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SLU vs. Fordham

St. Louis University forward Jalen Johnson falls after making a lay-up during a game between SLU and Fordham on Feb. 3, 2018 at Chaifetz Arena. Photo by Austin Steele, asteele@post-dispatch.com

Forward Jalen Johnson, who has started regularly since the middle of his freshman season, announced on Twitter on Friday that he is transferring from St. Louis University.

Johnson averaged 9.1 points and was second on the team with 52 3-pointers last season. He started 24 of 33 games and played 27 minutes per game.

The Baton Rouge, La., native posted a statement Friday morning.

"First off I would like to thank St. Louis University and the men's basketball coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play for the university," he wrote. "I learned a lot from my two years here in St. Louis. I would like to thank the fans and the community of St. Louis for supporting me."

Johnson declined to comment further through a university spokesman.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore would have been part of a crowded front court heading into next season. SLU will return forwards Hasahn French and D.J. Foreman, and forward Luis Santos will become eligible after sitting out a season. The Billikens also will add freshman forward Carte'Are Gordon from Webster Groves High.

Johnson was the first recruit signed by Travis Ford after he was hired at SLU. The departure leaves SLU with two open scholarships for the 2018-19 school year.