Marshall coach high on UF F Chase Johnson


Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni did his best to try to keep standout West Virginia forward recruit Chase Johnson within his state’s borders.

Instead, the 6-foot-8, 205-pound Johnson chose to play at Florida, where he will enroll as an incoming freshman later his month.

D’Antoni said Johnson, a Ripley, W. Va., native and three/four-star prospect, has a chance to help the Gators right away.

“He’s a face up guy,” Johnson said. “He’s a slasher. He’s surprisingly athletic. What I like about him and I don’t know if they’ll use them like that, he would have been a great pick and roll guy for us. He’s able to catch the ball in the air, and he’ll do that. He can catch and side-step and finish and that’s what we liked about him.”

Florida coach Mike White employs some pick-and-roll elements in his offense, though not as frequently as his predecessor, Billy Donovan. D’Antoni thought that Johnson could have flourished in his offense at Marshall with returning standout point guard Jon Elmore.

“He’s a tremendous lob guy and pick and roll guy so we thought we had the ingredients to make him better and he’d make us better,” D’Antoni said. “He chose Florida. We wish him well. We hope he does extremely well. He’s a West Virginia kid and we want to support the people from this state. His family is a super family. They’ve got a good kid and I hope it works out for him.”

Johnson is part of a freshman class that includes 6-6 swingman DeAundrae Ballard, 6-3 point guard Michael Okauru and 6-8 forward Isaiah Stokes. All four are expected on campus when the second summer session starts on June 26.