Ohio State's Kaleb Wesson entering NBA draft

Ohio State star Kaleb Wesson plans to enter the NBA draft.

Wesson tweeted Wednesday night that he would forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the draft. He is ranked No. 54 in ESPN's rankings of the top prospects for the draft.

He can sign with an agent for exploratory purposes and still protect his final year of eligibility. He has until June 3 to make a final decision.

Wesson, a native of the Columbus suburbs playing alongside older brother Andre, was a force for the Buckeyes and their most valuable player in a tumultuous season. Ohio State weathered a rough patch that saw it lose six of seven games to start 2020 and play through the suspensions of two key players and the sudden departure of budding star guard D.J. Carton, who said he left because of mental health issues and was transferring.

Kaleb Wesson averaged 14.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in leading Ohio State to a 21-10 record (11-9 Big Ten). The Buckeyes won nine of their last 12 to end the regular season and never got to play beyond that because of the spread of the coronavirus.

The 6-foot-9 forward transformed his body between his sophomore and junior seasons, dropping from 289 pounds to 255 and adding muscle. The change was evident in his quickness and endurance. He also developed into an effective outside shooter, averaging 42.5% from beyond the 3-point arc this season.

Among those Wesson thanked in the tweet were his Ohio State teammates.

"What we accomplished together, two NCAA Tournaments and for sure another had we been able to play the season out to the end," he wrote. "There were so many great moments, huge wins and experiences we had together that I will never forget."

Ohio State's offense has been built around Wesson the past two seasons. Without him, the Buckeyes will have to look to Kyle Young and E.J. Liddell as key big men.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.