Penn State will be the new home for current University of Pittsburgh combo guard John Johnson, as sources confirmed to Lions247 the sophomore will transfer and enroll at the University Park campus in January.
Johnson (center) will be enrolling at Penn State in January.
Johnson will be the second player transferring to the Nittany Lions under head coach Patrick Chambers and, like current starter D.J. Newbill, Johnson is a Philadelphia native.
Signing with Pittsburgh in 2011, Johnson played in all 39 games as a freshman for the Panthers, averaging 4.2 points a game on 40 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc (33-of-86). Johnson didn’t see any time in Pittsburgh’s opening game against Mount St. Mary’s this season.
In 2010-11, as a senior at Life Center Academy (NJ), Johnson was named to the New Jersey All-State Prep team while leading the Warriors to a 22-8 record. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder averaged 18.8 points, four assists and four rebounds a game during his final high school season under head coach Carlos Arroyo.
“John is a go-fast type of player. He’s got a lot of energy on both defense and offense,” said Arroyo on Monday night. “He loves pushing the ball up the court. He’s got an attacking style of offense and tenacious on defense. John is a combo guard. He loves to pass and set his teammates up, but he also loves scoring the ball, so he can play both (the one and the two).”
With his 21st birthday less than a week away, Johnson will have to sit out a year and will be eligible to play once the Fall 2013 semester ends.
“I think his first step and his speed beat most defenders,” Arroyo said. “He’s very quick running the fast break and getting out into the open court is when he is very effective because he blows by the opposition.
“His ability to push the ball and score is what is most impressive, but to see the speed he plays the game with was fun to watch.”
Johnson will use one of the two scholarships Penn State has available this coming spring semester. The sophomore will not be able to partake in any games, but will be able to practice and work out with the team.
Next fall, however, Penn State has zero scholarships available. Redshirt sophomore Sasa Borovnjak has been on campus for four years and has been rumored to graduate in the spring of 2013, but his scholarship was thought to be utilized by Tim Frazier after rupturing his Achilles tendon earlier this month. Another player on the current roster would have to leave the team - by early graduation or transfer - before next fall, in order for Johnson to have a scholarship.