In the months leading up to the 2017-’18 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
After an offseason filled with questions and change in the Indiana program, senior guard Robert Johnson has decided to return to Indiana for his senior season. In the offseason, he tested the NBA Draft. Ultimately, he decided to return under new head coach, Archie Miller, for one last go around in Assembly Hall.
BTPowerhouse 25’ - #18 Robert Johnson:
- Eligibility: Senior
- Career Totals: 98 games, 2,663 minutes, 978 points, 258 assists.
- 2016-’17 averages: 12.8 pts, 4.8 rebs, 2.5 asts, 1.2 stls
- Positional Role: Point/Shooting Guard
Robert Johnson will be a leader in the backcourt for Archie Miller and the Indiana Hoosiers this upcoming season. He should be a favorite to start in the backcourt alongside Josh Newkirk. Johnson started all but two games last season and brings experience and leadership to Miller’s team.
Johnson excels at shooting the ball. Last season, with a depleted Indiana roster, Johnson was asked to do it a lot. His stroke from beyond the arc and his ability to score all over the floor make him a challenge for defenses to guard. Last season, he averaged nearly 13 points a game. It was often his name being called upon heavily throughout the game to make plays and score the ball.
Johnson has raw talent as a guard in the backcourt and it is easy to see what Tom Crean saw in him as a high school player. Since Indiana lost most of its starting core before the 2015-’16 season, a lot of pressure and weight was put on Johnson’s shoulders to carry Indiana this past season. He’s a leader and the player you want running Indiana’s offense.
Areas for Improvement
Last year, Johnson did not have many players he could consistently share the ball with. As a guard this year, showcasing his ability to pass and create shots for others is important. As he continues to develop chemistry on the court with other players during the preseason, this should improve.
With Johnson’s great ability to shoot, his free throw percentage could increase as well. He is hovering right around 75 percent, but if he continues to be aggressive and get to the line, he has to get the points when he’s there.
In his senior season, Johnson will be a star for Indiana this year. He’s consistent, he’s reliable, and he can shoot. He’ll be asked to do a lot this year, but if he puts himself in position to succeed like he did last season, he’ll continue to develop in to an even better athlete. Last season, Johnson missed a few games due to injury. Staying healthy will be crucial to his senior season and the success of Indiana.
Johnson will run Indiana’s offense alongside Josh Newkirk. The two of them can work together to become one of the most difficult backcourts to guard in the Big Ten if they continue to improve.
Johnson has the talent and the tools he needs to make this Indiana team his own, now he just needs to do it.
‘BT Powerhouse 25’ Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Juwan Morgan (Indiana Hoosiers)
- #24 - Dakota Mathias (Purdue Boilermakers)
- #23 - Jordan Bohannon (Iowa Hawkeyes)
- #22 - Anthony Cowan (Maryland Terrapins)
- #21 - Reggie Lynch (Minnesota Golden Gophers)
- #20 - Kevin Huerter (Maryland Terrapins)
- #19 - Carsen Edwards (Purdue Boilermakers)
- #18 - Robert Johnson (Indiana Hoosiers)
- #17 - to be continued...