LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - David Johnson showed flashes as a freshman, most notably his 19 point, 7 assist effort in a 79-73 win at #3 Duke on January 18.
“I think it was a pretty up and down year. I mean I started off kind of doing ok and then I went into a little slump,” Johnson said.
The Trinity grad hit his only three-point attempt in that win over the Blue Devils, and then went 1-for-14 in the final 13 games. For the season he was 5-23 (22%).
“He’s got to improve his shooting and he has to be a way better defensive player as a sophomore than he was as a freshman,” Cards head coach Chris Mack said.
Johnson has been working out during the coronavirus shutdown. He says he has access to a gym. He also has a list of things he needs to work on.
“Getting in better shape, getting my body stronger, improving on shooting, being more vocal, becoming more of a vocal leader on the floor,” Johnson said. “Being more of Coach Mack while Coach Mack is not there.”
Despite the inconsistency, the talent is evident and Johnson did consider going through the NBA Draft process.
“I thought about it,” he admitted, "but I was unsure of the whole situation, just because of what was going on. I wasn’t really educated on all that, so I just decided to, I mean I knew that I was going to come back to college.
He’ll come back with plenty of preseason hype.
“Usually the biggest jump you make as a college player is between your freshman and sophomore year and I have no doubt that all of our freshman as they grow into sophomores will make a huge jump for next year," Mack said, “but David is going to be leading that charge, as you guys know, being one of our most talented players.”
Don’t forget, Johnson missed the first four games of his freshman season after having shoulder surgery last summer. His passing ability is not something you can coach, and with an improved shot, his second season at UofL may well be his last.