Men’s basketball picks up graduate transfer Nigel Johnson
With the departures of Jarred Reuter, Marial Shayok and Darius Thompson following the 2016-17 men’s basketball season, Coach Tony Bennett and the Virginia men’s basketball program had four open scholarships heading into the offseason.
The Cavaliers filled one of those scholarships with the addition of former Rutgers guard Nigel Johnson. Johnson confirmed the news via a tweet and post to Instagram Saturday.
Johnson, a graduate transfer, will be able to step in and play immediately next season. He will fill a huge need for the Cavaliers, who lost three guards from last season — London Perrantes to graduation, and Shayok and Thompson to transfers. In addition, he will bring some veteran experience to a group of Virginia guards in which only one scholarship player has more than one season under his belt.
Johnson, who stands at 6-foot-1 and is 186 pounds, has experience transferring, playing his first two seasons of college basketball at Kansas State before transferring to play for Rutgers. Virginia will also be getting a skilled scorer. Johnson averaged 11.3 points per game this past season, shooting 37.7 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three-point line. He erupted in Rutgers’ two games in the Big Ten Tournament, scoring 21 points in both games.
Johnson will join guard Marco Anthony as a new addition to Virginia for next season. However, with three scholarships still open, it will be interesting to see how many of them Virginia decides to use.