After having lost three players in two days to transfers, everyone knew that Virginia Cavaliers basketball head coach Tony Bennett would need to go to the transfer market to restock the arsenal for next year. Today, Bennett got his guy.
A graduate transfer from Rutgers, the 6’1”, 186-pound guard Nigel Johnson will be eligible to play immediately for the Hoos. At Rutgers, where he only played one season after transferring from Kansas State, Johnson averaged 11.3 points per game as the team’s second-leading scorer, playing an average of 26.2 minutes and shooting 37.7% from the field.
Johnson confirmed to Streaking the Lawn that the tweet and Instagram post does, in fact, mean that he’s transferring to Virginia. When asked what about Virginia felt right that let him commit on this visit, Johnson told us that, “everything was right,” that he had “heard the right things,” and that it was just a “good fit.”
“I’m home,” Johnson added.
In addition to visiting Charlottesville Friday and Saturday, it was reported that Johnson was also looking at Nevada, Colorado, and NC State, but that, it appears, is no longer necessary.
Described as Rutgers’ “most consistent perimeter shooter,” Johnson fills an immediate gap in Virginia’s roster without Marial Shayok and Darius Thompson, who both would have been senior guards at Virginia had they not transferred.
As Johnson grew into his role at Rutgers, he got progressively better, shooting an average of 57% from three in the final seven games of the season, including 5-6 against No. 16 Purdue and 5-7 against Northwestern. In Rutgers’ two Big Ten tournament games, Johnson had a big showing, putting up back-to-back 21-point performances.
Welcome to Virginia, Nigel. Welcome home.