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Duquesne Basketball Recruiting

Pitt, Duquesne Interested in Moon Township Native, UNC Transfer Puff Johnson



PITTSBURGH – North Carolina transfer guard Puff Johnson could soon be in line for a homecoming back to Pittsburgh. The Moon Township native has received interest from both Pitt and Duquesne, according to CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein.

West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Oklahoma, and a plethora of other schools have also expressed interest in Johnson. The brother of former Pitt guard Cam Johnson – who went to UNC after transferring from Pitt and currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA – Puff played the past three seasons with the Tar Heels.

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Johnson averaged 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 27 games (two starts) spanning an average of 16 minutes per game. In 65 career games, Johnson scored 200 career points (3.1 ppg) and shot just under 42% from the floor, 24.7% from three, and 69% at the free-throw line. A solid defender in sporadic playing time, the 6-foot-8 junior scored 11 points in the National Championship loss to Kansas last season.

He only played two minutes in Carolina’s meeting at Pitt on Dec. 30 following early foul trouble. Johnson did not play in the rematch in Chapel Hill on Feb. 1 due to a knee injury. 

Johnson played his first three years of high school at Moon Area. He averaged 22.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game during his junior year, winning the 2019 PIAA Class 5A state championship after falling to Mars in the WPIAL Championship. He graduated from Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Arizona with 1,960 career points, being coached by former NBA star guard Mike Bibby for his senior year.

Pitt has been actively searching for options to replace five departing seniors including Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliott, and Nike Sibande. Nelly Cummings (Lincoln Park) returned home for his final year of eligibility and could be a similar story with Johnson, who does not have the experience of Cummings but owns two years of eligibility remaining.  Johnson is the 11th player the Panthers have publicly expressed interest in, with three scholarships available in the 2023-24 season.

Like Pitt, Duquesne is looking to add another guard to their starting lineup for next season. Keith Dambrot is losing senior guard Tevin Brewer.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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