June 17, 2014
, Arizona, Senior, 6'3 200lbs2013/14 stats:
33.0 mpg, 16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.0 fpg, 1.7 TOpg, 43.2% FG, 36.7% 3PT, 78.1% FT
Johnson put up ridiculous numbers at the combine, which cemented his already fairly well cemented draft prospects. Yet for all those measurements, he doesn't play in the overly athletic style of, say, Geron Johnson. Instead, Johnson picks his spots and uses more skill than physical tools, knowing they are in the back should he need them.
Johnson is a fairly complete player on both ends. Defensively, he plays tenaciously, using his foot speed to stay in front of opposing guards and blessed with the ability to clean strip it from them. He moves quickly to recover and rotate, and plays strong help from the guard spot, going down to double cleanly and quickly and yet being adept enough to recover back should he need to. Better than the help is the man to man defense, where Johnson shone as one of the better man to man perimeter defenders in the country at either guard spot.
Offensively, Johnson was also the Wildcats' highest scorer, doing so in a variety of ways. He is best as a slasher, attacking the rim with craft and guile, and, should he need it, that extra level of explosiveness. Given a clear lane to drive, he can get up and finish - given an unclear lane to drive, he can contort through the defense, use fakes and find seams. Johnson also does a good job on drive and kick action, and racks up decent assists totals despite only very occasional point guard turns. Johnson can also be run off the ball to spot up for jump shots, and drive off of curls all the way to the rim, utilising a floater in the lane and finishing well for a smaller guy. He does not prioritise the jump shot, but can still create ones for himself on occasion with step-back and crossover moves. Not isolating much, not the best three point shooter and not big enough to shoot over anyone on the perimeter, Johnson nevertheless maximises his offensive talents with judicious shot selection and high IQ, low mistake play.
There are no big weaknesses to Johnson's game, unless we were to nitpick and say his height. It is the ideal point guard's body he plays in, but slightly too small for an NBA two. But let us not overevaluate that. Without ever really hitting dominant scoring stretches, and while not projecting quite so favourably on the defensive end at the NBA level due to said height, Johnson nonetheless just gets it done. And by "it" I mean a bit of everything. He's just good.
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