Ohio State forward Mickey Mitchell cleared to play by NCAA

Ohio State has had a rough start to its season. At 5-5 with Kentucky on the horizon, this is quickly looking like a lost season in Columbus. To make matters worse, freshman shooter Austin Grandstaff transferred yesterday after only a half-season with the program.

Help is on the way though, Buckeye fans.

Freshman forward Mickey Mitchell has been cleared to play by the NCAA, according to the school’s athletic director Gene Smith. He’ll be available to play on Saturday as Ohio State takes on Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The 6-foot-7 Mitchell had been forced to sit out the first 10 games of Ohio State’s season while the NCAA investigated a matter that was not related to academics, according to coach Thad Matta. For his part, Mitchell seems excited to be able to get on the floor to help his team.

It really couldn’t come at a better time for a Buckeye team that is desperate to have some life breathed into it offensively. Mitchell is a terrific playmaker who has great vision and the ability to make just about every pass in the book. From his position on the wing, he should be able to help out point guards JaQuan Lyle and A.J. Harris, both of whom have struggled to initiate offense for the team. The Buckeyes are also 303rd nationally in assist percentage this season, which means they could certainly use someone who can create looks for others.

He’s not a Cheick Diallo-level addition, and given that his first game is against Kentucky you probably shouldn’t set your expectations incredibly high if you’re a Buckeye fan. At the very least though, he’s a solid addition to a team currently desperate for his skill level.

It's been a hard season for Thad Matta, but help is on the way. (USATSI)
It’s been a hard season for Thad Matta, but help is on the way. (USATSI)

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