BUFFALO, NY – Head men's basketball coach Nate Oats has announced the addition of transfers Antwain Johnson and Gabe Grant, who have both signed their scholarship agreements to join the Bulls. Both players will sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules and will have one year of eligibility for 2019-20.
"The addition of Antwain and Gabe is huge for the future of this program," said Oats. "After they sit this year, and they are eligible for the following year, that will give us three seniors along with Davonta Jordan and that will put us in a great position to continue the success we have had as a program over the past five years."
"These two will help us every day in practice this year, bringing a wealth of experience from winning Division I programs and both players were very well coached at their previous institutions," Oats added.
Johnson, a 6-2 shooting guard, played the last two seasons at Middle Tennessee State for head coach Kermit Davis, who is now leading the program at Ole Miss. Johnson averaged 10.3 points per game last year, while shooting 44.2% from the field and 39% from three-point range. He scored in double figures 16 times last year, including a career-high 24 points at Charlotte, part of a stretch where he scored in double figures in eight straight games. Johnson started the final 15 games of the season, increasing his scoring average by nearly six points per game from his sophomore to junior season.
A native of Greenwood, FL, Johnson played his freshman year at Chipola College where he average 15.9 points per game, including a 29-point outburst against Cape Fear Community College. He played at Malone High School, where he averaged 29.0 points per game. He helped lead his team to a state title in 2014 as a junior. Johnson was also a standout baseball player at Malone, batting over .500 during his senior year.
"Antwain is a big thick physical guard who will help ease the scoring loss of CJ Massinburg after he graduates," said Oats. "He posted some really solid numbers at Middle Tennessee State where they won a lot of games the last two seasons."
Grant is a 6-5 small forward from Chicago, IL who played two seasons at Three Rivers Community College, before playing last year at Houston under head coach Kelvin Sampson. Grant scored 12 points in just 11 minutes of action against East Carolina as he went 4-of-6 from the floor, including a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the arc. He also scored 10 points in 12 minutes against Tulsa.
Grant was an All-American at the JUCO level, averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds during his sophomore year. He scored in doubles figures 28 times during the year, including seven 20-point performances. As a freshman, he averaged 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as he had 13 games with 20 or more points and three games with 20 or more, including a career-high 35 points against Missouri State-West Plains. He played his high school ball at Mount Carmel.
"Gabe follows in the mold of players like Blake Hamilton and Jeremy Harris where he is a mismatch at that three/four position," said Oats. "He is a skilled player who can shoot and handle the ball and he will create a lot of problems for other teams like we have been able to do in the past with Blake and Jeremy."
Both Johnson and Grant saw action in the postseason last year as Middle Tennessee State made it to the second round of the NIT and Houston made it the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Antwain and Gabe are both great kids that come from great families and we really got to know them on their visits to campus in the last week. The culture of this program is at an all-time high and these two will add to it both in their transfer year this year and then when they return to action in 2019-20."