After surprisingly announcing that he will transfer from the Ohio State Buckeyes just two days before the season was set to tip off, former Buckeyes forward Micah Potter has found a new home. The big man has decided to remain in the Big Ten, joining the Wisconsin Badgers.
After averaging just 4.1 poitns and 2.8 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game (59 games, 16 starts) during his first two seasons in Columbus, the 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward admitted in a press release from his new school that he has no bad blood toward either head coach Chris Holtmann or the Buckeyes, but that it was just time to move on.
“The reason I waited so long to make the decision (to transfer) was really because I love Ohio State – I grew up a Buckeyes fan and I tried to make it work as long as I could,” he said. “But in the end, I needed to make a decision that was best for me. I needed to go somewhere I would fit in a little better.
“I have no bad blood with Coach Holtmann or Ohio State or anything like that,” Potter said. “I just wasn’t maximizing my potential, I wasn’t maximizing my potential because I wasn’t fitting, and I wasn’t playing well. I was performing only in flashes. The style of play was not what fits my skill set. As much as I didn’t want to leave, I needed to leave and I’m very excited about going to Wisconsin. Pretty much as soon as I got there on my visit, I fell in love with it (the school). It’s hard not to like Madison. It’s beautiful there. And it’s Wisconsin basketball. You can’t get much better than that.”
While he couldn’t quite find his nitch in Ohio State’s style of play, the Badgers always seem to employ a big man that can play both on the outside and the inside, while creating shots for his teammates as well. That’s the style of play that Potter not only seems to like but one that he believes he will do well in as well.
“[They] had my heart from the get-go,” the forward said. “Wisconsin has the prototypical style of play for a guy with my skill set. That was a big thing. Another thing was how I would fit in with the team and my future teammates. Brad Davison was my host for the visit and he had a big impact. He made me feel at home through the whole process.
“I had an idea on the basis of what Wisconsin basketball was all about and how they do things,” said Potter. “When I got there Coach (Greg) Gard and (assistant) Coach (Joe) Krabbenhoft were able to show me a little more of a blueprint ideal. It was more of an in-depth view of the program – the way they play, the way they act on and off the floor, how they carry themselves, the team culture – all of those things that I want to be a part of. They hold themselves to a very high standard.”
Potter is excited for a fresh start and it seems as though his new head coach is as well. Although the big man isn’t eligible to play in any games until December 2019, he can begin practicing with Wisconsin once he enrolls at the school for this upcoming spring semester in January.
“He has plenty of experience in our league and, at a high level, he has been part of successful teams,” Gard said. “We had watched him in high school and part of his AAU career, and also having the chance to play against him and watching him on film, we thought it was a good fit.
“When you look at transfers, you have to do your due diligence from a cultural standpoint and make sure they’re going to be about the right things. There’s no doubt Micah is about team-first and he wants to be part of something bigger than himself. He understands the big picture.”
Allowed to practice once he begins classes following the new year, it will give him an advantage considering he will be able to practice and get acclimated with his new teammates and coaches for quite some time before suiting up in a game. It will also help this season’s Badgers as well.
“That’s the benefit of having him here shortly,” Gard said. “When you’ve got a guy that talented and with that size on our scout team, it’s going to raise the level of practice. Plus, he’ll be a part of our locker room in pregame, halftime and postgame and really get an up-close look on how we operate.”
From Mentor, Ohio, calling Madison, Wisconsin home will be much different than Columbus, Ohio. With that said, he seems ready for it. Here’s to hoping he finds plenty of success with his new team, except for when they go against the Buckeyes.