Tennessee freshman Johnson to transfer

Updated: December 30, 2006, 8:01 PM ET
Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee freshman guard Marques Johnson has decided to transfer, coach Bruce Pearl announced Saturday.

Johnson appeared to be slated for a redshirt season. The point guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., played in only four games for the Volunteers and had not played since Nov. 19 despite injuries to starter Jordan Howell. Fellow freshman Ramar Smith has been playing in place of Howell.

"Marques wants to go to a situation where he can have an opportunity for more playing time," Pearl said. "We want what is best for him and will help him find a situation that he believes will be a good fit for him."

Johnson was part of one of what some experts ranked as one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, but he was the only freshman out of five not seeing significant playing time.

"I wish the best of luck to the team and Coach Pearl," Johnson said. "This just wasn't the best situation for me at this time. I just needed a change."

Johnson did not say where he planned to go to school.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press