June 6, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Forward Orlando Johnson, who set a Loyola Marymount record for scoring by a freshman, and tied the school's freshman record for rebounds, has transferred to UC Santa Barbara and will have three years of eligibility remaining when he becomes eligible to play in 2009-2010, head coach Bob Williams announced Friday.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound wing averaged a team-leading 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Lions in 2007-08. He also made 40 three-point baskets, second on the team, and averaged 2.1 assists per game. Additionally, Johnson tied for the team-high with 12 blocked shots on the year.
"We are very excited to add Orlando to our program," Williams commented. "He rounds out what was already one of our best recruiting classes in my 10 years here. He is a versatile, scoring wing that has the ability to score inside and out. He will be expected to step in and play a major role immediately."
Although he will not be eligible to play until the 2009-2010 season, Johnson will be one of five newcomers joining the Gauchos next season. UCSB signed four incoming freshmen to National Letters of Intent in November. Will Brew, Jr., a 6-3, 175 pound guard from St. Mary's High School in Berkeley, Calif., Jaime Serna, a 6-7, 235 pound forward from Santa Margarita High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., James Nunnally, a 6-5, 205 pound swingman from Weston Ranch High School in Stockton, Calif., and Greg Somogyi, a 7-2, 230 pound center a native of Budapest, Hungary, who played at Woodside Priory in Portola Valley, Calif., will join the Gaucho program for the 2008-09 season.
During his freshman campaign at LMU, Johnson scored in double-figures 19 times, 15 or more points 12 times, and 20 or more four times. He scored a career-high 26 points in a Dec. 22 game against Wagner, and 25 on Dec. 15 against UC Riverside. Johnson had a season-high 11 rebounds three times, going for a double-double in all three games. While he shot 41.2% overall from the field, he made 43.0% of his shots over the season's final 28 games. Johnson also made 32.0% of his three-point attempts, but he made nearly 34.0% in the final 28 contests.
A native of Salinas, Calif., Johnson averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds as a senior at Palma High School, earning him Monterey County Player of the Year honors in 2007. He led the Chieftains to a 27-3 record and their first CIF Central Coast Section Division IV championship since 1999. They advanced to the Northern California semifinals, and Johnson completed his high school career by scoring 32 points in the third annual Hoops by the Bay All-Star Game.
In addition to his achievements on the basketball court, Johnson was a star wide receiver at Palma High School before concentrating solely on basketball during his senior season.