April 26, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Fresh off a season that saw Louisiana Tech advance to the championship game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, the Bulldogs basketball program added a talented wing to the roster as coach Michael White signed Jaron Johnson to a national letter of intent Monday during the late signing period.
"Jaron is a big-league athlete with tremendous upside," said White. "He has the ability to be a lock-down defender and with his length and athleticism, he brings a lot of versatility to the floor. He is a strong rebounder and can guard multiple positions.
"I really like how he compliments our young corps of returners. He's a fine young man, and he hails from a program led by coach Mike Marquis that is extremely well respected nationally."
Tyler Junior College has produced a number of big-time college basketball players, including Jimmy Butler (Marquette/Chicago Bulls), Robert Pack (USC/Denver Nuggets), David Benoit (Alabama/Utah Jazz), Sam Mack (Houston/Miami Heat) and Kaniel Dickens (Idaho State/Utah Jazz).
Johnson's older brother Justin played at Tyler JC before signing with the University of Iowa before playing professionally in Canada and Japan.
Tech has also had success over the years recruiting players from Tyler's program, including Ron Ellis (1990-1992), Donald Thompson (1994-1996) and Roosevelt Powell (1989-1991).
Johnson is a 6-foot-6-inch, 200-pound wing from Tyler, Texas who played the past two seasons at Tyler Junior College. He averaged 13.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 73 percent at the free throw line. He was named first team all-conference and all-region. Johnson helped lead the Apache to an 18-12 record and reach the quarterfinals of the Region XIV Tournament.
"I felt like Louisiana Tech was a perfect fit for me," Johnson said. "The coaches and everyone made me feel wanted on my visit. I also like the school, the facilities and how everybody graduates in four years from the program."
Tyler, Texas (Tyler Junior College)
Tyler Junior College: Coached by Mike Marquis... Played in all 30 games in 2011-12... Averaged 13.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game... Made 46 percent of his field goal attempts and 73 percent at the free throw line... Named first team all-conference and all-region... Led team to 18-12 record and reached the quarterfinals of the Region XIV Tournament... Averaged 9.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest as a freshman as the Apache went 19-11 and made an appearance in the Region XIV Tournament.
High School: Lettered three years at John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas under coaches Gerald Anthony and Tony Pinson... Named MVP of the 2010 Azalea Orthopedics Boys All-Star Game... Averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game his senior season... Named All-East Texas MVP by the Tyler Courier-Times as a senior... Picked as MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in District 5A his senior season... Selected to the All-East Texas Boys first team by the Tyler Courier-Times his junior year... Picked as the Newcomer of the Year his sophomore season by the Tyler Courier-Times... Participated in Track and Field.
Personal: Son of Michael and Cynthia Johnson... Has two older brothers, Jeremy and Justin... His brother, Justin, played at Tyler Junior College and the University of Iowa and currently plays professionally in Canada... Born May 5, 1992 in Tyler, Texas.