azz Johnson goes up for a layup against UNLV’s Joel Ntambwe.
Andrea Wilkinson/Nevada Sagebrush. Jazz Johnson goes up for a layup against UNLV’s Joel Ntambwe on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Lawlor Events Center. Johnson was first player to announce his return since Steve Alford was hired.

Nevada guard Jazz Johnson announced he will return to the Wolf Pack for his senior season in a press conference with local media on Friday. He averaged 11.0 points on a team-leading 45.2 shooting from behind the arc.

“I’m gonna stay with the Pack,” Johnson announced. “The community here loves me and I love them. And after a lot of long talks with my parents … we came to the conclusion that this is the best place for me.”

The hiring of head coach Steve Alford had positive implications on Johnson’s career going forward.

“There was a lot of questions surrounding my future,” he said. “But it was important coach came in and I really appreciate the fact he came in and tried to consider as much as we were saying as possible.”

Under Alford, Johnson looks to have complete control of the offense as the starting point guard. He started just one game with the Wolf Pack this season. His smooth stroke from the perimeter gave Nevada some much-needed spacing off the bench.

“I wanted an opportunity to show what I could do off of ball screens,” Johnson said. “Having more decision-making opportunities is huge for me to take my game to the next level as a point guard, and he’s providing that for me.”

Johnson, along with nine other Wolf Pack players, put their names into the NCAA transfer portal system over the past two weeks. Three players are under scholarship in the current roster, but Johnson’s return can persuade others to stay.

“Like coach said, we have the nucleus,” he said. “It’s important for all of us to know that if we stay here if all of us stay here we have a team that loves each other.”

Isaiah Burrows can be reached at and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.