After evaluating four Duck freshmen, true freshman guard Will Johnson completes our series. The 6-foot-1 Pacific Palisades, Calif. product has a rich family history in college basketball and the Pac-12. He will look to provide a spark off the bench this season.
Welcome to our newest series! In the spirit of the upcoming basketball season, ATQ takes a look at five freshmen added to the Ducks’ 2017-18 roster.
Chronologically, we started with No. 0 Troy Brown. Now, we finish with the No. 54 spot.
If bloodline means anything to you, then Johnson has an opportunity to be good. His father is Kris Johnson who played for a dominant UCLA team in the mid 1990’s. In fact, his dad was a part of the 1995 National Championship team. He averaged 18.4 points per game, alongside 5.1 rebounds per contest during his senior year.
His grandfather is UCLA Hall of Famer and former NBA All-Star, Marques Johnson. He was a member of John Wooden’s final national championship team in 1974-75. During his senior year as a Bruin, Johnson averaged 21.4 PPG and 11.1 RPG. The 5-time NBA All-Star was named the NBA Comeback Player of the Year after his 1985-86 campaign.
They’re the only father-son combo to ever win national titles at the same school.
Will was born and raised in Pacific Palisades where he starred for his high school team. He is yet another lefty sharpshooter on the 2017-18 Oregon basketball roster. It certainly poses match-up problems for opponents when a team sports so many lefties.
KNOW YOUR ROLE
As of now, the Ducks are looking at a serious 10-man rotation. With that many players being used a nightly basis, giving full effort shouldn’t be a problem. With max energy being expended, Johnson may find small opportunities at the start of the year.
He has a nice stroke from the outside and fits in perfectly. Currently, this Duck roster is loaded with perimeter shooters. From his high school footage, his shot from the outside reminds me of Casey Benson, plus he has the ability to drive and kick like CB. Yet, Johnson was not a 3-time HS Player of the Year from his state like the UO transfer.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at Dana Altman’s final freshman recruit. Will Johnson was awarded the Most Outstanding Player of the Western League in high school. He was also named first team all-league and all-city during his senior season in 2016.
The next 10 days at ATQ will be jam-packed with Oregon basketball prep, including player profiles, predictions, previews, interviews, breakdowns and a few history lessons. Every day, we will have something new as we count you down to opening night.
Ready or not? Oregon basketball is set to return soon. The regular season gets underway at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday, November 10 against Coppin State. You can catch opening night on the Pac-12 Network at 9:00 p.m. local time.