Unhappy with his role as the 2016-17 season unfolded, Notre Dame sophomore forward Matt Ryan has elected to play his final two seasons of eligibility elsewhere.
"We wish Matt nothing but the best in his career moving forward," said Irish head coach Mike Brey through a university release. "He was a part of two great teams at Notre Dame and we fully support his decision to pursue his career in a different program."
Ryan earned at least 10 minutes of playing time in eight of Notre Dame’s 13 non-conference matchups but didn’t reach double digits in ACC competition until an 11-minute appearance in the program’s Senior Day win over Boston College — the 17th of 18 regular season league games.
The team’s best pure shooter, Ryan was a steady member of Brey’s nine-man rotation over the final five contests, playing 13 minutes vs. Florida State in the ACC semi-finals and 14 minutes against Duke in Championship game thereafter.
He played nine minutes and scored six points in Notre Dame’s first round win over Princeton in the NCAA Tournament though he did not play in the second half.
Ryan scored eight points in 11 minutes — earning just four minutes of court time in the second stanza — during Notre Dame’s season-ending loss to West Virginia two days later.
Despite erupting for a career-high 23 points vs. Chicago State in late November and 17 more vs. North Carolina A&T two games later (hitting a combined 12 of his 21 three-point field goal attempts over the course of those contests), Ryan didn’t again score in double figures until the aforementioned upset victory over Florida State in the ACC semi-finals.
Ryan connected on 43.4 percent of his three-point field goals (36 of 83) and hit nine of his 10 total free throw attempts on the season but contributed just 32 rebounds and 14 assists in 36 games played.
He finished a distant eighth on the squad in minutes played (7.9 per contest) and seventh in scoring (3.6 ppg.)
According to Notre Dame, any institution that wishes to contact or talk with Ryan will receive a release from the University of Notre Dame Compliance Office. Per Atlantic Coast Conference regulations, Ryan cannot transfer to another ACC school.
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At the ready to replace Ryan are redshirt-freshman forward Nikolo Djogo (6’7” 203 pounds), incoming freshman swingman D.J. Harvey (6’6” 185 pounds) and perhaps 6’10” 240-pound forward John Mooney — a classic “stretch four” forward in the modern vernacular.
To read a breakdown of Notre Dame’s returning pieces for the 2017-18 campaign, click Tim Prister’s story, “Futures Market” linked below. (Prister wrote the following regarding Ryan two weeks prior to the latter’s transfer):
“Ryan has to first decide whether he wants to be a member of the program the next two years and commit to the cause. As an upperclassman, he would be afforded the same benefit of the doubt from Brey that Beachem did, as long as he makes a commitment to becoming a more complete player, which begins on the defensive end and as a rebounder.”