Having received limited playing time in two years at Syracuse, former Lower Merion High basketball standout B.J. Johnson said Thursday he will transfer.
"He wants a chance to go somewhere where he can maximize his playing potential, get 25 minutes or more a game," said his father, Bobby Johnson. "And with the year off, he'll have time to work on his body and put on a few pounds."
Johnson made the announcement the same day that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said in an hour-long news conference that he and the university will appeal punishments for academic and benefits violations. Boeheim also said that 2018 is the "right time" to retire, though he acknowledged that next season could be his last. He has been suspended for the first half of the next Atlantic Coast Conference season, a total of nine games.
Boeheim, 70, said during the news conference in Syracuse, N.Y., that his plan discussed with the university's chancellor is to retire after three more seasons, but that he will take things year by year.
"If I'm not effective at the end of next year, I won't coach after next year," Boeheim said. "The three-year thing is the outside."
Johnson wasn't the only sophomore to announce his plan to depart. Ron Patterson, an Indianapolis native, also has not decided where he will transfer but likely will go to a school closer to home, according to syracuse.com, which quoted the 6-foot-2 guard's AAU coach.
Johnson, a 6-7 forward, averaged 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 25 games in the recently completed season. As a senior at Lower Merion, he averaged 16.5 points and 7.4 boards while helping the Aces go 30-3 en route to the PIAA Class AAAA state title. He had a 1,241-point career.
Both players will have two years of eligibility after they sit out the 2015-16 season.
Boeheim said some of the NCAA's allegations laid out in a scathing 94-page report earlier this month are inaccurate. He called the penalties "unduly harsh" and said the reason he planned to stay on as coach was to make sure the program was in good shape.
Chambers extension. Penn State signed coach Pat Chambers, 44, to a two-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season. He is 56-75 and without an NCAA tournament berth in four seasons. The Nittany Lions were 18-16 this season.
The former Villanova assistant has a 98-103 career coaching record that includes a two-year stint with Boston University. He led BU to the 2011 tournament.