Redshirt freshman forward James Johnson on Saturday became the second player in as many days to transfer out of the Virginia men’s basketball program. Johnson joins sophomore guard KT Harrell, whose transfer was announced by the team Friday.
With the departures of Johnson and Harrell, the Cavaliers are down to nine scholarship players. Of the six players who came in with Johnson and Harrell in the 2010 recruiting class, only two – guard Joe Harris and forward Akil Mitchell – remain on the team’s roster. Guard Billy Baron and forward Will Regan transferred out of the program last season.
Johnson played in six games, averaging just 6.2 minutes per contest. He had not played in Virginia’s past three games. He missed all three shots from the field that he attempted and tallied as many personal fouls (eight) as rebounds. He made 9 of 16 free throws.
“I met with James this morning and he informed me that he would be transferring,” third-year Coach Tony Bennett said in a statement Saturday. “I wish him well. Obviously with KT Harrell yesterday and James today deciding not to continue at Virginia I am disappointed. But with that being said, if James and KT feel it’s best for them not to be here I think it’s better for everyone to part ways.”
Originally from Canada, Johnson played his senior season of high school at Elsinore High in Wildomar, Calif. He redshirted last season, his first at Virginia.
“I love and respect all the individuals that make up the Virginia basketball program,” Johnson said in a statement. “They helped me grow in so many ways. The support and love they showed me was unbelievable and it will be very hard to leave this group. However, I feel strongly that it is in my best interest to pursue other opportunities. I will miss the guys on the team as well as the coaching staff a lot and I hope they have a great season.
Virginia (10-1) hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday