Transfer guard at home with Wolfpack
Posted October 16, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — The two newest members of the Wolfpack men's basketball team are hoping to benefit one from the other.
Newly hired head coach Mark Gottfried needed a point guard after the defection of Ryan Harrow. Alex Johnson was looking to join a higher-profile program after graduating from Cal State-Bakersfield with a year of eligibility left.
As practices officially begin, Johnson is already fitting right in.
“He’s effected a lot of people on this team," said sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown. "He wants to be in the gym 24/7.”
Johnson, who averaged 13.3 points a game last season, has spread that work ethic to his teammates.
“When I first came here, and they said, ‘You can have 24-hour access to the gym. You can come here whenever you feel like it.’ I said, ‘You know what, guys? I’m not going to be the only one in here.’ That’s how you get better,” Johnson said.
“We weren’t doing that last year," Brown allowed. "Alex came and was like, ‘Let’s get in the gym. Let’s get in the gym.’ like every other second of the day. And I was like, ‘Alex, calm down.’”
“I feel like that’s something we needed in this program," said junior forward Richard Howell.
Johnson saw the arrival of a new coach as an opportunity for him to quickly become a part of the team.
“They were new coming in and I was new coming in. That was the biggest thing with my decision," he said.
"I kind of felt like I didn’t want to go to a place where they already have it established because it would be hard to fit in with everyone.”
Johnson was born in Toronto and grew up playing hockey. When he started to focus on basketball, he developed a dead-eye jump shot.
Johnson can shoot the three, but he will likely find most his minutes as a backup to Brown.
"If they need me to come in and knock down open shots, I’ll do that. If they need me to come in and penetrate and kick to Scott Wood, I’ll do that," he said.