Commentary

Johnson fueling Hurricanes' rise

Breaking down the PER leaders for every level of college basketball

Updated: February 10, 2012, 1:24 PM ET
By Matt Giles | ESPN Insider
Reggie JohnsonStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesThe return of Reggie Johnson has had a positive impact on the Canes' performance.

Ever want a way to compare every player in college basketball? John Hollinger has your answer. With his college player efficiency ratings (PER), we can evaluate the productivity of Division I hoopsters from Arizona to Youngstown State to see who's really helping his team the most.

During the doldrums of summer, it was announced that Miami Hurricanes center Reggie Johnson, a 6-foot-10 junior, would miss all of non-conference play after injuring his knee during a pickup game. Johnson was predicted to return for conference play, but it was unknown how quickly he would rehab, how he would react to the tutelage of coach Jim Larranaga, and if he would have an impact.

Well, he has. Even though Johnson is using just 37 percent of available minutes (per Ken Pomeroy), the junior has helped transformed what was a solid team into a possible NCAA tournament participant who recently defeated the Duke Blue Devils in Cameron's cozy confines.

During the nine out-of-conference games Johnson missed, Miami displayed an average offense (scoring one point per 100 possessions) that played at a fairly quick tempo (67 possessions) and could crash the glass (offensive rebounding rate of 30 percent). Johnson's presence has had a massive effect on Miami's efficiency ratings.