ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. - Throughout his basketball career, John Floyd has been pretty good at finding his way to the hoop.
Now the former standout at St. John's Jesuit and former Blade player of the year is bringing his game a little closer to home.
Floyd, a 6-0, 170-pound freshman who played the recently concluded season at Oakland University, intends to transfer to Bowling Green at the end of the semester.
“I think Bowling Green is somewhere I will feel more comfortable,” Floyd said yesterday. “I think my style of play fits perfectly with what they do, and I kind of like the discipline and structure in the program. And being closer to my family is just a bonus.”
Floyd said he will enroll at BG this summer. He must sit out the coming season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules but he will be permitted to practice with the team. He will be eligible to play at the start of the 2004-05 season.
Floyd appeared in 27 of Oakland's 28 games this past season, starting 12 times. He averaged 5.9 points per game, fourth-best on the team. The Grizzlies went 17-11 and finished second in the Mid-Continent Conference at 10-4.
In a 75-68 loss to Bowling Green on Dec. 19, Floyd had nine points, three assists, four rebounds and six turnovers in 34 minutes.
“Things were up and down at Oakland,” said Floyd, who started the first nine games of the season but saw his playing time diminish in the second half of the year. “There were some rocky times there, but basically I never felt comfortable, never felt like I was an actual part of the team.”
Oakland coach Greg Kampe, a 1978 graduate of Bowling Green who played both football and basketball for the Falcons, said Floyd will be released from his scholarship commitment with the Grizzlies.
“I would never want someone playing in our program if they are not happy, and I guess in his mind this just wasn't a good fit for him here,” said Kampe, who spent six seasons as an assistant at Toledo before taking over the Oakland program.
“John Floyd has just one college career, and as a coach you want him to be happy during that career. If he is going to be happy someplace else, then we wish him the best.”
Kampe, who just completed his 19th season at Oakland, said he was a bit surprised by Floyd's decision to leave, which he learned about in a face-to-face meeting with Floyd and his father a couple of days after the season ended.
“But there is also a part of me that is not surprised,” Kampe said. “We have not had many kids leave over the years, but I had heard some rumors that he was not all that content here.”
Floyd, who signed with Oakland before the start of his senior season at St. John's, said he thought he might end up at BG initially. Falcons coach Dan Dakich is not permitted under NCAA regulations to comment on Floyd's transfer until he is enrolled at the university.
“I know coach Dakich some, and I saw them play a lot and I hoped they would recruit me a little harder, but by signing early that probably couldn't happen,” Floyd said. “Honestly, looking back on the senior season I had, I think I could have had other options if I had waited to sign.”
Floyd was named first-team All-Ohio as a senior at St. John's after averaging 18 points and six assists per game. He led the Titans to a 25-1 record, the No.1 ranking in the state and to the final eight in the state tournament. He was a three-year letterman at St. John's.
Floyd, who plays point guard, comes to a Falcon team that had just one true point guard on its roster this past season, senior-to-be Jabari Mattox. Floyd said he plans to use the coming year to improve his overall game.
“I try to look at the year I'll spend away from game competition as a positive thing,” he said. “I will use the time to get stronger, work on the weaker parts of my game, and just try and be that much better when the time comes that I can play for Bowling Green.
“I kind of regret making my decision on a school so early, and maybe [BG] wished they had recruited me a little more, but either way this is a chance for me to make up for all of that. I honestly think this will work out for the best, and I'll give it everything I have to make that happen.”42.66482 -83.16049