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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Penn Wood hadn't played a game in its home gym since Dec. 15, so it was peculiar that fewer than 200 were on hand for the Patriots' 71-60 win Tuesday over Glen Mills.

But one spectator in particular drew a stir: Tyree Johnson.

The Patriots' point guard for three seasons, Johnson was back in Lansdowne Tuesday night. He left the San Jacinto (Calif.) Junior College team, for which he became a starter as a freshman.

Johnson said it wasn't because he was homesick, but declined to comment any further.

The move is peculiar, much like his decision to de-commit from the University of Hartford last year. Basically, when Hartford's coach, Dan Leibovitz, jumped ship to become an assistant at his alma mater, Penn, Johnson was in limbo. Ultimately, he left a Division I offer for a junior college.

But not just any junior college - San Jacinto, which this week ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA Division I poll ... and for which Johnson was sixth in the nation in steals per game.

So why leave? Nobody had an answer Tuesday. Not Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones. Not Johnson himself, who departed before he could be pressed any further on the decision.

Johnson went from being a highly recruited point guard, who won a pair of Del Val League titles, a PIAA Class AAAA championship in '08, a District One Class AAAA crown in '09 and finished state runnerup in '09 ... to becoming an athlete who walked away from his junior college team in midseason.

Until Johnson offers up an answer, the move will remain a bewildering one.

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