It appears that the Colorado men’s basketball team will be adding a new, unexpected teammate to their roster next season. At the beginning of July, CBSSports.com reported that guard Josh Fortune of the Providence College Friars is transferring to Colorado.
Although Colorado could greatly benefit from Fortune’s presence in the upcoming season, they’ll have to wait a year before he’d be able to take the court. Per NCAA rules, all transfers have to sit out the year after they switch schools before they are eligible to play again.
The Providence Journal could not have worded his decision any better. “In what can only be termed a puzzling development Josh Fortune, a two-year starter on the Providence College basketball team, has decided to transfer.” Puzzling, indeed. At the time that the article was published, back in May, Fortune had not given a rhyme or reason for his decision, nor had he made a decision on where he would transfer.
It gets even stranger as you keep reading the article. Apparently, someone close to the sophomore guard said that the reasoning behind his transfer decision was his desire to play closer to home, which would most likely mean a school in the Atlantic Coast Conference given that Fortune lives in Hampton, Virginia.
The measurable distance between Providence and his home in Hampton is approximately 550 miles, whereas the distance between Hampton and Boulder, Colorado is nearly 1,765 miles. Yeah, that’s definitely not why he wanted to switch teams.
Maybe he wanted to play for a team and conference that faced more competition. According to CBSSports.com, Colorado had the 20th toughest schedule in division one NCAA basketball last year out of 350 teams. Providence lagged behind them at No. 54.
Aside from a few notable Big East teams—namely Villanova and Creighton—the Pac-12 is clearly the better conference. It features teams like Colorado, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona State, all of whom got a shot at the Big Dance in March.
Whatever his reason for leaving Providence was, it certainly wasn’t because he didn’t get enough playing time as a Friar. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 33 minutes per game last season as a starter and complemented that impressive playing time with an average of 8.4 points per game and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Okay, so his rebounding game might need a little work, and those stats are decent at best at first glance. But you also have to look at the fine print. Out of the 244 field goal attempts he took in the 35 games he played, he made 101 of them. When you do the math, that means he made 41.4% of his two-point shots. That’s a pretty darn good number when you put it in perspective.
As far as his rebounding goes, he’s a guard. Cut him some slack. Most guards aren’t known for their rebounding abilities. They generally like to leave that duty to the taller guys, the forwards and the center.
Oh, and it gets better. Remember when you complained about how bad the Buffs were at three-pointers pretty much all of last season? Complain no more. Even though Josh won’t be suiting up this year, he’ll be there at practice every day, draining threes. He’ll be perfecting the part of his game that’s already his most prominent.
With the Friars last season, Fortune made 56 of his 160 attempts from downtown (35.0%). I know what you’re thinking: 35% isn’t that great. That means he’s barely making a third of his shots behind the arc.
Think again. Last year, the Colorado squad as a whole didn’t even match that number. When you combine the efforts of the 15 guys donning the black and gold, the Buffs only sank 181 of their 569 treys. That means they only made 31.8% of those shots.
On top of all that, this transfer could not have come at a better time for the Colorado program. Fortune would be starting his career with the Buffaloes after the departure of senior guard Askia Booker.
He could definitely fill the void of “Ski” Booker’s absence next year, and you damn well know head coach Tad Boyle will be preparing him to do just that. He’ll have the next year to enhance his skills and assimilate to Colorado’s style of play.
Welcome to the Colorado family, Josh.