Bruce Pearl and the Auburn basketball team got a bit of help for the 2019-2020 season as Memphis’ Jamal Johnson (6’3, 178) will transfer into the program and sit out the upcoming year.
Johnson played at Spain Park with Austin Wiley, and came out of high school as the 162nd-ranked player in the country (5th in Alabama), where he averaged 24.8 ppg as a senior.
Johnson transfers out after Tubby Smith’s departure as head coach for the Tigers, and he’ll join his former teammate (hopefully) on the Plains. In his first season at Memphis, he averaged 6.9 ppg and 3.3 rpg, while notching a season-high in points with 18 three times (vs Bryant, UConn, and USF).
He didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps in going to Alabama out of high school, as his dad is Buck Johnson, former Crimson Tide standout who played seven years in the NBA. It was Jamal Johnson’s dream out of high school to play for Tubby Smith, so after Smith’s departure from Memphis, the decision to transfer out was easy despite Penny Hardaway coming in as the new head coach.
We’ll see how things shake out in terms of roster over the next year, but Johnson should be a solid addition with what should be the imminent void that will be left by upperclassmen leaving the program after the 2018-19 season.