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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Men's Basketball

Q&A: Catching up with former Houston point guard Ronnie Johnson

“I’m still with them at heart. Houston will always be a part of me,” said Ronnie Johnson. “I’m always ‘reppin’ Houston and the Cougars!”  |  Justin Cross/The Cougar

In the 2015-2016 season, redshirt junior Ronnie Johnson contributed a large part to the Cougar team. He went 35.7 percent for 3-pointers and 40.4 percent from the field. All-in-all, he contributed 291 points for the Cougars. It was his second home for basketball:

Before coming to Houston, Johnson played for Purdue from 2012-2014.

After last season, however, Johnson transferred to Auburn University. The Cougar got the chance to catch up with him and ask how he’s doing at his all-new school.

The Cougar: How has it been since the transfer to Auburn?

Ronnie Johnson: It’s good. It’s different. It definitely is different than the city of Houston and the school too. It’s just really a college town out here, and in Houston you have the whole city surrounding the school. I’m just here grinding, playing basketball and trying to make the most of my last year.

TC: Being from Indianapolis, a good sized city, how does it feel to go from a small college town in Purdue, to a big city in Houston, to another college town in Auburn? Where do you feel most comfortable?

RJ: I definitely like the city more. I’m a city person. I’m more comfortable in the city. I thought Houston had great diversity, man. It’s beautiful out there.

TC: So what made you choose to transfer to Auburn?

RJ: My cousin, Chuck Person, he coached for the Lakers, played in the NBA, played for the Pacers. He had a long NBA career. He’s the all-time leading scorer here at Auburn. He talked me and my dad into leaving Houston and coming out here and playing for him. He told me he “got me” and I trust him.

TC: When it comes to game play, do you feel more comfortable in Auburn’s system maybe than you did in Houston?

RJ: Not really. I really am playing more of a role here at Auburn. I thought the offense (Coach Sampson) was more guard-oriented, and I thought the whole spacing and how serious coach Sampson took that stuff was fantastic. This system here at Auburn is a little different, but I find my ways and do what I have to do.

TC: Do you feel that your role at Auburn is to feed the big man, specifically Austin Wiley?

RJ: Actually, Austin Wiley is my cousin too, and my thought process is to take what the defense gives me.

TC: What are your plans after college ball? Do you plan on chasing NBA basketball, European basketball or taking your degree and doing something different?

RJ: I’m going to try to play professionally, whether that be overseas or the NBA. I’m going to see what’s all in store for me towards the end of the season. I’ll have to see what different teams my coaches have talked to.

TC: If you could tell UH fans one thing, especially the ones who followed you and are watching you at Auburn, what would you tell them?

RJ: I’m still with them at heart. Houston will always be a part of me. That’s where I received my degree, so I’m always reppin’ Houston and the Cougars. So I’m still representing.

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