The Rebounders Club invites you to meet PJ!


Meet Phil Johnson BBQ!

The Rebounders Club invites you to a BBQ/Baseball game to meet and welcome Head Coach Phil Johnson and his staff!

On Saturday June 15th at 2PM, wander over to the BBQ pits outside the Event Center, and a $10 bill gets you delicious BBQ and a ticket to the San Jose Giants Game at 5PM to boot! What a freaking deal!

This is your chance to talk with Coach "PJ" and his assistants!

Please RSVP and reserve your spot now by calling (408) 924-1218.


Forward Oliver Hill — The 6-9 high school star averaged 15.7 points and 10.8 rebounds a game at Martinsville High in Indiana. He is the son of Stan Hill, who played for the Spartans in 1977-78. He is a native of New Zealand.

Forward Eric Walton — The 6-8 transfer from Ventura College in California signed during the early period in November. He averaged 15.3 points and 7.4 rebounds a game last season. He should help in the low post.

Guard Keith West — He also signed during the early period and played at Ventura College, where he averaged 17.2 points and 4.6 assists last season. He is a good perimeter player.

Here is a recent story to look over written by the Spartan Daily as an added bonus to this coverage of Spartan Baskketball:

Phil Johnson is introduced as the new men's basketball coach during a press conference.

Johnson spent the past 2 1/2 years as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls.

By David Bitton / Daily Staff Photographer

Phil Johnson said his lifelong dream was to coach in the NBA.

When things didn't work out with the Chicago Bulls, Johnson returned to a place where he could make another dream come true - San Jose State University.

On Monday, Johnson was re-hired to the post he held with the Spartans during the 1998-1999 season.

Full of optimism for his second run in the Silicon Valley, Johnson took the podium at the Simpkins Center at South Campus with one mission in mind: to build on the groundwork he helped lay during his previous tenure.

Announced by athletic director Chuck Bell, the hiring confirmed rumors that former head coach Steve Barnes was returning to Iowa State University to take up an assistant coaching post he held before replacing Johnson prior to the 1999-2000 season.

While Monday's transaction went down, Barnes was in Ames, Iowa being re-introduced as an assistant, this time under Larry Eustachey.

Johnson left the Spartans after one season to be an assistant coach under former Iowa State head coach Tim Floyd with the NBA's Chicago Bulls.

After a frustrating two-and-a-half seasons with the lackluster Bulls, Johnson appeared relieved to be back in the college game and be able to pick up right where he left off.

"I didn't have to come back. I wanted to come back. I'd always thought we'd have a good team here, but the job was unfinished when I left," said Johnson, who is still collecting two years severance pay from the Bulls from an original three-year, $1.2 million deal he signed in 1999.

Those sentiments echoed the ones Johnson uttered on his departure from SJSU.

"I hate the timing," Johnson said in an Aug. 31, 1999 Spartan Daily article. "I feel sad because I would have loved to left a winner. I wanted to hang a WAC (championship) banner. But this program is in good shape. Steve (Barnes) is the right fit."

Johnson said he ignored the urging of colleagues and friends to take time off from coaching.

"People told me not to come back, that (success) can't happen here, that taking a job again here was career suicide," Johnson said.

Facing Johnson are myriad challenges, including what Bell called, "three to four decades of basketball that need to be reversed. And he's exactly the man to do it."

When he left, Johnson appeared to be on the right track with the Spartans.

Stan Morrison's last season as head coach in 1997-1998 resulted in a 3-23 campaign.

Johnson improved that tally to 12-16, one of the best turnarounds for a college team that season. Seven of those 16 losses were by five points or less.

Johnson held a Monday night meeting with returning players to assess where the team's status lies.

On Monday, guard Brandon Hawkins reiterated that he would stay at SJSU for his final season of eligibility. There had been some speculation on whether Hawkins, who was recruited by Barnes and followed him to West Coast, would return to Ames.

"I'm fine with everything. I'm just going to have to deal with it," Hawkins said. "I'm staying here, and I want to stick it out with coach Johnson. If it was a better situation for coach Barnes and his family, then I wish him the best of luck."

Johnson is making a trip to Ventura College to visit two recruits, which Barnes had already signed - 6-foot-8-inch Eric Walton and 6-foot-2-inch Keith West.

Also waiting in the wings is Oliver Hill, a 6-foot-9-inch New Zealand center at Bloomington North High School in Indiana, a signing Barnes announced just last week.

A handful of players were on hand for Monday's press conference, and reactions were met with mixed feelings.

"I was happy to see Barnes go," forward Phil Calvert said. "I can't wait to see what (Johnson) does now. I think players are going to be more eager to come here because he does have NBA experience."

Bim Okunrinboye said he wasn't surprised by Barnes' departure.

"After the last game we played last season I had a feeling it might happen," Okunrinboye said. "We felt he might want to do something different."

In three seasons with the Spartans, Barnes registered a 39-51 record. Last December, Barnes guided SJSU to a 64-62 defeat of Iowa State in Ames, snapping the Cyclones 39-game, home-court winning streak.

Barnes also helped the Spartans earn their first WAC conference tournament victory when SJSU defeated Rice University 58-57 on March 5.

He began his coaching tenure as an assistant coach at East Central Oklahoma University in 1983 and helped guide the school to three straight conference titles before moving on to Northern Oklahoma Junior College in 1986.

Johnson captured the Oklahoma JC state championship at Seminole (Okla.) JC in 1988.

Since then, he has spent time as an assistant at the University of Tulsa (1991), the University of New Orleans (1992-1993) and spent five seasons on the bench with the University of Arizona, winning a national championship with the Wildcats in 1997.

"I remember watching films while with the Bulls of a 40-point loss to the Lakers or a 30-point loss to the Knicks, and every once in a while I'd pop in the tape of the Fresno State game," said Johnson of a 91-64 clobbering the Spartans handed the Bulldogs in 1999. "The place was a sellout, and it was really fun. I missed that."

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