In October 2010, Bolden committed to Georgetown after midnight madness following a recruitment that drew little fanfare. The next two years were equally mysterious. While scouting reports said that Bolden had plenty of raw athletic promise but little polish, the passage of time revealed even less on-court production. Box scores, highlight reels, and even full games are available for seemingly every high school player with a chance of playing in a major program. Yet, Bolden seemed to rarely play, and there were few video clips on which to judge him. As a result, Georgetown fans had seen less of Bolden than any recent incoming Hoya, including a guy who had recently immigrated from Nigeria and another who, as you might have heard, didn't play AAU. The later recruitment of Bradley Hayes, another 2012 big man described as a project, only raised more questions.
In his one year at Georgetown, Bolden did not crack the rotation. Although front court minutes were there for the taking, Bolden played in just four games for a total of five minutes, the fewest of any scholarship player. That brief stint was hardly enough for the fans to assess his ability, though practice obviously allowed the coaching staff a far greater basis for judgment. Bolden did seem to be an enthusiastic bench-warmer, even next to Tyler Adams's peerless towel-waving abilities.
After having played few minutes in his freshman season, Bolden might not have seen many more in the coming years, with freshman Reggie Cameron and a probably-returning Greg Whittington both likely to soak up Otto Porter's minutes from last season, and incoming transfer Josh Smith likely to merit significant playing time once he becomes eligible. Later years, with more incoming recruits, might not have resulted in much more burn for Bolden.
In short, while there were no previous reports of Bolden's transfer, this also isn't exactly a surprise. It's still unclear whether the choice to leave is his, Georgetown's, or mutual, though the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.
Bolden's transfer is the first since 2011, when Vee Sanford and Jerrelle Benimon departed the Hilltop for Dayton and Towson, respectively. Those transfers raised some questions about the frequency of outgoing departures under JTIII, but there's little reason to think that Bolden's departure is part of some broader problem.
Saying goodbye to Bolden would leave Georgetown with one open scholarship for next year. (This assumes that Tyler Adams no longer counts toward Georgetown's scholarship limit, an assumption with some grounding. Last semester, Smith arrived on a team that, if Adams still had counted, would not have had a scholarship for him. Also, at this point Adams has not played in nearly two seasons.)
An open scholarship, of course, means intrigue. With few high-profile 2013 recruits remaining, will Georgetown put the press on one of the hundreds of transfers available? Will Isaac Copeland, originally a 2013 prospect who reclassified to 2014 before committing to Georgetown, reclassify once again to arrive on the Hilltop this fall? Will the Hoyas wait to use the scholarship in 2014, when the graduation of Markel Starks and Nate Lubick will mean a total of three open slots, one of which will be filled by Copeland? How will Georgetown approach recruiting this summer, when the scouting list includes possible future Hoyas at every position?
Sound off on those questions and anything else below. As for Brandon Bolden, he's a good kid, and we wish him well.