Exactly what procedural matter or human relations department formality that is keeping Indiana from officially announcing its hiring of Kenny Johnson as assistant coach is uncertain, but Towson coach Pat Skerry is now publicly resigned to the idea of trying to fill Johnson’s spot.
“Congrats to coach Kenny Johnson on getting the job at Indiana,” Skerry said on his Twitter account. “He helped lay a strong foundation this year and will do great things at IU.”
Skerry and Johnson have only been at Towson for one season after taking over for Pat Kennedy, and it was a rough one. The Tigers finished 1-31, losing 22 straight games to start the season. Still, Skerry said he believed there was progress made in program building, and that Johnson was a big part of that.
“Kenny’s done a very good job,” Skerry said. “I’ve known Kenny for a few years, and I was ecstatic to get him on board here. He did a really good job. We had inherited a challenging but exciting task, and he really helped lay some good ground work. Guys have gotten better. He’s an incredibly bright guy. You don’t have a lot of coaches with biology degrees, which is what he has. He’s a family guy, he’s a very good person, he’s a very well connected guy in this fertile recruiting area.”
That is the credential on Johnson’s resume that stands out the most. He spent six years on the staff at Team Takeover, the well-known AAU program in the Washington D.C. area that produced Indiana guards Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo. It’s also the current home of BeeJay Anya, a highly-regarded forward in the Class of 2013 class and an Indiana target.
Johnson also spent nine years as an associate head coach at D.C. area high schools, spending four years at Fairfax, Va. powerhouse Paul VI before Skerry hired him at Towson.
“He’s a very good communicator with the kids and extremely positive,” Skerry said. “He builds a really good relationship with them and he has a high basketball acumen. … (At Paul VI) they got good players and he was largely responsible for that. He helped get them better. He did a good job working on our guys. Just because he hasn’t coached in college for a long time doesn’t mean he’s inexperienced. He grinded it for quite some time on the circuit here. He’ll be good right away. … Coach (Tom) Crean did a very good job getting him. He did his homework. It’s a good fit.”