Mocs Add Forward Transfer To 2018-19 Roster
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball coach Lamont Paris announced the addition of junior college forward Rod Johnson to the 2018-19 roster on Wednesday. Johnson, transferring from Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill., has two years of eligibility remaining.
The versatile forward is no stranger to Paris prepping at Sun Prairie High School near Madison, Wisc. He signed with Northern Michigan playing there as a freshman before moving onto Highland for 2017-18.
Johnson’s trek is an interesting one.
He was more of a perimeter player during his scholastic career before playing the interior for the Cougars.
“Rod has the potential to effect the game in a lot of ways,” Paris opened. “He can play multiple positions...defend multiple positions bringing more maturity to the team as well. He can handle the ball and pass on the perimeter.
“In high school, he played strictly on the perimeter and was an accomplished shooter. In his junior college days, he was the opposite of that playing inside. He's got good length. I like having a number of guys who are taller than average, can pass and dribble and play multiple positions.
“It makes you harder to guard. His versatility is a big part of what attracted us to him.”
He played 31 games for HCC averaging 5.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. That came after 20 games at the DII level for Northern Michigan which recruited him to play the perimeter coming off 12.3 points per game as a senior at Sun Prairie shooting 39 percent from 3pt range.
His background on the perimeter, along with success in the post last year intrigues Paris and his staff. It doesn’t hurt that he comes from parents who played collegiately. His father Roderick played at Milwaukee and Southeast Missouri before a professional career. Stacy, his mom, also played at Milwaukee.
“We believe he can develop into a reliable shooter, he's shown that before in his career,” Paris continued. “He comes from an incredible family. That's not unlike any of other guys, but I have a previous relationship with this family...they're just amazing people.”
That makes nine newcomers for the Mocs in 2018-19. Early signees Maurice Commander (Chicago, Ill.) and Donovann Toatley (Upper Marlboro, Md.) were joined from the high school ranks by Kevin Easley, Jr., (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Keigan Kerby (Hampton Beach, N.H.) at the start of the April period closely trailed by the addition of the program’s first graduate transfer Thomas Smallwood (UAB) and juco signee Jonathan Scott.
Transfers Jerry Johnson, Jr., (Fairfield) and Ramon Vila (Arizona State) are already on campus. Johnson came aboard last summer and is eligible for opening tip. Vila came in January and has to await the completion of fall semester finals before taking the court.
GoMocs.com will profile the new roster and additions during the summer months starting with position-by-position look at the roster later this month. That’s followed by get-to-know you segments on each student-athlete to help prepare for next season.