to Ohio State for his third year.

In the frontcourt this offseason, the Buckeyes have lost seniors Jamison Battle and Owen Spencer – both graduates of the program – and senior Zed Key to the transfer portal. These moves might give Okpara more than his nearly 24 minutes per game, competing alone with freshman Devin Royal for minutes.

However, Diebler also landed 7-foot freshman Kentucky big Aaron Bradshaw on Monday, which may have kept Okpara in a big backup role and sent him looking for a new home.

With the Lagos native on his way out, the Buckeyes are losing a key defensive piece in the paint – someone who ranked among the top 15 nationally in allowing 2.4 blocks per game, good for second in the Big Ten. Additionally, he was able to quickly hedge and recover in on-ball screens.

While Okpara didn’t provide much in terms of scoring output, he fought for every rebound on both ends, proving to be a crucial player for the Buckeyes, who were severely lacking in size last season.

Okpara joins fellow sophomore Roddy Gayle Jr. as the other Buckeyes’ starter entering the portal this offseason – he is also the fifth overall Buckeye to enter the portal, joining freshman Scotty Middleton, sophomore Bowen Hardman, Gayle and Key.