April 07, 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Reserve Syracuse center Chinonso Obokoh has decided to transfer, following the lead of sophomore guard Kaleb Joseph.

The 6-foot-9 Obokoh logged just 67 minutes in 11 games this past season and had 12 points and 18 rebounds. The 22-year-old Nigerian announced his decision in a statement and will have at least one year of eligibility remaining after graduating in May one year ahead of his class.

Coach Jim Boeheim confirmed Tuesday that Joseph had decided to change schools.

Obokoh did not appear in any games as a freshman, but one year of eligibility was taken away from him by the NCAA. He plans to petition the NCAA in an attempt to regain that year, according to his American guardian, Kevin Sheppard of Rochester.

The NCAA ruled before Obokoh's freshman season at Syracuse that he would lose his first year of college eligibility because the organization that oversees college sports believed Obokoh had gained a competitive advantage by staying an extra year in high school. The family contends that Obokoh stayed in school to improve his English skills.

Syracuse, which made a surprising run to the Final Four as a 10th seed after an erratic season, also is losing walk-on guard Christian White, who is transferring to Pace University. White, who played two seasons at Monmouth before coming to Syracuse, chose not play in any games this past season in order to preserve his final year of eligibility for graduate school.

The departures leave the Orange with six returning players on scholarship: centers Paschal Chukwu and Dajuan Coleman, forwards Tyler Lydon and Tyler Roberson, and guards Frank Howard and Malachi Richardson. Syracuse also has awarded scholarships to incoming freshmen Tyus Battle and Matthew Moyer.

Due to NCAA sanctions, Syracuse will lose five scholarships over the next three years. That gives the school a limit of 11 scholarships for next season, which means that Boeheim has three scholarships available.

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