James Johnson was an assistant coach at Tech before he left us a couple of weeks ago to go to Clemson as an assistant. Jim Weaver offered him the same amount of money to stay at Tech. Johnson declined it and told Weaver that it wasn't about the money. This statement helped to lead to the decision to let Seth Greenberg go. I do however think there were other motives to leaving Blacksburg besides the atmosphere that surrounded Seth Greenberg's program. Clemson has been known to have a pipeline for assistant coaches leaving for head coaching positions. I think that ultimately the opportunity for James to be a head coach is why he left Tech.
Sure enough, two weeks later, James was offered a head coaching position. He was given the opportunity to come back to Blacksburg to be the head coach. I bet you he didn't think he would coming back to Blacksburg. Weaver did a coaching search and decided to get James Johnson back as the head coach.
James doesn't have any head coaching experience. OK, he does have a games worth. When he was an assistant coach, one time the head coach got thrown out of the game and James had to be the head coach. It was a funny story when he told it at the press conference. The thing is that he doesn't have a lot of head coaching experience. Honestly I don't know much about him and hadn't really heard of him until he left Tech in the first place.
I do however think this is a good move for Tech. We have yet to invest a lot of money in our basketball program and unless we are willing to do so and allow our Basketball coach to make as much as Frank Beam then we are going to be stuck with a middle of the road basketball team. I am fine with that philosophy. I would like to make the tournament some and I believe JJ will get us there!
We have lost a couple of players this coming year. That is expected when you change coaches. I don't know it it will be next year or a couple of years from now, but I think Tech will start to make the tournament. We do have an excellent team returning next year, even without Finny Smith. I like what Johnson said in an interview:
“We’re losing six points a game in Dorian Finney-Smith. Montrezl Harrell never scored a basket, never got a rebound for Virginia Tech.”
That is a very true statement. I bet they can find a guy that can get us 6 points a game next year. Johnson as a likableness about him and I think that he will really provide the Hokies with that spark they need. Call it a feeling but I think that JJ will be DYN-O-MITE!