Two more Alabama basketball players enter NCAA transfer portal

Two more Alabama basketball players, both honored during senior day last season and already expected to depart the program, entered the NCAA transfer portal Monday.

Scholarship forward James Rojas put his name in the portal, On3 Sports reportedas did walk-on guard Britton Johnson.

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Johnson, from Mountain Brook, was a fourth-year senior last season who had been honored on senior day each of the past two seasons. Rojas was a fifth-year senior. Both players have an additional year of NCAA eligibility remaining because of the COVID-19 waiver granted to all athletes for the 2020-21 season.

“280 characters isn’t enough to describe the love and gratitude I have for Alabama along with my teammates, coaches, and the Bama fanbase,” Johnson wrote Monday evening on Twitter. “Alabama will forever be my home! That said, I’m excited to see what this next chapter holds for me. “

In total, seven players from Alabama’s basketball team last season have entered the portal since the season ended with a first-round loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament last month. That includes five scholarship players in Rojas, forwards Alex Tchikou, Juwan Gary and Keon Ambrose-Hylton, and guard Jusaun Holt, as well as two walk-ons in Johnson and Jaden Quinerly.

After missing the first two months of the season while recovering from a knee injury, Rojas returned in mid-January to play in 17 games while making three starts. He averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game.

Rojas had originally committed to Nate Oats’ staff at Buffalo after playing two seasons of junior college. He flipped to Alabama with the staff change in 2019 but missed his entire first season because of a knee injury and redshirted. He was a role player and occasional starter off the bench the past two seasons whom Oats often praised for his toughness and effort.

The pair were among five players Alabama honored when it held its senior day ceremony Feb. 26, with the other three being walk-on Tyler Barnes and scholarship guards Keon Ellis and Jahvon Quinerly.

“[They] will all graduate or have graduated, and we’re planning on this being their last year with us, ”Oats said at the time. “Obviously with the COVID [eligibility waiver] thing, things are different. Who knows what happens. ”

Ellis, a projected second-round NBA draft pick in June, recently hired an agent while Quinerly has yet to announce his plans after tearing his ACL against Notre Dame.

Alabama continues to manage its roster for next season with four freshmen arriving along with junior college transfer Nick Pringle and Ohio transfer Mark Sears. Junior guard Jaden Shackelford entered the NBA draft, while freshman guard JD Davison has until April 24 to declare with the possibility of withdrawing later.

Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter mikerodak.

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