Arizona's Nick Johnson Needs Improvement in 2012-13
The Arizona Wildcats had one of the nation's very best recruiting classes a year ago, highlighted by guards Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson and power forwards Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson. Turner continually ran into trouble and eventually transferred out, as did Sidiki Johnson. Angelo Chol never made the expected impact. Nick Johnson was the one player in the class to really get on the court and make an impact, but will have a new role in 2012-13.
As a freshman, Johnson paired with the speedy Turner in the backcourt to create a formidable tandem on paper, but as we had just mentioned, Turner couldn't control himself on or off the court and eventually left the program (two team-imposed suspensions). After starting several games at shooting guard, Johnson shifted over to handle the point and will now move back to the 2 as Xavier-transfer Mark Lyons (and then next year, Duquesne-transfer T.J. McConnell) will handle a bulk of the point guard duties.
There's scoring potential in the 6'3" Johnson- he had four 18+ point performances without Turner in the lineup, but was woefully inconsistent shooting the ball, where he was at 37 percent overall and 33 percent from behind the arc. The perimeter touch is there to make him a dangerous option to knock down the jumper or attack the rim with deceptive athleticism and an improving handle. If Johnson puts in the work, he could be a combo-guard prospect to keep an eye on this season to up his 9 point per game average.