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NC State

Transfer guard at home with Wolfpack

Posted October 16, 2011

— 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. 

New guard fits right in with Wolfpack New guard fits right in with Wolfpack

“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.

23 Comments

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  • jandscroom Oct 18, 8:22 p.m.

    Please Go PACK!

  • badcompany1023 Oct 17, 8:55 p.m.

    dedication you gotta love it

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Oct 17, 7:18 p.m.

    Wow, first Howell is prompted by Coach Gott to drop 20 pounds so he can be quicker. Now, it the... View More

    — Posted by mike28

    what is perplexing is that Lowe didnt apply his work ethic, as a player, to his work ethic, as a... View More

    — Posted by duane11

    I don't know if Sid had a "work ethic" problem as a coach. I think he worked hard, and did a decent job recruiting. I just think his coaching techniques were all wrong. Maybe he expected the players to work on their own. But they didn't, and he should have cracked the whip more.

  • duane11 Oct 17, 6:52 p.m.

    Wow, first Howell is prompted by Coach Gott to drop 20 pounds so he can be quicker. Now, it the... View More

    — Posted by mike28

    what is perplexing is that Lowe didnt apply his work ethic, as a player, to his work ethic, as a coach.....why would you just say "work hard, guys, see ya later!"??

  • Hokies94 Oct 17, 3:41 p.m.

    This young kid seems to have it together mentally, and his attitude is exactly what this team, or any team needs. It does become contagious when you have one or two leaders that can live it on, and off the court. Wishing him the very best. He sounds like a smart young man.

  • Doctor Dataclerk Oct 17, 3:06 p.m.

    I'm kinda like TBK, who knows how Gottfried will work out in the end, but I like the influence he has had so far. Recruiting kids with good work ethic is contageous to those who might lack it. The kid coming in from Upper Room seems to have his head screwed on right as well. Way to go Richard Howell (losing that extra ballast)! And of course GO PACK!!!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Oct 17, 2:13 p.m.

    I agree with the Sid stuff that you wrote. Sid ran the program like an NBA coach -- told them... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    Seems like Gottfried wasn't pushing for them to go to the gym either..this kid comes in and... View More

    — Posted by sportznut628

    You can't say that about Gottfried yet. Lo's comment was referring to "last year", not... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    I'm sure Gottfried is the complete opposite of Sid. During his Summer NCSU Basketball camps,... View More

    — Posted by NCSU84

    I know he hasn't coached game one for the Pack, but I like what I've seen and heard about him so far.

    Now if he will just WIN. :)

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Oct 17, 2:12 p.m.

    But still, the players KNEW they were on a team that was not playing well. Why were THEY not in... View More

    Because they are lazy and worthless with over-inflated egos.

    — Posted by Hans

    I think I already knew the answer to that question as I was typing it.

    And you're exactly right.

    Hopefully that will change with our recent coaching change.

  • NCSU84 Oct 17, 1:53 p.m.

    The answer to that question is precisely why Mark Gottfried is the new coach. Most of us fans... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    I agree with the Sid stuff that you wrote. Sid ran the program like an NBA coach -- told them... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    Seems like Gottfried wasn't pushing for them to go to the gym either..this kid comes in and... View More

    — Posted by sportznut628

    You can't say that about Gottfried yet. Lo's comment was referring to "last year", not... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    I'm sure Gottfried is the complete opposite of Sid. During his Summer NCSU Basketball camps, Gottfried was running basketball drills with the campers - not just blowing his whistle.

  • mike28 Oct 17, 1:48 p.m.

    Wow, first Howell is prompted by Coach Gott to drop 20 pounds so he can be quicker. Now, it the team is hitting the gym to get better. After 5 years of Sid, it is great to have a coach with some common sense. I think previous comments were right on... Sid just expected that the players had the same work ethic as he did. Great programs don't just expect the players to do more, they DEMAND it. I have been saying for a long time that the talent level is there for the Wolfpack to be successful. The players just have to strive for excellence and want it more than whoever they play against. I can't stand to see players standing around on the court and watching the game. Hopefully, Coach Gott will instill the winning attitude that this program has not seen since Jimmy V...

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