After three seasons in Knoxville, Jalen Johnson opted to go elsewhere for his final year of eligibility. It was an understandable decision for both parties, considering what Tennessee has coming in next season. Rick Barnes will welcome a couple of five-star guards into the equation, adding to a backcourt that will already consist of Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James. Add in transfer Victor Bailey and things get pretty crowded quick.
Johnson opted to spend his senior year elsewhere in hopes of finding a few more minutes. On Friday afternoon, Johnson announced that he was joining ETSU.
Johnson will stay close to home, heading to Johnson City to join another good basketball program. ETSU won both the Southern Conference regular title and the conference tournament this year, but they were left unsatisfied without a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament after it was canceled.
They’ll add a quality player here in Johnson, who just never got over the hump with Tennessee. Johnson was a role player last season for the Volunteers, averaging 15 minutes per game. He shot 32 percent from long range, averaging two rebounds and one assist. The 6-6 guard is out of High Point, North Carolina.
Sometimes it’s just time for a change of scenery and a new opportunity. Johnson now has a chance to make some noise as a senior on what should be another good Buccaneer team.