The Hurricanes received big news in the offseason when Florida Gulf Coast graduate transfer, Zach Johnson, a Miami native, chose to finish his collegiate career in Coral Gables. The immediately eligible 6’2” guard posted quite the career at FGCU, averaging double figures in each of his three seasons, topping out at 16.1 per game last season.
“He’s a vital cog in our plans for this season,” said Coach L after Miami’s scrimmage vs Barry.
Johnson expects to see large minutes this season as the Canes lost three guards to the NBA draft and graduation in Lonnie Walker IV, Bruce Brown Jr., and JaQuan Newton.
Coach L gushed about Johnson’s versatility after the scrimmage vs Barry that resulted in a 30 point win for the Canes, saying, “Zach Johnson is going to be our Mr. Versatility kind of like Bruce Brown was. He’s can handle the ball, he’s very good driving to the basket, he’s good at getting into the lane and getting an assist either dumping it to a big guy or kicking it out for a three.”
Johnson scored 17 points vs Barry, shooting 6-10 from the field. His scoring boost will be needed to take pressure off Dewan Hernandez and Chris Lykes. Johnson’s career high at FGCU was 37 points versus Lipscomb last season. The Canes should expect Johnson, Lykes, and Hernandez to lead the team in scoring and minutes.
Part of why Johnson will log heavy minutes for the Canes this season is his defense. Johnson was an all-conference defense player in the Atlantic Sun for FGCU and averaged two steals per game last season.
Lastly, meshing with the Canes shouldn’t be an issue for Johnson, at least with Hernandez, a former high school teammate for two seasons at Norland High. The two are very excited about playing with each other on the court again.
Expect Johnson to score double figures this season and help anchor the Canes on defense.