Javonte Johnson may get one more game in the Pit, after all.
Just not as a Lobo.
The two-year UNM starter and three-year Lobo announced on Sunday night he would be joining friend Nique Clifford, who played the past three seasons for the Colorado Buffaloes, in both transferring to play the next two seasons for the Colorado State Rams.
Johnson and Clifford were both high school stars in Colorado Springs and played on the same club team together in the offseason. The two announced their decision to join the Rams simultaneously on their social media accounts on Sunday night.
It’s Up! 💚💚 pic.twitter.com/3D5JG5M7W7
— Javonte Johnson (@otn_jay) April 24, 2023
CSU head coach Niko Medved has not yet commented on the new additions, but both are expected to be inserted into the Rams starting lineup upon arrival in Fort Collins.
Johnson’s move is the third so far this offseason from one Mountain West men’s basketball program to another. The other two were Wyoming guard Xavier DuSell to Fresno State and last Monday night’s news that Jemarl Baker, Jr., will transfer from Fresno State to become a Lobo, likely fighting to take over the starting spot vacated by Johnson.
IT’S OFFICIALLY, OFFICIAL: Though Mustapha Amzil made his announcement that he was going to become a Lobo last week, and the Journal published a story Friday online (and in Saturday’s print edition) after interviewing the 6-foot-9 Dayton forward, UNM only put out their official confirmation of the move on Monday once all paperwork had been approved.
And with that, came the first official comment from head coach Richard Pitino.
“We are excited to have Mustapha join our program,” Pitino said in the school’s news release. “We set out to add size and skill at the forward position and we feel like we have done that. Mustapha comes from a program that I truly respect, where he has been well-coached and has produced at a very high level. We expect him to come in an immediate impact on the court and in the community.”
Similarly, Pitino could not comment last week when the Journal first published a story after interviewing Baker about joining the Lobos.
In the subsequent “official” announcement from UNM, Pitino said of the 6-5 Fresno State transfer, “We are excited about the addition of Jemarl. He is a proven competitor in this league and has produced at a high level everywhere he has gone. We feel like his veteran leadership will really help in our locker room and on the court.”
UNM has two more scholarships to fill. Amzil and Baker join 6-9 Iona transfer Nelly Junior Joseph as the three new transfer additions joining prep signees Jadyn Toppin, a 6-8 forward from Texas, and Tru Washington, a 6-5 guard from Arizona. Del Norte High star guard Shane Douma-Sanchez is also joining in this recruiting class as a preferred walk-on.
MORE ON TWO FORMER LOBOS: Speaking of former Lobos finding new homes, UNC-Wilmington, where Lobo transfer guard K.J. Jenkins announced last week he would be transferring to, finally put out their athletic department announcement of their new player on Monday.
The Seahawks are adding New Mexico transfer KJ Jenkins to their roster for the 2023-24 season.
Welcome to the Seahawk family, KJ!
📰 | https://t.co/GDQZGKS0a4#HawkYeah #UNCW @UNCWilmington pic.twitter.com/fT5DssO59x
— UNCW Basketball (@uncwmenshoops) April 24, 2023
“We are thrilled to have K.J. join our team,” said UNCW head coach Takayo Siddle. “He is an elite shooter and an even better teammate and leader. He will have an immediate impact on our backcourt.”
Former Lobo forward Josiah Allick, meanwhile, spent the weekend in familiar territory, back home in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The 6-foot-8 forward was on an official recruiting visit with the Nebraska Cornhuskers and was on the sidelines during Saturday’s Red-White spring football game, which drew an announced attendance of 66,045.
Allick’s younger sister, Bekka Allick, is a middle blocker on the Cornhusker’s national powerhouse volleyball team (they finished last season ranked No. 7 in the country).