Johnson Joins Herd's Backcourt

Another good player took himself off the board Thursday afternoon. Jacksonville's Shaquille Johnson settled on a Conference USA program.

Donnie Jones' Marshall Thundering Herd will feature a pack of excellent guards next season. With Chris Lutz and Brandon Powell on ice until next year, Jones and his staff aggressively targeted a pair of guards that can have strong impacts on the program.

Hargrave floor general Damier Pitts, one of the 25 best players at his position in the country, signed in the fall. On Thursday, Jacksonville (Fla.) Lee combo guard Shaquille Johnson picked the Herd over Jacksonville, Tulane, Central Florida and George Mason.

Johnson likes the idea of rolling into Huntington with a strong crew at his side. "The more I've seen I can come in and had an impact," Johnson said. "We'll all be spread out playing at different guard spots. They're going to push me on and off the court."

The Floridian's ability to play both guard slots is a benefit. Jones' ties to the state were an asset in the equation for Marshall.

As a senior, Johnson averaged 23 points and 9 rebounds to go with 4 helpers. Last spring, Johnson's friend and AAU teammate Dante Anderson died in a car accident. Johnson took the loss extremely hard but has found a way to honor his friend.

"I'm going to wear No. 22 in honor of Dante."

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