It's one thing to lose the freshman with the most basketball potential we've ever seen at USF... but to lose him to Hogtown??
BREAKING --- South Florida transfer John Egbunu has committed to Florida, source told @CBSSports. Story coming.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 15, 2014
Florida has landed South Florida transfer John Egbunu, source told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 15, 2014
Ignore the seven points and six boards a game he had last year, as you could clearly see the upside of a kid who picked up basketball later in life to be a truly special player. Now he heads to Gainesville where he can sit out next season, continue to develop, and eventually turn into a not-quite-as-good-but-still-really-good Nerlens Noel. He's still got four years to complete three seasons of eligibility too.
We wish John all the best, and so does one of his teammates and fellow talented freshmen, though we're still not quite sure why he decided to leave Tampa with a new coach that will most likely run a system that favors his body type and skills. He was a really good fit here, but maybe the difficulty from last season was just too much to overcome.
Quick story I can tell now: When the team flew back from Las Vegas after the Las Vegas Classic this season, several players then dispersed for the holidays. But when it was time to come back to Tampa before heading to play at Bradley on Dec. 28th, John didn't return. He stayed home in Atlanta, and told people he was quitting the team. It took a personal visit from Coach Roccaforte to convince John to get back on the team, and he and Rocc flew in together and showed up just a couple hours before the tip at Bradley, where Egbunu had four points and nine rebounds. I didn't write it at the time because quite frankly I was asked not to, and I agreed that it would cause more drama and distraction for a team that already had plenty. But it shows Egbunu clearly wasn't happy here, and it looks like it took more than coaching turnover to change his feelings.
This was a big loss for the Bulls anyway, but heading up I-75 is just a knife twist. Ugh.