The sophomore member of Hopkins’ first recruiting class will depart Washington basketball after appearing in only 11 games in two years.
Thursday morning, Washington basketball’s sophomore center Bryan Penn-Johnson announced via his Twitter that he will be seeking to leave the program and enter his name into the transfer portal.
“I would like to thank Coach Hopkins, Coach Rice, Coach Dollar, Coach Conroy, and the rest of the Husky staff of all of the knowledge and support that I have received during my time at the University of Washington,” he said in the statement. “That being said after talking to my family and loved ones I have decided to enter the transfer portal and reopen my recruitment.”
A member of head coach Mike Hopkins’ first recruiting class back in 2018, the 7’1” Long Beach native rarely saw the court in two years in Seattle. His freshman year, he showed flashes of promise in a backup role before a leg injury led to a medical redshirt. In those two years, he played an average of 4.5 minutes in a total of 11 games for the Huskies, averaging a little over a point per game. Struggles with foul trouble and unassisted rebounding hamstrung his physical gifts, especially with Isaiah Stewart getting the majority of minutes.
With Stewart and Sam Timmins both leaving in the offseason, there appeared to be an opportunity for more meaningful minutes heading into next season. But now, Hopkins’ team has gone from being one of the nations’ tallest last season to one with extremely thin frontcourt depth, with walk-on Riley Sorn and redshirt sophomore Nate Roberts as the only traditional centers. This lends even more weight to the idea that next year’s Huskies will be considerably more perimeter-oriented.
Penn-Johnson is the second player from that 2018 recruiting class to transfer this offseason, following the decision of Elijah Hardy, who has yet to announce his next destination.
As a high school senior, Penn-Johnson was rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 23 center in the country per 247Sports. His final two schools were DePaul and Washington, but he held offers from plenty of other big-name programs like Kansas, UCLA, Oregon, West Virginia, Wichita State, Florida State, and Arizona, to name a few. It would not be surprising if he revisited the possibility of heading to any of those schools, but given that his choice to leave was likely due to a lack of playing time, heading to a smaller program that can guarantee touches could also be in the cards.
Wherever he ends up, he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.