Johnson excited about McConnell addition

This season, Nick Johnson is going to play with a true point for the first time since arriving at Arizona. Read on for his thoughts on T.J. McConnell, how it effects him, and more.

When Nick Johnson committed to Arizona, he immediately became the first signature recruit of the Sean Miller regime.

Although it initially appeared Johnson might play point guard in college, Miller convinced the team oriented guard that his athleticism, savvy and strength would work best playing alongside a true point guard.

Two years later, Johnson finally has the opportunity to play with one.

Last season, Johnson played with Mark Lyons at the point and has nothing but good things to say about him.

"Mark Lyons was the ultimate competitor and a big-game player who I enjoyed playing with a lot," Johnson said. "He brought it everyday in practice and was a cool guy off the court."

Despite Johnson's friendship with Lyons, everyone is curious to see a McConnell-Johnson backcourt.

"T.J. is an awesome dude and can really play," Johnson said. "I've never played with a guy quite like him and I'm excited because it's going to be a completely different game plan."

Where Lyons could be counted on to look for his shot first, McConnell is looking to set a player up.

"When we were on a fast break last year you knew there was a good chance Mark was going to take the shot, so all the other players would go down to try and set up for a rebound," Johnson said.

"Now when T.J. is leading the break we can all try and get into position to score, because if we're open he is going to get us the ball."

Johnson has noticed a little bit of a change on the defensive end as well.

"T.J. is a super intense dude on the defensive end," Johnson said. "He really takes pride at locking his guy down."

The myriad of opportunities that playing with a player like McConnell presents is one of the reasons Johnson came to Arizona.

"When I was recruited I was really swayed by the thought of playing with a pass-first point and how coach said it would help my game, and I'm about to do that," Johnson said.


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