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Freshman forward James Johnson to redshirt this season

By Steve Yanda

Virginia Coach Tony Bennett said after Friday night's 76-52 season-opening win over William & Mary that freshman forward James Johnson will redshirt this season. Johnson will have four years of eligibility remaining at the start of next season.

"James and I talked about that, and we feel like that’s probably in the best interest for him," Bennett said. "He could help us. He certainly could. He’s rugged. But in talking to James and sitting down, the plan right now is for him to redshirt."

At 6-foot-9 and 234 pounds, Johnson could have provided an immediate physical presence for the Cavaliers in the post. But the Virginia coaches believe Johnson possesses considerable upside, which -- if properly developed -- will be more beneficial to the team in the coming years.

"James feels very comfortable with it," Bennett said. "We sat and talked, and it was a decision that he and I just – it’s always what’s best for the player and what’s best for the program and especially the long range. Hard decision, because I see some value, but I also see the value of him getting strong, developing and getting comfortable. He was very comfortable with it. He approached me about it."

By Steve Yanda  | November 12, 2010; 10:15 PM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
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Next: Virginia 76, William & Mary 52: Three up, three down

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