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Penn State guard joins former coaching staff via transfer portal

The veteran guard will be reuniting with his former coach from Penn State.



Penn State guard, former coaching staff, transfer portal
Jan 11, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Dallion Johnson (23) controls the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers during the first half at the Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball has been several years ahead of football in terms of transfers for quite some time. In recent years, loosening transfer portal restrictions and the infusion of NIL has increased the role of transfers in the sport. The portal has been a double-edged sword for Penn State basketball. The Nittany Lions’ 2023 NCAA Tournament run was built on transfers like All-American Jalen Pickett, Andrew Funk, Cam Wynter, and Mikey Henn. But since Micah Shrewsberry departed for Notre Dame, Penn State has seen many players from its roster hit the portal. Although new coach Mike Rhoades has been able to recruit some of these players to stay, he hasn’t been able to retain them all. Such was the case recently when Penn State guard Dallion Johnson joined the Nittany Lions’ former coaching staff from the transfer portal.

Johnson joined Penn State during a turbulent time

Veteran guard Dallion Johnson has seen a lot happen at Penn State in a very short time. A former three-star recruit and the No. 2 overall player out of Massachusetts in the class of 2020, Johnson committed to play for the former Penn State coaching staff under Pat Chambers. When Chambers resigned before the 2020 season, Johnson played his first season under interim coach Jim Ferry. He only scored 5 points in 15 minutes of action the entire year.

In his sophomore year, Johnson had another head coach. In Shrewsberry’s first year, Johnson averaged 3.7 PPG and shot 36.5% from beyond the arc. He played in 29 games and started the last 14. But in his junior season last year, Johnson only played in 23 games and averaged a mere 2 PPG. His three-point percentage was also down to 29.7%.

Penn State guard joins former coaching staff via the transfer portal

While he was eclipsed by transfers Andrew Funk and Cam Wynter last season, it did appear that Johnson would have a bigger role next year. However, when Micah Shrewsberry left for Notre Dame, Johnson decided a move was also in his best interest and entered the transfer portal in March. 

Earlier this month, Johnson decided to go full circle and rejoin his former coaching staff. On April 12, Johnson announced via Twitter that he was transferring to Florida Gulf Coast University, led by former Penn State head coach Pat Chambers. It was a logical move, given that Johnson had initially come to Happy Valley to play for Chambers. 

Overall, Johnson saw a lot of turnover on Penn State’s staff in such a short time. A chance of scenery and reunion with a coach who he has a rapport with may be just what his career needs. Hopefully, Johnson will find more stability and playing time in his new home.

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