The front court changeover is continuing to take shape, as the Friars have landed 6’8 forward Sidiki Johnson. Johnson was the #94 ranked player in last year’s class by ESPN and signed with Sean Miller and Arizona. However, he only appeared in 3 games (and only averaged .3 points and .7 rebounds) this season because he was suspended for “violation of team rules” in November.
The details are still being worked out and it’s not quite official, but it sounds like both parties are down. Once he joins he will most likely be eligible to play 2nd semester next year.
Johnson is a physical specimen with a long and athletic build, good muscle tone and definition, and plenty of room left on his frame to add further muscle. He is a good athlete who plays well above the rim and has good mobility for a big man. Offensively, he is most comfortable facing up and going to the rim with limited dribbles but also gets easy points by finishing plays around the rim, running in transition, or going to the offensive glass. He also shows flashes of being able to score with his back to the basket and make mid-range jumpers.
Johnson’s best attributes are his physical gifts and although he is fairly skilled, he spends too much time away from the basket and has a tendency to settle for jumpers. Generally speaking he must learn to play harder with more consistency as his motor tends to run in spurts which can affect his productivity on the glass and defensive end of the floor in particular. He would do well to refine his offensive repertoire with his back to the basket and continue to improve his mid-range jumper.
Johnson also had some controversy with his high school teams, playing for 4 different high schools and even leaving Oak Hill in February of 2011 for either violating a team rule or returning home to help a family member. Sounds like Ed Cooley will have his work cut out for him here, but if anyone can get this talented kid to reach his potential it’s Big Ed.