“I was watching the game,” Johnson said. “We had a State Championship game just like they have this year, so I was watching in the locker room before the game started, and I saw the last play as I was running on the floor.
“I obviously had to play a game, so I was focusing on what my team had to focus on. But after the game, I saw Coach Miller and I texted Coach Miller and he congratulated me on winning the State Championship.
“I just told him I wanted to get us back here to the same game, and look it's the same team. So obviously this has been marked on my calendar since back then, and it's just a blessing to be here in this game.”
Johnson’s growth since the start of the season has been obvious and he credits Miller.
“I haven't had as much time with Coach Miller as a lot of these guys have, but I think it started from being recruited by him,” Johnson said. “He was always honest and genuine, whether I went to here or not.
“Being a guy that was out of high school, once guys get promises to start and play minutes out of high school, and trust me when I say he got the heat put on him about me starting, he never committed to that.
“He was always honest with me and said, as long as you do what you have to do, good things will happen. He always said, honor the process and stuff like that hits me later when I get more mature and athletic. I understand what he's saying more and more as I started maturing.”
One of the main messages that Miller worked to get across had to do with defensive intensity and consistency.
“We're consistent with what we say,” Johnson said. “It's all about not making mistakes on defense, and being a better defensive player and doing the right things on the court.
“The same message Coach Miller told us last night and was going to tell us before the game are the same messages he would tell us in November and that makes it easier because I know what to do.
“As long as I do what I do, play how I play and cover my assignments, everything else will fall in place, because the rest of these guys will do the same thing for themselves.”