Penn State Basketball

Puff Johnson Brings Firepower to Penn State Basketball: Transfers from UNC to Nittany Lions

Penn State Basketball secured the commitment of Puff Johnson (University of North Carolina) Wednesday afternoon.

At 6-foot-8, Johnson fills a significant need within new head coach Mike Rhoades‘ 2023-2024 roster, especially as we wait to hear what Kebba Njie and Evan Mahaffey decide to do next. The Moon Township, PA native played three years at North Carolina. He averaged almost 16 minutes a game last year, averaging 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.


His 2022-2023 campaign was a bit of a step backwards after Johnson excelled in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.  He shot under 40% from the field and averaged 2 fouls per game in those 16 minutes.

What Puff Johnson Adds to Penn State Basketball

 You always take a Tar Heel in the transfer portal.  This is a crucial get as Rhoades continues to rebuild the program left in crumbles after Micah Shrewsberry’s departure. Ranked 83 in On3’s best players in the transfer portal, this is Rhoades’ third top 150 portal get (Nick Kern at No. 141 and Ace Baldwin at No. 14).  Likely taking the place if Kebba Njie (#149 in the portal), Puff Johnson will have a key role in his year or two in Happy Valley.

Evan Smith

Evan Smith is an alum of Penn State (Marketing, Economics, 2011) and a basketball season ticket holder since 2006. NittanyCentral is his second reporting job following the Men's Basketball program. He co-founded and co-hosts the Shots Gotta Fall - The Penn State Basketball Podcast (the premiere, the best, the only) with Steve Travis. Smith's most proud moment covering the team was seeing the national No. 9 ranking during Pat Chambers' last year. His most embarrassing moment was spending almost a thousand dollars to travel 2,000 miles in 46 hours to watch the Nittany Lions lose to Temple in the 2011 NCAA Tournament (screw you Juan Fernandez).