Rutgers Graduate Transfer Guard Nigel Johnson Set To Visit UVA

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Tony Bennett has yet to sign a graduate transfer as Virginia head coach, but he’s expected to host one over the next two days.

Nigel Johnson, a 6’1”, 185-pound guard, has decided to leave Rutgers as a grad-transfer. He confirmed to TheSabre.com that he will visit UVA on April 7 and 8, adding that he is also considering Colorado, Nevada and NC State.

Johnson, an Ashburn (VA) native, attended a Virginia camp during his high school days but never received an offer from the Wahoos. He signed with Kansas State out of Riverdale Baptist in Maryland and played two seasons with the Wildcats, averaging 13.8 minutes per game as a freshman and 17.9 minutes per contest as a sophomore.

Johnson transferred to Rutgers following his sophomore year. He would sit out the 2015/2016 season due to NCAA Division 1 transfer rules before averaging 26.2 minutes in 31 games of action this past season as a redshirt junior. In his first and only season with the Scarlet Knights, Johnson averaged 11.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 turnovers and 1.2 steals per game.

Johnson made 37.7% of his field goals including 35% from 3-point range and made 70% of his free throws last season. He scored in double digits in 21 of 31 games, reaching at least 20 points in five of those contests. Johnson scored 21 point in each of Rutgers’ Big 10 Tournament games — the first being a win over Ohio State and the other a loss to Northwestern.

Virginia, which currently projects to return nine scholarship players in the 2017/2018 season, lost would-be senior guards Marial Shayok and Darius Thompson and rising junior post Jarred Reuter to transfers this offseason. There is an immediate need in the backcourt, and Johnson could be the answer. Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press described him as the “Scarlet Knights’ most consistent perimeter shooter, hitting .350 from 3-point range and .700 from the free-throw line, and one of their best on-ball defenders.”

Stay tuned for a full report on Johnson’s UVA visit this weekend.

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