After being told he would be playing for NC State on Wednesday, the former NBA player, who played in six of the Tar Heels eight NCAA Tournament games, was surprised to learn he was taking over the program.
“It was a little bit different than I thought it would be,” Johnson said.
I got to come in and get to work with the guys and get in the game. “
It was great.
I got to come in and get to work with the guys and get in the game.
I didn’t know what to expect.
I’m glad it happened.”
Johnson was in his first season as a head coach, taking over for Mark Gottfried, who had left to become the head basketball coach at Texas Tech.
Johnson has worked closely with Gottfried in the interim, and said Gottfried has been receptive to his ideas and is receptive to Johnson’s ideas as well.
“He was really excited to see me and it was a very nice thing to get a chance to come here and work with him,” Johnson, a former NBA star, said.
The NC State men’s basketball team will play at 8 p.m.
ET at the Colonial Life Arena, a $1 million facility built by the University of North Carolina.NC State has not won a Big Ten tournament game since a 99-85 victory over Illinois State in 2014.
The men’s team will begin the tournament as a No. 1 seed after a win over Indiana on Tuesday.
The Tar Heel squad is playing its first-round game against the winner of a pair of matchups on Thursday.
The winner of that matchup will advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where it will face No. 4 seed Kansas in a game that will be televised by CBS Sports.NCAA Tournament: Saturday, April 16, 7 p.mn.
ESPN3NCAA Selection Show: Saturday at 7 p, ETNCAA Live: Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.me/CBSSports.NCSA Selection Show on ESPN2 on April 18 at 8:30 a.m., ETNCSA Live on ESPN on April 21 at 7 a.meNCSA Online: Thursday, April 25 at 7 and 10 a.manc/CBSsportsNCAA Homecourt: Saturday on ESPN at 6:30 and 9 p.a.mNCSA Homecourt Live: Wednesday on ESPN and Saturday on Fox Sports.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.