Peach Jam: Brian Johnson Q&A, Part II

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- After an impressive showing in the morning session of Day 2 of the Peach Jam Tuesday, <i>Inside Carolina</i> conducted a follow-up interview with Brian Johnson.

You know it occurred to me today while I was watching you play that -- should you decide to play at Carolina -- you could be the only player in history to be both a Blue Devil and a Tar Heel. Is that something that has ever come up?

(Laughing) Nah, not really.

In your game today you showed more range on offense than I saw from you when I saw you play in December. Is that something you've been working on since then, or is that something you've had in your bag of tricks for a while?

That's something I've been working on. I've always been able to do it, but I've been working on it so I can be effective.

I'm not suggesting that you change the way you play because you know better than I do what your coach wants from you, but it looks like there are times when you might be "too unselfish" when you don't try to score but you could. Does your coach ever tell you that?

Basically, I can't be too unselfish, but I haven't been attacking the basket that much. I need to do that more often to help my team. On our AAU squad, we are relying on our guards and we need to help out more than we are.

Other than AAU games what are you doing in the off-season to work on your game?

I'm doing individual work right now, trying to get better, with my high school coach (Joe Wooten).

I was noticing your tattoo (basketball backboard/rim with the inscription, "To some, Heaven is only 10 feet away.") What inspired that?

I don' know -- I heard [someone say it], so I decided to get it. I wanted something special.

I'd like to go into a little more detail about the two schools you mentioned yesterday, Louisville and UNC. What is appealing about these two schools?

With both schools, it's the coaches. They are coaches that will be there for awhile. They have a good foundation. And Rick Pitino, he came from the Boston Celtics, and that's a good opportunity to play for a pro/college coach. I'm trying to make it to the next level, and I think he has what it takes to help me.

How big of a factor will academics be in your decision? Have you considered what you want to study?

I want to study computer science or management. Those are two things I'm looking at. My decision is 60 percent academics and 40 percent basketball because there is no guarantee that I'll play in the NBA, so I want to get my degree.

What tools are you using to measure the academics? Have you consulted U.S. News & World Report for their rankings?

Basically, when I talk to the coaches, I get information from them, to see what majors are there and what kinds of programs they have.

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