University of Washington

Guard Carlos Johnson is leaving UW. Are more transfers possible?

Washington’s Carlos Johnson (23) drives to the hoop in the second half. The Washington Huskies played Colorado in a basketball game at Hec Edmunson Pavilion in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018.
Washington’s Carlos Johnson (23) drives to the hoop in the second half. The Washington Huskies played Colorado in a basketball game at Hec Edmunson Pavilion in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. joshua.bessex@gateline.com

Sophomore guard Carlos Johnson became the first player to leave Washington's basketball team when the school announced Tuesday he would be transferring.

It's possible he could be the first of at least two players to leave.

The 6-foot-3 and 215-pound Centralia, Ill. , native saw his role significantly decrease from his freshman year to his sophomore season with the Huskies. Because of his limited playing time, Johnson was expected to transfer.

Under former coach Lorenzo Romar, Johnson started in four games and appeared in all 31 games.. Johnson averaged 5.9 points in 17.9 minutes as a freshman.

This season, under new coach Mike Hopkins, Johnson was a bit player, appearing in 17 games, all off the bench.

Johnson averaged 3.8 points and only 8.5 minutes. Johnson opened Pac-12 Conference play by scoring 10 points by going 4-of-6 from the field in 14 minutes in a 70-65 win over Washington State in Pullman. From there, he played 16 total minutes in a span of five games from Jan. 11 to March 3.

His last appearance came when he played four minutes in UW's 72-64 regular season home finale loss to Oregon at the Alaska Airlines Arena.

"Carlos has been an integral part of our program while showing excellent leadership," Hopkins said in a statement. "We wish him the best of luck and know he will also be part of the Husky family."

Sophomore guard Bitumba Baruti, who played in 17 games under Romar, didn't play in a single game under Hopkins and could be the next to leave.

UW also loses seniors in forward Greg Bowman and guard Dan Kingma to graduation.

The Huskies are expected to return all five starters, making for some interesting roster questions.

Starters David Crisp, Matisse Thybulle and Noah Dickerson are seniors. Sam Timmins is heading into his junior year while Jaylen Nowell, who led UW in scoring, will be a sophomore.

Key bench players -- guards Nahziah Carter, Dominic Green and Michael Carter III and forward Hamier Wright -- give UW a total of nine potential returners. That's on top of what could be a large incoming recruiting class.

Hopkins and his staff have signed three players: Four-star small forward Jamal Bey, three-star guard Elijah Hardy and three-star power forward/center Nate Roberts.

UW also has a verbal commitment from three-star forward Ed Chang, who pledged last July but who has yet to sign. Four-star center Bryan-Penn Johnson, the No. 7 player in the nation at his position, gave a verbal March 19.

Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark

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