Syracuse's 6-foot-7 forward B.J. Johnson will join the La Salle explorers next season as a transfer. Johnson will have to sit out next year, per NCAA rules, and return to the court in 2016-17.
Johnson was initially recruited by the Orangemen after leading Lower Merion High School out of Ardmore, Pa. to the AAAA state championship in 2013. The underdog Lower Merion team torched Chester in the PIAA title game, 63-47, with Johnson contributing 22 points and 11 rebounds. To that point, Chester had defeated 78 straight Pennsylvania challengers.
To reach the championship, Lower Merion had to surpass undefeated New Castle as well, and did so 67-63 with Johnson's 24 points leading the way; this came after a performance in the quarterfinals vs. Harrisburg, when Johnson's three-point dunk/foul with less than 15 seconds remaining proved key in Lower Merion's 63-62 win.
After being rated the 17th best small forward in the country by ESPN in 2013, the Ardmore native turned in some clutch performances for Syracuse off the bench as a sophomore this season, including a career best four three-pointers against Boston College.
Johnson will move back toward his hometown with his transfer to La Salle, the same school for which his father Robert played. Despite initally saying he would return to Syracuse next year, Johnson's decision to return to his roots was likely spurred on by limited playing time and a crowd of freshmen likely piling up at his position next season.