Seth Towns enters portal ahead of 8th college hoops season

A familiar name appeared in the NCAA transfer portal Monday night: Seth Towns, the former Ivy League Player of the Year who has missed four of the past five seasons with injuries.

Towns, who will be 26 years old at the start of the next college basketball season, hasn't played since 2020-21.

He began his career in 2016 at Harvard, where he became one of the best mid-major players in college basketball. Towns averaged 12.5 points as a freshman and then put up 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore, shooting 44.1% from 3-point range en route to being named Ivy League Player of the Year.

Towns missed the next two seasons with knee injuries but entered the portal as a graduate transfer in 2020. He received interest from a long list of high-major programs, but the Columbus, Ohio, native ultimately committed to Ohio State.

"I'm coming home," Towns said at the time. "From a basketball standpoint, it makes sense for me. Obviously, there's no place like home. Coach [Chris] Holtmann and I have developed a really good relationship; I trust him wholly. It's great. It's been my childhood dream. I have a painting of me in an Ohio State jersey on my childhood bedroom wall, even still. I got that when I was 2 years old."

Towns ended up playing in only 25 games for the Buckeyes, averaging 3.8 points in 2020-21 before missing the following season with a back injury. Last September, Towns announced he was stepping away from basketball due to the numerous injuries he had suffered over the past few years.

"It comes with sadness and faith that I must announce I am stepping away from Ohio State and Team 124, and that I will not be playing this season," he said. "After a few setbacks this summer and some tough conversations with my coaches and medical personnel, it has become clear that my body is not in a position to endure a full Big Ten season. I share with many of you the frustration of not having been able to compete at the level I am capable of, or at least something close to it."

While next season will be his eighth in college basketball, Towns could have up to two years of eligibility remaining -- depending on how many years he qualified for a medical redshirt. He has played only three total seasons at Harvard and Ohio State, and one was 2020-21, which the NCAA considers to be the COVID-impacted campaign.