The press release was terse and to the point, and contained no quote from Coach Ed Cooley. Josh Fortune would be looking to transfer, destination unknown.
The Friars' sophomore two-guard waited until classes were completed in the spring semester to make his decision and announcement. And that announcement caught fans by surprise. Immediately, speculation fired up about why Fortune would transfer.
Most players transfer because of a lack of playing time. That certainly wasn't the case with Fortune, who logged 787 minutes as a freshman and a whopping 1,154 minutes as a sophomore – 33 minutes per game. He started all 35 games this past season. Past playing time was not an issue.
As to future playing time, Kris Dunn will be returning, but he is a point guard and that wouldn't have affected Fortune's time. Junior Lomomba sat out last year and is a two-guard but Fortune would certainly have been ahead of him on the depth chart. Kyron Cartwright will be debuting this season, but is also a pure point guard. And that's it for guards on the Providence roster.
Ed Cooley and staff have certainly been pursuing other guards this spring, but most have been of the point guard variety. One name that has surfaced recently is Antoine Mason, a 6'3 volume scorer from Niagara, who is transferring and has one season of eligibility remaining. Providence has been recruiting him and he now becomes an important chip.
So why did Fortune decide to leave? Was it a desire to play closer to his Virginia home? Was it a fear of losing minutes to Jalen Lindsey, even though Lindsey is primarily a small forward? A source close to the program indicated that it was yet another example of the "2014 mentality of players today… the grass is always greener elsewhere" … and the quick decision to leave at the first sign of adversity or competition.
Whatever the case, PC is suffering a big loss. During his trial by fire over the past two seasons due to injury issues, Fortune piled up invaluable experience and improved greatly as a player on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he was often assigned to guard the opposing team's best wing player, and offensively – as against Marquette in PC's 81-80 double overtime win on March 4 – he hit a number of clutch three point daggers. With Bryce Cotton gone, that won't be easy to replace.
In his two seasons at PC, Fortune scored 481 points in 69 games. His three point percentage jumped from .289 as a freshman to .350 as a sophomore. There's no reason to believe his improvement wouldn't have continued.
Fortune To Transfer
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