Apparently, Miami’s big man has been getting up some shots in the offseason for Jim Larranaga’s Hurricane squad.
The info comes from this story by The Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan who wrote about how Larranaga’s message of continuity has spread, and it may be one of the keys that determines where Miami finishes this season in the ACC.
A large portion of that burden falls on Johnson, a wide body who plays right at the rim and has apparently become adept at hitting both the right-handed and left-handed hook shot, Fagan writes.
But the most interesting part of the article is what comes at the end. Apparently, Johnson, along with the rest of the team, has taken part in a drill where they shoot as many threes as possible in five minutes. Hitting less than 40 means that player isn’t allowed to shoot them in the game, 40-50 means a player is limited in the amount they can take and 50 or more splash-downs means he gets the all-clear to shoot. Johnson has routinely been in the 40s and hit a personal-best 59 last week. Johnson was just 4-11 from deep last season.
Will he get to hoist it like Jimmer?
The Hurricanes will need someone to, even if it is Johnson. Gone is leading three-point shooter Malcolm Grant (68 makes last season). Though, Trey McKinney Jones (40 makes) and Rion Brown (41 makes) return, along with Shane Larkin’s 32 three’s from last season.
So maybe it’s not a necessity that Johnson develop a stroke from the outside. But hey, the world needs more big-guy three’s. They’re the college basketball equivalent to fat-guy touchdowns in football.
David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.