A couple weeks ago, our very own Connor Morrissette took a look at what some of the players who transferred out of Syracuse football are up to now. This week, I thought I’d do the same with basketball. Two former Orangemen did their time in the 2015-16 season and are now eligible to play at their new schools: BJ Johnson and Ron Patterson.
In 2012, four-star recruit BJ Johnson chose Syracuse over Rutgers and hometown favorites Temple and Villanova. He was the No. 84 player in the 2013 recruiting class, but once he got to the Hill Syracuse fans knew him more for his headband than any he did on the court. After playing in just 10 games his freshman year, Johnson got his shot in 2014 when he averaged almost 15 minutes per game. But while the minutes were there, they were streaky. He played 30 minutes against Notre Dame and Virginia, but only six against Duke and three versus Louisville. When Johnson left Syracuse for LaSalle after the season he cited homesickness, but it could just as easily have been Jim Boeheim’s indifference to whether or not Johnson was on the floor.
With the Explorers, Johnson has gotten the consistent playing time he didn’t have with the Orange. In LaSalle’s eight games this season, Johnson has averaged over 30 minutes per game (that’s Trevor Cooney territory) and leads the with 18 points per game (that’s Michael Gbinije territory). He’s one of the stars of the LaSalle basketball program, which has a 4-4 record to start the season. He also leads the team with six rebounds per game. For comparison, he averaged just 42. points and 3.2 rebounds per game with the Orange in 2014-15.
Ron Patterson wasn’t supposed to play for Syracuse in the first place. He had first committed to Indiana, but after his senior year of high school IU officials denied him admission despite having the SAT scores and GPA needed to be D1 eligible. Patterson then chose Syracuse, where he played a limited role. In his sophomore season, he averaged just under 14 minutes per game and scored only 2.6 points per game. Patterson’s time at Syracuse was, at least to a number of Orange fans, forgettable. If you asked me to give you a memory of a play Ron Patterson made at Syracuse, I wouldn’t have an answer. He went back home to Indiana, but this time to IUPUI.
Patterson has been able to see more of the floor as a Jaguar. He gets 26 minutes per game, the production hasn’t gone up as exponentially as Johnson’s at LaSalle. Patterson still only averages 8.9 points per game and 1.5 assists. He leads the team with 1.4 steals per contest, but that’s about the only thing that stands out on his stat. There isn’t anything to point to that says “I was playing in front of 35,000 people two years ago.”
Both Ron Patterson and BJ Johnson didn’t find what they were looking for (playing time, most likely) at Syracuse and decided to go elsewhere. They have new teams now, and no matter what you thought of them when they were at ‘Cuse, you should wish them the best of luck in their basketball careers.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson