Ferguson, who is 6 feet 2, started the season’s first nine games but had come off the bench for five games before not playing in Sunday’s victory over St. Mary’s Ryken that ended a four-game losing streak. He was the Knights’ third-leading scorer, averaging 9.5 points per game.
“Will had had some conduct that was unbecoming an O’Connell Knight,” O’Connell Coach Joe Wootten said. “We were trying to work to improve that conduct and he chose to move on and we wish him well.”
Wootten declined to be more specific, but said that was the reason Ferguson did not play Sunday. Ferguson, though, was surprised he did not play Sunday and said the combination of reduced playing time and a financial strain on his family were the reasons for his transfer.
“I wasn’t playing that much, so I had to go somewhere I could play,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said he is being recruited by Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, VCU, Miami, Xavier, Seton Hall and Massachusetts, while Georgetown, Villanova, Notre Dame and Central Florida also have been in contact.
Herndon Coach Chris Whelan said he expects Ferguson’s transition will be easy because he is close friends with several Hornets and they train together in the summer. Ferguson lives next door to Herndon sophomore star Dorian Johnson, who averages 19.8 points, and is close to sophomore DeAndre Thomas. Whelan said he has known Ferguson for several years.
“It’s a really good fit,” Whelan said. “He works out with them all summer. He lives in Herndon. It’s not a foreign kid that we don’t know. … He makes us really good.”
Whelan on Monday afternoon said that some details remain to be worked out. Among other things, Virginia High School League rule 27-11-1 states: “No member school may permit its athletes or teams to compete in more than the total number of regular season interscholastic contests, meets or tournaments specified.” For basketball, that number is capped at 22 games.
Because Ferguson played in 14 games for O’Connell, he can only play eight more regular season games; Herndon has nine games remaining.
“With it being such a high-profile transfer,” Whelan said, “the T’s have to be crossed and the I’s have to be dotted.”
“Honestly, in my 13 years, I’ve never had” players transfer out in midseason, Wootten said. “Then it happens right in a row.”