Catching up with the defectors

April 13 marks the three-year anniversary of Brad Brownell's introduction as head coach at Clemson. Since then, five players have made early exits.

Another, who had originally planned to call Tigertown home, opted not to show up.

The first departure from Clemson during the Brownell tenure never actually made it to Clemson. Marcus Thornton, who signed with Oliver Purnell in the fall of 2009, asked for his release after Purnell skipped town for DePaul.

On Monday, reserve forward Bernard Sullivan became the fifth player in less than three years to transfer from Clemson, joining Donte Hill, Noel Johnson, Cory Stanton and T.J. Sapp.

Thornton elected to stay instate and sign with Georgia in May of 2010 after entertaining offers from Texas and Georgia Tech.

He's undergone multiple knee surgeries during his three years at Georgia. In his first two seasons, he averaged 2.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. As a junior, Thornton appeared in nine games, averaging 3.8 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Another Purnell signee, Hill never played a game for Brownell. News of his transfer broke just days before the start of the 2010-11 season.

During his first season at Old Dominion, Hill averaged 7.8 points and 3.7 rebounds. He scored 8.2 points and grabbed 4.0 rebounds per contest in 2012-13 for the Monarch's 5-25 squad.

Also signed by Purnell, Johnson took his talents to Auburn after playing seven games for Brownell. Since arriving to The Plains, Johnson has struggled shooting, much like he did while at Clemson.

For an Auburn team that finished 9-23 this season, Johnson made 33 percent of his shots from the field and 36 percent from behind the 3-point line. He averaged 4.8 points as a junior, an improvement from his 2.1 average in 2011-12.

Lipscomb was the first stop for Stanton after his one-year stay in Clemson. After a few months at Lipscomb, he transferred to Tennessee and joined the team as a walk-on, but left the team before gaining eligibility.

Sapp enrolled at Murray State in January and won't be eligible to play for the Racers until January of 2014.

Time will tell how things will play out for the two most recent transfers. So far, for the first few, the respective outcomes haven't exactly been stellar.

As for those who remain in Clemson with Brownell, their play needs to improve, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. And, as also noted by the head man in charge, so must the coaching and work on the recruiting trail.

For some of the orange-clad faithful, patience is running thin. Defections from the program certainly don't help ease the feelings of frustration and discontent. Top Stories