UHH’s Johnson Receives PWC Men’s Hoops Weekly Award
Tre Johnson’s transition to Division II basketball at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo can’t get much smoother than it has looked over the first few weeks of the season.
Johnson, a junior transfer from Division I Montana State University, has scored at least 22 points in five of his team’s six games this season. His 21 point, 7.5 rebound average last week was strong enough to earn the PacWest Conference’s Player of the Week Award for games played between Nov. 24-30.
“He’s done a great job and I’m really happy for him to get Player of the Week after the week he had,” said UH-Hilo Head Coach G.E. Coleman. “To be honest with you, I thought he should’ve got it after the first week when we were in Bellingham (Wash.).”
Johnson made a big splash in his first few games wearing a Vulcan uniform. He scored 24 points in UH-Hilo’s season opener, an 89-81 win against Northwest Nazarene University at the Chuck Randall Classic. He followed that up with a 16 point effort in the Vulcans’ 84-73 loss to Western Washington University.
“The transition’s been good for him. He’s got the athleticism and the skill set that’s good for how we play in getting up and down the court and blocking shots and outrunning the other big guys. He’s off to a good start,” Coleman explained.
Johnson’s getting a fresh start at UH-Hilo, on and off of the court. His basketball career at Montana State came to a halt before his junior season. He had wrapped up his sophomore year with the Bobcats on a high note, starting in 20 games and averaging 8.8 points and six rebounds per game. During the offseason, he and a teammate were disciplined for violating a team rule. Johnson was kicked off of the team.
Coleman brought him in to Central Washington, where he redshirted before following the young coach to Hilo. Coleman believes that Johnson’s style of play fits in nicely with the rest of the team, something that makes the Vulcans dangerous to watch, and defend, in 2014-2015.
UH-Hilo completed its non-conference schedule with a 4-2 record. The Vulcans open PacWest Conference play on Thursday at Chaminade. Tip-off from McCabe Gymnasium on Oahu is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.