A household name popped up on the NCAA transfer portal Monday night: Seth Towns, the former Ivy League Player of the Year who has missed four of the last five seasons through injury.
Towns, who will be 26 when the next college basketball season begins, has not played since 2020-21.
He began his career at Harvard in 2016, where he went on to become one of the top mid-majors in college basketball. Towns averaged 12.5 points as a freshman and averaged 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore. He scored 44.1% from 3-point range en route to the Ivy League Player of the Year award.
Towns missed the next two seasons with knee injuries but entered the portal in 2020 as a graduate transfer. He received interest from a long list of high-profile programs, but the Columbus, Ohio native ultimately signed for Ohio State.
“I’m coming home,” Towns said at the time. “It makes sense to me from a basketball perspective. Obviously there is no place like home. Trainer.” [Chris] Holtmann and I have developed a really good relationship; I trust him completely. It is great. It was my childhood dream. I have a painting of me in the Ohio State jersey on my kid’s room wall, even as a still image. I got this when I was 2 years old.
In the end, Towns only played 25 games for the Buckeyes and averaged 3.8 points in the 2020-21 season before missing the following season with a back injury. Last September, Towns announced that he was retiring from basketball due to the numerous injuries he had sustained over the past several years.
“It is with sadness and confidence that I announce that I am retiring from Ohio State and Team 124 and will not be playing this season,” he said. “After a few setbacks this summer and some difficult conversations with my coaches and medical staff, it’s become clear that my body isn’t capable of enduring a full Big Ten season. I share with many of you the frustration that I didn’t make it. “I am able to compete at the level I am capable of, or at least somewhat close to it.”
While next season will be his eighth in college basketball, Towns could still be eligible to play for up to two more years — depending on how many years he’s qualified for a medical redshirt. He has only played three seasons at Harvard and Ohio State combined, one of which was 2020-21, which the NCAA believes is the season affected by COVID.