Photo by MattBritt00 via Flickr
Just as things were starting to look up for the Seton Hall University men’s basketball team these past couple of months following some key player additions, a decision today by the team’s up-and-coming sophomore center has put the team in a tough spot.
Per reports from Piratecrew.com, sophomore center Kevin Johnson has decided to transfer from the university. The decision leaves the Pirates with a lack of depth in the frontcourt.
The 6-foot-9 Compton, Calif. native only averaged 2.5 points per game for the Pirates last season; however, his presence both on the court and on the bench played a significant role as the team dealt with injuries last season.
On the other hand, the move does come after two seasons of a limited playing role and a few “controversies” with the coaching staff.
First, Johnson was academically ineligible during his original freshman 2011-12 season — then, he also had disputes with head coach Kevin Willard during his two seasons in South Orange. The most recent dispute occurred in a game in February against Marquette when he walked off the court without staying for Seton Hall’s playing of its alma mater.
This transfer will mark the sixth under Willard and the fourth member of the 2011 recruiting class.
Seton Hall will now have to reassess its depth chart following the Johnson transfer. With the incoming additions of freshman Jaren Sina and junior college forward Stephane Manga, the Pirates seemed to have a more complete roster than they did during an injury-plagued 2012-13 season. The returns of big men Patrik Auda and Brandon Mobley, combined with Johnson, had the team’s front court starting to look full.
Now, with the loss of Johnson, there is a noticeable gap, as the team only has one other true center on the roster. Senior Eugene Teague, the team’s starter last season, will have to man the center position on his own as Auda and Mobley are natural forwards.
All in all, this is big loss for Seton Hall — it will be interesting to see how the Pirates adjust.