Player Profile: Zach Johnson

Player Profile: Zach Johnson

Cory Grimes
Zach Johnson

The Canes went to the transfer market this offseason to add a major scorer to their lineup. In his final year, Zach Johnson, Miami native, is returning home after three years on the other coast of Florida at FGCU. The 2017 All A-SUN player will be a huge addition to a team that lost a ton of production from last year’s group that was bounced in the first round. Guys like Chris Lykes will have to step into a bigger role this year, and Zach Johnson will likely be one of his main running mates in the backcourt.

Zach Johnson is a 6’2” combo guard who is thinking score first. He averaged just over 16 points per game in 2017. Defensively, he used his quick hands to nab 2 steals per game as well. When I see a guy like Johnson, the phrase that comes to mind is “instant offense.” He loves to get in the lane, create and finish with style. He can make off balance shots. He’s a good enough ball handler to play point and run the offense if need be. His first couple steps are really quick and allows him to blow by defenders on a regular basis. Shooting wise, Johnson is streaky. He can go through cold spells at times, but when he heats up, look out. He can score in bunches. Johnson’s career high was a 37 point game against Lipscomb in the conference championship, and the majority of those came in the second half when he was absolutely incendiary. When a team is struggling offensively, like this UM team did in many stretches last year, Johnson is the kind of guy you can just toss the rock and allow him to create something out of nothing.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching Johnson the past couple years, as I attend FGCU as well, so I have gotten really familiar with his game. When I found out Miami picked Johnson up, I was ecstatic. With the losses of Brown, Newton and Walker, the majority of last year’s offense is no longer in Coral Gables. Johnson is the type of guy who can help fill those enormous shoes. I think Johnson will be asked to be more of a playmaker and distributor than he has in year’s past at FGCU, but his aggressiveness is always going to be what Zach hangs his hat on. “He’s always in attack mode,” said my classmate and Johnson’s former teammate at FGCU Raysean Scott. Johnson never lets up, and he brings the kind of energy that Coach L’s unit can feed off of. Zach Johnson is a bucket getter. Enough said.

Johnson and the Canes open up their season tonight against Lehigh in the Watsco Center at 7 p.m.

Comments (1)

He needs to get back into attack mode. He was hesitant tonight