Johnson honored by top spot

Arizona is ranked number one in the country and Nick Johnson is honored by that fact. Read on to see if he knew it was coming, who has helped him the most, and more.

When Arizona's number one ranking came out on Monday, junior guard Nick Johnson was not surprised.

In fact, he feels like it was a matter of time until the program returned to where it once was.

"I knew that they had the talent to become or renew the tradition that Arizona had," Johnson said of when he committed to Arizona. "That was probably the first year that everybody started realizing what they had. I just had confidence in Coach Miller and his recruiting is unparalleled in the country. He really has ways of getting people to come here and continuing on that tradition."

Johnson was only ten years old the last time Arizona topped the rankings and this is the first time that coach Sean Miller has been associated with the number one team.

"With the storied program that we have here, it really shows how good this team can possibly be and it is definitely an honor to be a part of that," he said. "Coach was saying in his 28 years of coaching and playing he has never been a part of a number one team, so knowing that in his successful career that this is the first time that has happened just shows you how significant this is."

Johnson agrees with Miller's belief that the ranking should be talked about, but he also realizes the challenges that come with it.

"It's a great honor," he said. "Something we, probably everybody on our team, have dreamed about since they were a little kid. I know I have and this is something really in the last few weeks that we really locked in on and tried to become. Right now it is a great honor, but we know that we have everybody's best shot coming at us and just trying to keep it as long as we can."

One of the biggest reasons why Arizona has been successful is the play of Johnson and he attributes his improvement to one of his teammates.

"I think it all starts with T.J," Johnson said. "He is so unselfish on the court, off the court, that it has really rubbed off on our players and you could see in the game against UNLV he was the focal point of our comeback, our finish. It has really rubbed off on everybody else. We are really playing basketball as a team and that is when we are at our best."

In addition, Johnson has been able to learn from McConnell in order to improve his game as a whole.

"It's allowed me to play more freely on offense and move without the ball a little bit," he said. "Last year I think I was more of a pass first guy and this year I am looking for my shot a little more. It has changed in every aspect. My steals are down, but I think he has picked that up pretty well. Just helping me out on defense and on offense."

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