Sophomore forwards Jamison Battle and Chase Paar have entered the transfer portal, athletic department spokesperson Brian Sereno confirmed Monday.
The duo announced their intention to transfer four days after the Colonials (5-12, 3-5 A-10) bowed out of the Atlantic 10 tournament. The pair are the fourth and fifth players to transfer from the program after senior guard Maceo Jack, sophomore guard Jameer Nelson Jr. and senior forward Ace Stallings left the team in December.
“I would first like to thank everyone at GW for welcoming me with open arms and giving me this opportunity,” Battle wrote in a tweet. “After thinking and talking with my family, I believe it is best for me to enter my name into the transfer portal and explore other options.”
Both players did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Head coach Jamion Christian released a statement on Twitter Monday addressing the recent transfer portal entrances and said he supports a player’s right to move teams and schools.
“My aim as a leader has always been to guide our guys through tough times, to believe in them no matter what and to aid them in achieving their dreams,” he said in the tweet. “I support players having the freedom to move from their current situation to another. That does not change when it doesn’t benefit my program. Player empowerment matters.”
He said players could transfer for a number of reasons, including a change in circumstances since the athlete committed, an unhappiness with their role on the team or playing “their way into an opportunity they feel is better for them.”
The squad underwent a number of setbacks this season, including missing 10 conference games due to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building and two COVID-19 disruptions. The squad’s second COVID-19 pause, which began Jan. 17 after Christian tested positive for the virus, lasted 35 days and canceled eight consecutive games.
Christian said the team became “calloused from the struggle” of this season but came out “stronger ” because of it. But he added that the events of the season were not excuses for the team’s performance.
“We need to get better,” Christian said. “I need to get better. I will be better, and I believe deeply in the guys we have in the locker room. I look forward to coaching this group and bringing in new additions in short order that will help to restore our program to the glory that our University, alumni and fanbase deserve.”
The Colonials will have the ability to return the remaining 11 members of its team next season after the NCAA granted another year of eligibility to winter sport athletes.
Battle had been a mainstay for the Colonials since his freshman season. He averaged 35.3 minutes per game and started a team-high 30 of 32 games. He ranked second on the squad with 11.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.
His 89 made shots from the perimeter slotted him at No. 1 in the A-10 for three-pointers made during the 2019-20 season and earned himself a spot in GW’s record books for the most made triples in a season.
In his sophomore campaign, Battle further elevated his game, averaging 17.3 points and 5.2 boards a game. He missed two games with a concussion but started in all 15 contests he played, staying on the hardwood for 36.5 minutes per game. He ranked seventh in the A-10 in scoring and fifth in the conference in minutes per game.
Despite nailing just 34 triples in the truncated season, he still fired at a .354 clip, just 1.2 percent off last season’s marks.
After missing the first eight games of his collegiate career with an injury, Paar also became a staple in the Colonials’ lineup for the 2019-20 season. He started 18 of the 22 games he played, scoring 5.3 points a game and ripping 5.3 rebounds off the glass. He led the team in field goal percentage, sinking 51-of-81 attempts for 63.0 percent on the season.
In year No. 2, Paar continued to hold down a spot in the starting five for 14 of his 16 games. His scoring stayed stable at 5.3 points per game, while his rebounding dipped slightly to 4.8 boards per game. He earned 3.2 average minutes per game more than his previous season.