Xavier added one of the best shooters on the grad transfer market Saturday afternoon when Gardner-Webb transfer Nate Johnson chose the Musketeers.
Johnson, a 6’3” guard, shot 41.6% from three on six attempts per game last season, and made 139 threes over his final two seasons. For reference, Naji Marshall and Paul Scruggs led Xavier with 44 made threes each last year. Johnson is also a career 79.7% free throw shooter, including an 84.9% mark last season.
Johnson will provide solid shooting off the bench for a team that struggled from distance last season, ranking in the bottom 100 in three-point percentage.
In general, Xavier already returned solid or better shooters in KyKy Tandy, Zach Freemantle, and Jason Carter. Paul Scruggs, who led the team in three-point percentage, could still be back as well. Adding Johnson will help space the offense even more.
Johnson also takes pride in the defensive end and works hard on that end of the floor, so he should be able to hold his own in the Big East.
Xavier added another grad transfer Sunday afternoon, a 6’8” big man from Division II Mercy College, in Bryan Griffin. He averaged 19.5 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.
Griffin is a face-up big who can crash the glass on offense. He has a good motor and will be a good defensive rebounder, but isn’t going to be a great defender at the Big East level.
He posted some of the best rebounding numbers in the country, and that should translate well in the Big East.
This also likely ends Xavier’s pursuit of other grad transfers. They could still look to add a possible sit out transfer, however, as they can still add one or two more players. Assuming Scruggs returns and Marshall remains in the NBA draft, Xavier will have 11 scholarship players now with Johnson and Griffin in the fold.