Gophers land grad transfer Brandon Johnson from Western Michigan

Johnson averaged 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season.

Players on the Gophers bench observe those on the court at Williams Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Minnesota defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 75-69.

Kamaan Richards

Players on the Gophers bench observe those on the court at Williams Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Minnesota defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 75-69.

Nick Jungheim

The Gophers added another player to their 2020-21 roster on Thursday, landing graduate transfer Brandon Johnson from Western Michigan University. He is the second transfer Minnesota has landed in the past week, as center Liam Robbins from Drake committed on Sunday.

Johnson started every game he played in during his first two seasons with Western Michigan but missed the entire 2018-19 season with a knee injury. Last year, he returned to start 31 games, setting career-highs with 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Minnesota was able to land Johnson after beating out several other programs. Among Johnson’s finalists were other high-profile teams including Dayton, Cincinnati and Connecticut.

With Johnson, a 6-foot-8-inch power forward, the Gophers receive an experienced player to help bolster their front court. With Robbins and Johnson committing, Minnesota hopes to have found replacements for senior Alihan Demir, who graduated, and sophomore Daniel Oturu, who declared for the NBA Draft.

Unlike Robbins, who would need to receive a waiver from the NCAA to play next season, Johnson will become eligible to play immediately as a grad transfer.