Anthony Johnson will not return to the Purdue men's basketball team, the school announced this afternoon. The junior-to-be will join Sandi Marcius and Jacob Lawson as the third player from last year's squad to decide to transfer since the season ended.
"Anthony has been a valued member of our program over the last three years," Coach Matt Painter said in the press release. "We wish him nothing but the best as he moves into the next chapter of his career."
Like Jacob Lawson's decision, I'm sure this one isn't shocking news to many that followed the team this season. That said, I think it is the transfer that will hurt the team the most of the three. Johnson averaged 18 minutes and 4.9 points per game this season. Some of those minutes seemed to be out of a "there's noone else to put in" variety, but he also could've averaged so many more minutes had he been a better fit, in my opinion.
Whose fault is it the kid didn't seem to "fit"? There are likely several out there that would blame Matt Painter on that, and several that would blame Johnson. In my opinion, there's enough blame to go around to both. That said, this clearly wasn't working out, as Johnson seemed surprised that Painter expected him to play defense every possession and play, you know, within the team's offensive scheme at the other end of the court.
As I said to start this story, I don't think this transfer is too surprising to many. I'm in no way connected to the team, but just watching on TV you could tell there was some mutual unhappiness there. Hopefully Anthony Johnson can find somewhere else he fits in a little better and have tons of success. If he transfers to another Division I school, he will have to sit out a year before playing his last season, as he's already used his redshirt year. If he transfers down a level he can play two more seasons.
This leaves Purdue with only 10 scholarship players for next season, three of which are going to be true freshmen, one who will be a redshirt freshman, three true sophomores and one redshirt sophomore, in addition to seniors-to-be Travis Carroll and Terone Johnson.
The Boilermakers have three open scholarships for next season, and at this point I'd almost guarantee they find someone, anyone, to take at least one of those next season, if only to have more guys in practice. So if you're a 6-foot-plus dude that can dominate at the co-rec (sorry, RSC), you may want to keep your eyes open for that walk-on tryout announcement this fall.