Johnson Discusses Commitment to UVa

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James Johnson

James Johnson didn’t necessarily plan on committing to Virginia this past weekend. But on Sunday, while meeting with head coach Tony Bennett and assistant coach Ritchie McKay, the 6-9, 225-pound Elsinore (Wildomar, CA) forward came to a realization.

“It was going through my head that I had been everywhere I wanted to go. I had seen all the schools I’m interested in. I felt I had enough knowledge about each school to make a good decision. Coach Bennett and Coach McKay asked what more I needed to find out and it hit me that there was nothing more,” said Johnson, who chose the Cavaliers over Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. “I know the coaches will be as committed to me as I am to them. It’s a great place for me to be.

“After I committed, I felt really happy. I knew I made a good decision. Since then, I’ve had no thoughts in my mind wondering if I should’ve chosen somewhere else.”

Johnson hit it off well last weekend with fellow UVa recruit Joe Harris and with current players as well. That helped Virginia’s cause, but it wasn’t what put the Cavaliers over the top for the standout prospect.

“It was more about how I felt around the coaches,” Johnson said. “I felt at home while I was there. If I have a bad day, I know the staff will be there to help pick me up.”

Tony Bennett’s candid recruiting approach contributed to the “at home” feeling.

“He wants me to run the court. He likes that I run well, but he said there are a lot of things I need to work on,” Johnson said. “He wants to give me some room on the wings. He wants to see me getting rebounds and being a defensive stopper, which I have done this summer. We saw eye-to-eye on a lot