Cameron Johnson released by Pitt, eligible to join North Carolina next season

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Cameron Johnson became one of the most coveted transfers on the market when he decided to leave the Pitt program. The 6-foot-8 shooter not only had two years of eligibility remaining but he was graduating in three years, meaning he would be eligible to play at whatever school he chose to enroll in.

Earlier this week, he picked ACC foe North Carolina.

One problem. Kevin Stallings and Pitt placed restrictions on where he could and couldn’t transfer to, mainly within the ACC. The two sides later “compromised.” Johnson could transfer to another ACC school but

Kevin Stallings and Pitt placed restrictions on where he could and couldn’t transfer to, mainly within the ACC. Following an appeal, the two sides reached a “compromise.” Johnson could transfer to another ACC school but he’d have to pay his way and burn one of his final two years of eligibility to do so.

After a PR hit, Pitt has reportedly changed course and has released Johnson, allowing him to suit up for the Tar Heels during the 2017-18 season, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.

Johnson averaged 11.9 points 4.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game, shooting 42 percent from three for the Panthers this past season. He will slide into the vacant role left behind by All-American Justin Jackson.

The reigning national champion and Pitt, a program that has lost its top four scorers from a season ago, will be on opposite ends of the preseason poll. But after this ordeal, it’ll make for a must-see matchup when Johnson meets his alma mater.

Pitt wing will have shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season

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Pitt freshman wing Cameron Johnson has been out since Dec. 5 with a left shoulder injury, but he will finally have surgery on it and be out for the rest of the season, according to Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon.

Dixon told John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Johnson will have the surgery on the bum shoulder in the very near future.

“We’re trying to set up the surgery now,” Dixon said to Harris. “We’re at that point where we can’t wait any longer.”

Johnson played in eight games for the Panthers this season and averaged 4.5 points and 1.1 rebound per game. The freshman had been resting the shoulder, and was expected to likely miss the rest of the season, but the announcement from Dixon about impending surgery makes things official.

This doesn’t come as a major loss for Pitt since Johnson was a freshman reserve who hadn’t played since early December. Johnson and Pitt will likely apply for a medical redshirt to regain the year of eligibility missed with this injury.

Pitt gets commitment from 2014 guard Cameron Johnson

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The Pitt Panthers received a commitment from a late-blooming guard on Monday afternoon as 6-foot-8 2014 combo guard Cameron Johnson signed his letter of intent to play in the ACC next season, according to the Our Lady of Sacred Heart basketball team’s Twitter account.

According to Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Johnson started his junior season of high school at 6-foot-2 but has grown six inches in the last year-and-a-half to make him 6-foot-8. Johnson is the son of former Pitt Panther Gil Johnson, who played for the program from 1988 through 1990. Johnson’s mother, Amy Schuler, was also a 1,000-point scorer at Kent State in the ’80s.

Johnson averaged 27.8 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game as a senior and also had scholarship offers from Elon, Rice and Wofford and was receiving interest from Boston College, Stanford and Virginia, according to Gorman.

“Coach Dixon said he saw how much I improved since the summer and said he saw the potential he could pull out of me,” Johnson said to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’ve been talking to some big schools all along, so it wasn’t a shock to me, but everyone in Western Pennsylvania loves Pitt, and my dad played there. It was always a dream, and I knew I had the ability, too, if I could hit that growth spurt. It’s pretty cool.”

Johnson joins former Vanderbilt forward Sheldon Jeter, 6-foot-7 forward Ryan Luther, 6-foot-11 center and Netherlands native Shaquille Doorson and 6-foot-9 JUCO center Tyrone Haughton in Pitt’s 2014 recruiting class.