Sunday, September 4, 2011
New Knight: Dytanya "Bubby" Johnson soph. F/C 6-7
Dytanya "Bubby" Johnson hasn't been officially announced as a member of the Gannon basketball team, but I'm jumping the gun on publishing his player profile because I've heard from many reliable sources that he's transferred to GU from Division I New Jersey Tech. Another reason I'm profiling Johnson so soon is that while researching him I became ecstatic that he'll suit up for the Knights this winter. Yes, his physical ability should help Gannon but I love his intangibles more. Heck, just looking at these pictures of the kid makes me wish tomorrow was the Maroon/Gold scrimmage:
* He takes charges.
* He gets after loose balls on the floor.
* He obviously has a passion for the game.
* He mixes it up inside, despite weighing maybe 200 pounds.
* Did I mention he has a passion for the game?
* And for those of you who like slam dunks, he does that, too.
I'm also thrilled about Johnson joining the Knights because he was a frontcourt teammate of super Knight Stephen Battle at Thomas Stone HS in Waldorf, MD. Battle, the PSAC West Freshman of the Year last season and Gannon's best all-around player, looks like he's in it for the long haul at GU if he's recruiting his former high school teammate here.
Here's some more info on Johnson:
* The NJIT website describes him as "a post player noted for his on-court toughness, particularly in the areas of defense and rebounding." That's a consistent theme in all the reports about Johnson -- and you know John Reilly loves those qualities in a player.
* Played in 25 games for 15-15 NJIT, including 11 starts. Averaged 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.1 minutes of play per game.
* Shot 44% from the field (21-for-48, 0-for-1 on threes) and 58% (15-of-26) from the foul line. Scored a career-high nine points twice including in a 12-point loss at Rutgers.
* Finished third on the team in blocks with 10.
* This article from the Southern Maryland News announcing Johnson's signing with NJIT starts with this line: "Heart, passion, determination, hard work and the love of the game is what separates Thomas Stone senior big man Dytanya 'Bubby' Johnson from most players on the hardwood."
* The article also says, "With his physical stature and ability to cause havoc inside for opposing offenses, his rebounding, block shots and weak side defense, should help Johnson make an immediate impact and earn him a lot of playing time for the Highlanders program next winter as a freshman."
* An all-conference defensive/tight end in high school -- check out this photo of him about to devour a miniature quarterback -- Johnson was recruited by several I-AA gridiron teams.
* As a senior at Stone HS, he averaged 10.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and nearly 3 blocks per game, making 60 percent of his shots from field and 70 percent at the foul line. The Cougars finished 23-2 that year, advancing to the Maryland 3A state championship game.
* In that state final, he recorded 12 rebounds and a season-high 5 blocked shots. In the state semi he tallied a season-high 18 points.
* In 24 games, he produced double-figure rebound totals 23 times, with a high of 19. He also posted two 18-rebound games and one of 17.
* According to MaxPreps.com, he ranked second in the state of Maryland in rebounds and 12th in blocked shots.
* Johnson and Battle reached the Maryland 4A Final Four their sophomore and junior seasons and then the 3A state championship game after the school switched classes.
* This article after Stone's 3A semifinal win features quotes from Johnson.
* Stone expected to win the state championship that year but was upset by smaller Milford Mill (who was not coached by Gil Thorp, by the way).
* Here's how the I95 Ballerz website describes Johnson: "The team’s spiritual leader, Johnson plays hard all the time, manning the paint and directing teammates. Being willing to battle inside should not be a surprise for this two-sport performer, who on the gridiron plays both defensive end and receiver. Though basketball is his true love -- he has been tendered an offer to hoop at NJ Tech -- Johnson is reviewing all options for college.
* And, no, I haven't figured out why he's called "Bubby." I'm guessing it has nothing to do with the former Steelers quarterback.
* These highlights from a state playoff game focus more on Battle, but that's okay.
* You have to like Johnson's persistence in the paint at the 55-second mark of this video. And his rejection at the 1:39 mark is bone-rattling.
* I'm a basketball fan, but I'm not going to search through this 2-hour, 12-minute video of NJIT at Utah Valley from earlier this year to see Johnson's one minute of play.
* But you only have to wait 6 seconds in this video to watch Johnson jump center vs. Vermont in what appears initially to be the rattiest gymnasium in Division I.
Finally here are some miscellaneous photos of Johnson -- I'm sure Gannon fans won't be able to get enough of Bubby's dreads:
* With his coach during the state finals. I wonder if he'll wear that one long sleeve at Gannon.
* Again with Stephen Battle.
* Could Johnson and Battle bring a celebration like this to the Hammermill?