Bennett: James Johnson leaving Virginia program

Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett says redshirt

freshman forward James Johnson is planning to transfer and leave

the Cavaliers’ program.

Bennett says he met with Johnson on Saturday.

He is the fourth member of Bennett’s first recruiting class to

leave the program in the past year, joining Billy Baron, Will Regan

and KT Harrell, who announced his intention to transfer on Friday.

Of that first class, only Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell remain at

Virginia.

In a statement, Bennett said he’s disappointed about the news

this week that both Johnson and Harrell would be leaving, but said

it’s better for everyone to part ways if they feel it’s best for

them not to be with the program.

The 6-foot-9 Johnson from Wildomar, Calif., has played in six

games this season, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Johnson redshirted last season, at his request, but had failed to

earn much playing time so far this year.

The departures come with the Cavaliers (10-1) off to their best

start since the 2000-01 season, and riding an eight-game winning

streak. Virginia also has won its last four true road games, it

longest road winning streak since 1994-95.