photo: Erin Lanahan/The Intrepid
Matt Johnson didn’t follow the typical path of becoming a Division I basketball player.
Johnson, a 6-4 guard from Baltimore, Maryland, won two state championships at New Town High.
Johnson played the last two years at the junior college level. His first year, he attended Pensacola State, where he averaged 7.5 points per game.
Johnson then played his sophomore season at Howard Community College in Texas. There, he was named to the all-conference team, averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game.
Johnson then committed to play at St. Bonaventure.
“When I went up to a game, I loved the atmosphere and the fans were great,” Johnson said.
Another factor for Johnson’s commitment was how well he connected with the coaches.
“I liked what coach Schmidt offered,” he said. “I liked his vibe.”
Johnson has seen a big difference in the level of play so far at the Division I level.
“It is a lot faster,” he said. “The players are also a lot smarter.”
Head coach Mark Schmidt talked about his new players having a lot to learn quickly.
“They all have to learn the system,” he said. “If you don’t learn the system, you are going to struggle.”
Johnson talked about the versatility of his game.
“I can score at all three levels and get other people involved,” he said.
Johnson also said that he can help give fellow guard Kyle Lofton some rest, after Lofton averaged 37 minutes per game last year.
“I can play the point guard and the shooting guard to take pressure off (Lofton),” Johnson said.
In Johnson’s free time, he likes to play video games.
“I play 2K and Fortnite, but most of my time is for school and workouts,” the junior guard said.
Johnson will make his debut on Tuesday when the Bonnies host the Ohio University Bobcats.