Syracuse has lost a pair of sophomores in B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson, according to Mike Waters of syracuse.com.
The news of Johnson’s transfer came first, when Robert Johnson Sr. confirmed that his son would be leaving the university.
At the beginning of the season it looked as if Johnson would take a starting spot, that is until the rise of Michael Gbinije left Johnson on the bench for the majority of games. At the end of the year, Johnson averaged just over 4 points and 3 rebounds per game.
Still, many thought Johnson would be wearing Orange come next season. After Syracuse’s last game against North Carolina State, he told reporters he planned on returning to the team.
Less than half an hour after Johnson’s plans to transfer were reported, syracuse.com reported that Ron Patterson would also be looking to transfer. Patterson’s AAU coach at Indiana Elite, Chris Hawkins, confirmed the report.
Patterson scored only 2.6 PPG this year, but was more known for his defense than his offense. He often came in for the defensively challenged Kaleb Joseph after a missed assignment.
Many have speculated that the transfers of Patterson and Johnson are a result of the NCAA sanctions on Syracuse. The fact of the matter is that with the outstanding recruiting class that the Orange have coming in, neither Johnson nor Patterson would have seen a lot of time on the court next year. With the two of them gone, the Orange have room to bring in a player for the 2016-2017 season even with the NCAA restrictions. If more players (such as Chris McCullough) were to leave after next year, the Orange might even be able to put together a full recruiting class.
There’s a chance that these departures were more planned out than reactionary.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson