Que Johnson passes the thumb test

WHEN A DOCTOR grabbed Que Johnson's leg the other day and stuck a thumb into the 6-5 shooting guard's foot -- the same foot that put the promising freshman on crutches in early September -- the response was music to the ears of Cougar head coach Ken Bone.


"When you have a stress fracture and somebody applies pressure with a thumb, you're jumping out of the room," Bone said Friday in a conversation with Cougfan.com. "Que didn't feel a thing. He's going to be fine."

Moreover, Que Johnson isn't even experiencing any soreness and is on track to begin practicing at full speed the week of Oct. 14, Bone said.

He's not only off crutches, but out of the boot, too.

"He's actually getting shots up now ... we're not letting him practice -- we're being overly cautious because we don't want it to flare up in December or January.

"By Monday we'll have him jogging up and down the court, and then around the 14th he'll be able to go full speed. That doesn't mean he'll be in every single drill initially, but he'll be on the court going strong."

Johnson is widely viewed as the answer to the scoring void left by the graduation loss of Brock Motum and his 18.7 ppg. But Bone cautions that it's too early to put so much pressure on the Pontiac, Mich., native.

"He's a freshman and I'm not going to be putting expectations like that on him -- but he's going to be good, no doubt," Bone said.

Johnson redshirted last season for academic reasons and did everything in the classroom Bone asked, pulling down a 3.0 GPA.

That time away from game competition, though, resulted in an extra 20 pounds going on Johnson's 6-5 frame. Bone believes the added weight is what caused Johnson some knee problems in the summer. He shed those extra pounds as the summer wore on, checking in at trim 205, but probably put a few back on while on crutches with the stress fracture.

Weight won't be a problem, though, Bone said. Johnson will be practicing at full speed soon enough and WSU's nutritionist is working closely with Johnson.

The Cougars open the season Nov. 1 in Pullman with an exhibition game against Central Washington.


Bone said full-team practices, which began a week ago, are off to a heartening start. "They're bustin' their tails out there and kicking up the defensive schemes. It has Rod (Jensen), our defensive coordinator, excited," Bone said.

Cougfan Top Stories