Wednesday, October 28, 2015

George Johnson, release 2.0

The George Johnson who came out of Heritage High in 2013 isn't the same player ready for the season to begin at College of Marin. Cueing up David Bowie's hit song "Ch-ch-ch-changes," Johnson's game, mindset and body are now much different due to his fastidious work.

"I've improved my IQ," the 6-foot Johnson explained. "The game has kind of slowed down for me and I'm more aware of everything happening on the court. I'm also more intense and aggressive because players in junior college are hungry."

About his skills upgrade, he offered, "I've sharpened my passing and worked a lot on my shooting, the pullup jumper and three-pointer."

Plus, he has been running on the track -- "I want to play the whole game without getting tired" -- as well as lifting, doing squats and the benchpress.

Add in another difference: "Last year, I was in the two guard role but I'll be a point guard this season." In 29 games with 27 starts, Johnson averaged 9.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds an outing in 2014-15 while shooting 47%, 38% and 71% respectively. He totaled 72 assists versus 42 turnovers.

He is also now the team leader. "Definitely, I hold myself accountable. If anything goes wrong and something needs to be said, then I need to step up and put it right." With sophomores Pierre Carter (now at Cal State East Bay), Brandon Kenilvort (now at St. Martin's University), Neal Chavez (now at Alaska Fairbanks) and Miller Blake such wasn't possible a year ago.

Regarding recruiting, Johnson has been hearing from Portland State and Tuskegee University.

With both his scoring and assist totals guaranteed to rise this season plus the step up into a leadership role, look for more suitors once the season gets going.

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