There was much buzz surrounding Johnson ("OJ") before last season, as he had redshirted the previous season after transferring in from LMU as an accomplished freshman. Despite being ineligible for games as a redshirt, rumors were that the 6'5 wing was a terror in practice, at times dominating scrimmages. Of course, no one knew how his play would transfer into actual games, after having to sit out from active competition for a year and a half.
All doubts were removed as the redshirt junior had a dominant sophomore season from the first tip in the exhibition game until the final seconds in the first-round loss to Ohio State in the NCAA playoffs.
OJ ended up averaging 18.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He made 48.1% of his field goal attempts, 39.7% of his 3-point field goal shots, and 70.3% of his free throws. He had the uncanny ability to score from the perimeter or in the post, often using his strength to score clutch baskets. More importantly, he showed leadership on and off the court, pushing teammates in games and in practice to improve.
OJ was selected Big West Player of the Year, Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player, First Team All-Big West, NABC First Team All District 9, Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, and Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American. The 2010 - 2011 Rivals.com Preseason Mid-Major All-American will be looking to improve again, as the Gauchos attempt a repeat of their Big West championships, and hopefully a deeper run into the NCAA playoffs.
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