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College Basketball Insider

JUCO standout Geron Johnson admitted to Memphis, will play this season

Junior college standout Geron Johnson has been admitted to the University of Memphis and is now officially part of the 2012-13 Tigers after months of questions about whether he'd be allowed to enroll, Memphis coach Josh Pastner told CBSSports.com on Thursday.

A formal announcement from the school is expected soon.

Johnson is a heralded combo guard from Dayton whose natural talent is only overshadowed by the amount of off-the-court problems he's experienced since becoming an elite recruit. He was arrested for attempted burglary during high school and was an academic non-qualifier upon graduation. He then enrolled at Chipola College in Florida as a freshman but was ultimately dismissed from that team after a marijuana arrest. He then enrolled at Garden City College in Kansas as a sophomore but was also dismissed from that team and school after multiple legal problems, among them allegations that he stole another student's cell phone.

But Memphis still offered a scholarship.

And Johnson accepted.

And on Thursday he learned -- after completing all the necessary coursework -- that he'll be admitted to Memphis, meaning the Tigers will now have three first-year players on this season's roster. The first-year players are Johnson, McDonald's All-American Shaq Goodwin and Damien Wilson. Johnson has two years of eligibility remaining. Goodwin and Wilson are freshmen.

Memphis is ranked 14th in the preseason Top 25 (and one) thanks to that recruiting class and the return of projected starters Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Adonis Thomas and Tarik Black. The Tigers open the season Nov. 12 against North Florida. Their first marquee game is against VCU on Nov. 22 in the Bahamas.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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