Johnnie Bryant is Utah's leading scoring in Mountain West Conference play, averaging just under 15 points per game.
Feb. 15, 2006
By Jesse Christensen, Utah Sports Information Assistant
After attending two different campuses and a one-year hiatus from the college game, sophomore Johnnie Bryant transferred to the University of Utah to pursue his dream of playing point guard for a Division I program. The Oakland, Calif., native had several options, but chose the U. largely for its winning tradition.
"Utah has been very successful in the past and I really wanted to be part of a winning team," said Bryant. "(Tim) Drisdom, (Bryant) Markson and the entire coaching staff were also big factors in my decision."
Bryant arrived midway through the 2004-05 season from San Francisco City College. At SFCC, he averaged 15 points and four assists per game. He was also first team all-Coast Conference, leading the Rams to a 23-6 record. After SFCC, Bryant redshirted the following season and attended Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif., for the fall semester. There, he earned his associate's degree in liberal arts.
"Johnnie had the chance to practice with us second semester last year and learn the system," said head coach Ray Giacoletti. "He's worked hard in the weight room. Johnnie's a very versatile perimeter player. He's very athletic but can also really shoot the basketball. We're expecting big things from Johnnie."
The 6-0, 190-pound point guard has made an immediate impact with his outstanding shooting ability and tenacious defense. To date, Bryant is second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) and assists (2.2 apg), and is averaging 2.5 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 43.4 percent (46-of-106) from three-point range and 85.0 percent from the free throw line, leading Utah in three-pointers made and free throw percentage. He has scored in double figures 15 times this season.
"It has been a big adjustment coming from the junior college level, but redshirting last season really helped me learn the system," said Bryant. "Sitting out last year was difficult, but it allowed me to hone my skills and build a good foundation."
"At this level of basketball it's all mental," adds Bryant. "You have to play smart and be alert mentally. I try to do my best each game and be a leader on and off the court. We are trying to get better each day and let everything else take care of itself."