Of the six guys who exited the University of Washington basketball program once the agony of a 5-21 season was over, Marcus Tsohonis was the only one who delivered if not exceeded the expectations set aside for him.
Primarily coming off the bench, he scored 20 points or more five times, with a career-high 29 points and a game-winning shot coming at Washington State, and he provided another 27 points in a victory over Colorado.
Yet he could never do enough to satisfy the Husky coaching regime, to draw a regular starting assignment, even though he was specifically responsible for two of the UW's meager five wins, so the 6-foot-3 sophomore guard transferred to Virginia Commonwealth.
Similar to the others who have found new college basketball teams — everyone except senior forward Hameir Wright — Tsohonis did not criticize coach Mike Hopkins or his staff, preferring to speak only about himself and his needs.
"I just felt I could do more," he told the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Tsohonis is one of three portal transfer players to join VCU, with the Greek heritage on his mother's side of the family helping facilitate him going all the way across the country to a new school.
A Greek coach who knew of Tsohonis and his family tipped off the Rams coaching staff about the guard with the unconventional shot that goes in.
"It's a small world," Marcus acknowledged.
From there it was left for VCU coach Mike Rhoades, who had an NCAA tournament qualifier last season that had to bow out without playing because of COVID-19, to sell his program.
“I just felt like it was real talk,” Tsohonis said. “It was much about basketball and they know I’m a great player. But it was more of a family thing to me.”
As a UW freshman, he gave up a redshirt season when starting point guard Quade Green became academically ineligible at midseason and played in 19 games, starting 9.
A Portland native, he had heard Oregon fans and sportswriters even suggest out loud that he wasn't that much of a player, and that's why he was playing for the Huskies rather than the Ducks. Averaging 7.3 points and 22.4 minutes per game, he felt vindicated by being given a chance to play in his first year.
“I was relieved that I was able to be in the game and playing,” Tsohonis said. “I was just happy to be even in that position, to be honest. Just to show that I could actually play with these guys and it wasn’t a fluke for me coming to Washington.”
This past season, Hopkins started him just four times in 23 games, while totally holding him out of three. Tsohonis still finished as the Huskies' second-leading scorer at 10.4, but it was time to start looking around for another program.
Finishing up online classes at the UW this spring, he leaves the school feeling no malice, just a desire to expand his game and find a place that might appreciate him more.
“It’s no bad blood or anything at Washington,” he said. “It was a great experience just coming into college and just feeling it all out.”
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