FGCU guard Zach Johnson will not be returning to play his final season this fall – at least, not in Fort Myers.
The rising senior is headed to Miami as a graduate transfer, where he’ll have one season of eligibility and should be able to play immediately.
Johnson broke the news on his Twitter page Thursday evening, clad in a Miami Hurricanes jersey.
“I Would Like To Thank My FGCU Family For Everything During My Time There The Relationships I Have Built There Will Not Be Forgotten,” Johnson tweeted. “With That Said I Am Proud and Happy To Announce That I Will Be Attending The University of Miami For My Grad Year. #CANES”
As a redshirt junior this season, this was Johnson’s fourth year of college. He is taking summer courses to complete his degree.
Johnson was FGCU’s second leading scorer last season, putting up 16.1 points per game. In a 108-96 loss to Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun conference tournament final, Johnson tied an FGCU program record with 37 points as the Eagles cut a 32-point second half deficit to as close as five in what will now be his final game at Alico Arena.
Since redshirting his first year with an undisclosed medical injury, one which apparently threatened his playing career, Johnson started in each of his three seasons with the Eagles. He anchored the backcourt with fellow freshman Reggie Reid in 2015-16, bringing the Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament since the Dunk City team of 2013. In each of the last two seasons, he paired with the now-graduated Brandon Goodwin to create one of the most dynamic backcourts in the country.
Johnson was scheduled to take an official visit to Arizona on Sunday. He picked Miami over the Wildcats, Creighton, and Louisville.
First of All I Would Like To Thank My FGCU Family For Everything During My Time There The Relationships I Have Built Will Never Be Forgotten. With That Being Said I am Proud and Happy To Announce That I Will Be Attending The University of Miami For My Grad Year. #CANES ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/xYBawAH5QS
— Zach Johnson (@ZachJohns5n) April 20, 2018
A Miami native, Johnson played his high school ball at Norland High School, and will be reunited with high school teammate Dewan Huell.
The departing Johnson makes for three transfers from FGCU this season. 5-foot-2 Darnell Rogers was granted his release on Tuesday, as the guard seeks more playing time elsewhere. Rogers played an average of 6.4 minutes per game as a freshman.
Last week, Michael Gilmore announced he won’t return to the program next season, as he will either play professionally or complete a graduate degree elsewhere, saying FGCU doesn’t have his desired Master’s program.
“I’m going to take the next several weeks and months to evaluate all my options and make sure I put myself in the best situation for not only my basketball future but my personal and career prospects,” said Gilmore,
A transfer by way of Miami and VCU, Gilmore played 24 games last season after becoming eligible in December, starting 20. He averaged 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
FGCU has three guards in this year’s recruiting class: Southwest Florida Christian’s Caleb Catto, Fort Lauderdale’s Zach Scott, and junior college transfer Quentin Jackson. Marquette transfer Haanif Cheatham also becomes eligible in December, while UNLV transfer Troy Baxter will also be eligible this season.
(Year of Eligibility for 2018-19 shown)
Christian Carlyle, Jr.
Haanif Cheatham, Jr.(Eligible in December)
Dinero Mercurius, Sr.
x-Kyle Hoffman, Jr.
x-Dolan Mahoney, Sr.
x-Ryan McAdoo, So.
Troy Baxter, So.
Brady Ernst, Jr.
RaySean Scott, Jr.
Brian Thomas, So.
Ricky Doyle, Sr.
x-Ryan Roucant, So.
Brandon Goodwin, graduation
Zach Johnson, graduate transfer
Darnell Rogers, transfer
Christian Terrell, graduation
x-Joshua Ko, graduation
Michael Gilmore, professional/graduate transfer
Antravious Simmons, graduation
Caleb Catto, Fr.
Quentin Jackson, So.
Zach Scott, Fr.
Scholarships Open: 2
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