Perrin Johnson enjoying "learning experience"

Last summer, Perrin Johnson called Inside theVille and said that he'd be joining the Louisville basketball program. Recently he told ITV that he is enjoying his first year in the Cardinal program.

Perrin Johnson took a road much different than most on his way to become a Louisville Cardinal. The 6'5 swingman from Claremont, California originally committed to Rider, but after he realized that he'd be asked to play out of position, he asked and was granted a release from his Letter of Intent.

Meanwhile, in Louisville, the Cardinals track coach was recruiting Johnson. Johnson had joined Claremont's track team and quickly established himself as a standout long-jumper. During league finals he set a new league record with a long jump of 24'1" and broke a league mark that had stood since 1979. However, his first love was basketball, so the Cardinals track coach passed the information along to the Louisville basketball office.

Following his senior season, when he averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks per contest, Johnson spent a couple weeks in Louisville to test his skills against many of the current Cardinals.

Soon after, while participating in the adidas ABCD Camp, he made the decision to join the Cardinals as a non-scholarship player.

He's now spent nearly three months practicing and playing as apart of the Louisville program. He has seen action in five contests, including the last two.

"I'm very comfortable now," Johnson said of his role with the team. "Right now I just try to support all the other guys on the team."

With time in the frontcourt being dominated by players such as Francisco Garcia and Luke Whitehead, Johnson realizes that this is his time to soak up instruction and learn from those players in front of him.

"We have a lot of veterans on the team," continued Johnson. "Being a freshman, this year is more of a learning experience for me."

The time that he has spent on the court thus far has frequently been at the power forward spot. Against VMI he even saw action at the center spot.

"I'm only 6'5, but I'm able to use my athleticism to get rebounds and things like that, so I'm playing both forward spots which has helped me," Johnson explained. "I had to learn all the plays for the two positions, which is very difficult for some freshmen to do, but I've been able to pick it up."

Following the VMI game in which Johnson saw a few minutes at the center spot, Coach Rick Pitino commented that Perrin may be the best five spot player on the team, pointing out his leaping and blocking out abilities.

"I don't know about that," replied Johnson when told of Pitino's comments. "Kendall and Otis are great. Otis is doing a terrific job. He's all over the place right now and is playing his best basketball. I'm very happy to be able to work with them"

While Johnson won't likely be counted on for crucial minutes during his freshman season at Louisville, Cardinal fans should enjoy watching his development and anticipate seeing him blossom by his junior season.

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