Ardmore native Marvin Johnson joins Oklahoma basketball team

Justin Martinez
Oklahoman

NORMAN — Sooner or later, Marvin Johnson was going to return home.

After playing college ball out of state for the past four years, the former Edmond North star and Eastern Illinois transfer signed a financial aid agreement to join the Oklahoma men's basketball team.

Standing at 6-foot-6, Johnson is a senior point guard who took advantage of his extra year of eligibility and is now a part of a retooled Sooners squad that features nine newcomers.

"(Johnson) gives us versatility, athleticism, length and experience," OU head coach Porter Moser said in a press release. "I'm excited that he's joined us."

Originally from Ardmore, Johnson made an immediate impact when he joined the Huskies for his senior year in 2016.

The young guard lit up his opponents for an average of 22.2 points per game and led Edmond North to a 2016-2017 Oklahoma Class 6A title. 

"(Johnson) was a big piece for us," said former Edmond North head coach Terry Evans, who holds OU's career record for assists. "I remember how athletic he was. He really excels in an up-tempo basketball game, and he's tenacious on defense... It was impressive."

Edmond North's Marvin Johnson competes during a dunk contest in the boys Big All-City basketball game at Southmoore on May 25, 2017.

Johnson took the junior college route once he graduated due to his academics.

He began his career at Coffeyville Community College, a small town just north of the Oklahoma/Kansas border. It's there that Johnson played for two seasons and led the Red Ravens to back-to-back appearances in the NJCAA National Championships.

Johnson then spent a pair of seasons at Eastern Illinois, and his senior campaign proved to be his best. The veteran guard stuffed the stat sheet with averages of 15.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game en route to a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection.

Now a Sooner, Johnson boasts all the tools to thrive in a Power 5 conference.

The oversized point guard uses his length to get into passing lanes on defense. He recorded a steal percentage of 3.6 last season, according to KenPom, which ranked 59th in the country.

Meanwhile, Johnson is able to get to the rim at will on offense. He can then finish through contact or use his strong passing vision to find the open man.

"I think he can be a two-way player for us," Moser said. "He's really good with the ball and coming off ball screens, but he can also be a very good defender with his length."

Johnson will likely slide over to the shooting guard position and join Duke transfer Jordan Goldwire in the starting backcourt.

The two newcomers form a strong defensive duo, and the recruiting trail still isn't over for Moser and his staff. OU has one remaining scholarship spot following the departure of Rick Issanza, who recently joined the transfer portal.