Zach Johnson Becomes Latest Guard to Commit to Miami (FL)

Johnson, Zach (2)
Graduate transfer Zach Johnson committed to Miami (FL) late on Thursday night, giving the Hurricanes three transfers in the last two weeks. (Source: Florida Gulf Coast Athletics) (Header: Naples Herald)

MIAMI, Fla. — It’s all about The U.

Quietly, the Miami (FL) Hurricanes are making a run at the title of Transfer U this off-season with their recent string of high-caliber commitments that will help the program both immediately and in the future.

First, it was freshman Anthony Mack, who committed to the Hurricanes after one season in the Mountain West with the Wyoming Cowboys. Then, it was Kameron McGusty, who made the move to the state of Florida after two seasons in the Big 12 under Lon Kruger with the Oklahoma Sooners.

Both players have to sit out the 2018-19 season, but are eligible in 2019-20, giving the Hurricanes a big boost in the future.

However, with key departures from last year’s team, the Hurricanes were looking to land a graduate transfer who could step in and help right away. Late Thursday night, they got the good news that they were hoping for.

Zach Johnson took to his Twitter account to announce that he had committed to The U, choosing the Hurricanes over the likes of the Louisville Cardinals and Creighton Bluejays.

Here is the tweet that Johnson sent out to his followers to break the news:

Johnson still has classes to complete at Florida Gulf Coast before he can fully enroll and become eligible at Miami. Regardless, he was considered by many to be one of the top graduate transfers on the market this off-season, and the Hurricanes hit a home run with this commitment.

As a junior in 2017-18, Johnson averaged a career-best 16.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game, while also dishing out 3.0 assists per contest. In addition to his career numbers, Johnson also shot a career-best 39.2% from beyond the arc and 78.1% from the free throw line.

He shot 46.9% from the field, which was 0.04% off of his career high mark of 47.3%, which he set as a freshman.

On the offensive end of the floor, Johnson is a threat to go off on any given night. In the Atlantic Sun tournament title game against the Lipscomb Bisons, Johnson went for 37 points in the Eagles’ 12-point loss. Then, in the First Round of the 2018 NIT, he dropped 23 points on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a double-overtime loss.

Johnson had 28 games with double digit points last season, and he scored 20 or more in six of them. He opened the season with 27 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals in the Eagles’ 98-87 win over the Illinois State Redbirds.

He stuffs the stat sheet on a nightly basis, which is great news for the Hurricanes and bad news for the rest of the ACC.

Joining Johnson in the back court in 2018-19 for the Hurricanes is sophomore guard Miles Wilson, who sat out last season after transferring from the Mount St. Mary’s after the 2016-17 season. Wilson averaged 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a freshman for the Mountaineers, and will give the Hurricanes another weapon on the back end.

– T. Bennett