Sunday, February 17, 2013
Colorado's underrated star
By Matt Giles
When Xavier Johnson was in the high school ranks, the guard was not highly recruited by the Pac-12, an oddity considering Johnson played on the same AAU squad as Shabazz Muhammad and matching up with some of California's top talent. According to Scout's Josh Gershon, Colorado was the only Pac-12 school to recruit Johnson, and despite the Buffs' recent loss to Arizona State, Johnson has shined as one of the conference's top talents.
Johnson struggles from the free throw stripe, which has affected his sub-100 offensive rating, but he is converting 57 percent of his shots within the arc and 38 percent from deep. After Colorado's win against Arizona, a game where Johnson posted an impressive stat line of 19 points and nine rebounds, Johnson told Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star that his recruiting snubs suffered during his pre-college days have motivated Johnson this season. However, other coaches consider Johnson a top freshman in the league: "I'm not sure he's not the best freshman in our conference. If he's not, he certainly should be put up there with three or four others that everybody acknowledges," said Sean Miller.