Washington Basketball guard Carlos Johnson chooses transfer

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 1: Bryce Alford
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 1: Bryce Alford /

After a season of rapid change, Washington Basketball 6-foot-3 guard Carlos Johnson elects to transfer at season’s end

When the Washington Basketball team changed their coaching staff, 6-foot-3 guard Carlos Johnson remained. He stayed to see how his skillset would align with Coach Mike Hopkins playbook. In November 2017, he averaged 12 minutes per game, and 4.7 points, and 2.4 rebounds, and 52.4 percent shooting from the floor. Those were his seven most active games in the season. Over time, his playing minutes waned. Then games began to pass with no playing time. That’s a sign of a player’s skill sets not aligning with the playbook.

When that happens, players often elect to play elsewhere.

Change is tough to process for some. And Johnson fought through deep shooting guard role, even moving to small forward at 6-foot-3, to try to earn more playing time.  The cards did not smile on Johnson, despite his efforts.


When changes happen wholesale, one of three things happen. Some lead the change. Some follow the change. And some get out of the way of the change. Through no fault of his own, the team focus changed underneath Carlos Johnson’s time as a Washington Husky. As a result, Johnson saw playing time of just 17 of the possible 34 games. His departure adds to that of both seniors Greg Bowman and Dan Kingma.

Some reports speculate that Johnson will be joined by guard Bitumba Baruti, who did not see any playing time in 2017-2018.  And the team is making room for an incoming class of five recruits. Three players have signed: C/PF Nate Roberts, SF Jamal Bey, and PG Elijah Hardy. The team has the verbal commitments of Ed Chang and Bryan Penn-Johnson, both of whom have yet to sign with the team.  NCAA regulations restrict the team to 13 scholarships. To sign either Penn-Johnson or Chang, additional roster move will be needed.

Scholarship shuffle

Four senior scholarships next year (if all players return) – David Crisp, Matisse Thybulle, Dominic Green, Noah Dickerson
Two junior scholarships next yearSam Timmins, Bitumba Baruti (reports speculating Baruti may transfer)
Four sophomore scholarships next yearJaylen Nowell, Michael Carter III, Hameir Wright, Nahziah Carter
Five potential freshman Scholarships next year – LOI’s Elijah Hardy, Jamal Bey, Nate Roberson. Verbal Commits Bryan Penn-Johnson, Ed Chang

Right now the team sits at 15.  The current expected resolution is for Baruti to transfer and Ed Chang to reclassify to 2019.

Next: 5 reasons Washington Basketball Matisse Thybulle thrives in 2018-2019

Now the team must pare down the list to fit the 13 scholarships. And hopefully, that will not entail defections to the NBA.