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Nevada's top returning scorer, Jazz Johnson, staying with Wolf Pack

Jazz Johnson
Jazz Johnson said he's returning to Nevada for his senior season. (John Byrne/Nevada athletics)

Nevada's top returning scorer, Jazz Johnson, isn't going anywhere.

After putting his name in the NCAA transfer portal earlier this week, Johnson said after Steve Alford's introductory press conference Friday he will stay with the Wolf Pack for his senior season.

"I like him, and I'm hear to announce I'm staying here," Johnson said. "I'm going to stay with the Pack. After talking to Coach Alford, we had a really good talk. Obviously I talked to (AD) Doug (Knuth) and (associate AD) Rory (Hickok) and the community here loves me and I love the community. After a lot of long talks with my parents ... we came to the conclusion that's the best thing for us."

Johnson, who is recovering from left shoulder surgery, averaged 11 points per game as a junior at Nevada last season, his first with the Wolf Pack after transferring in from Portland. He made 48.7 percent of his shots from the field, 45.2 percent from three and 84.4 percent from the free throw line. He is Nevada's only returning player who scored more than three points per game last season.

Johnson said he'll try to keep the rest of the roster in place as the majority of the Wolf Pack players put their name in the transfer portal.

"It's that we love each other," Johnson said of his sales pitch to his teammates. "Like Coach Alford said, we're his nucleus and it's important to know that if all of us stay here we have a team that loves each other and we're going to put ourselves in situations to be successful. You don't have to deal with the whole competition edge of going somewhere else. We're all in this for each other. I want guys to know I'm making this decision because it's best for all of us and I hope everybody follows along with me."

Johnson said it's going to take a lot of talking but he believes most of the other Wolf Pack players will stay at Nevada. Alford has already had individual meetings with each player on the team to get to know them and he spoke glowingly about them during his hiring announcement.

Johnson, in particular, said he likes the role Alford has in mind for him, a switch from a sharpshooter largely spotted behind the 3-point line to a play-making point guard.

"His offense is really open," Johnson said of Alford's scheme. "Everybody shares the ball. Everybody has an opportunity to do what they do and the big thing for me is I wanted an opportunity to show what I could do off ball screens and having more decision-making opportunities. At the next level, I'm going to be a point guard and he's proving that for me and allowing me to play my game a little more."

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