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‘I simply advised them be able to work’: Xavier Johnson talks dedication to Indiana


Xavier Johnson doesn’t have any massive plans Wednesday evening to have fun his dedication to Indiana.

“I’ll in all probability play a bit of Name of Obligation Warzone,” Johnson stated with amusing.

Johnson is again in Fredericksburg, Virginia, town the place he grew up. Earlier within the day, he labored out on the court docket. He additionally had the air-con in his automobile mounted to supply some reduction to the spring warmth. “I used to be over there sweating,” Johnson stated.

Then at 5 p.m., the previous Pittsburgh guard introduced on social media that he can be transferring to Indiana. He nonetheless has two years of eligibility remaining.

“The principle factor about my resolution was growth and going to this system the place I imagine I could make the largest impression,” Johnson by cellphone Wednesday evening. “And I imagine it was Indiana.”

The 6-foot 3-inch guard spent three seasons at Pittsburgh and is a profession 33 % 3-point shooter. His finest yr from behind the arc got here in his freshman season when he hit 35 %.

Final season, Johnson led Pittsburgh in each assists per recreation (5.7) and steals per recreation (1.3). He was additionally third on the staff in scoring with 14.2 factors per recreation, together with a 32-point outburst in opposition to Virginia Tech.

In late February, Johnson introduced that he was coming into the switch portal. A few days in the past, Johnson launched a high 4 faculties of Indiana, Baylor, Houston and St. Joseph’s. What helped Indiana, although, was Johnson’s preexisting relationship with IU assistant coach Kenya Hunter, who was retained on the IU employees final week after Archie Miller’s firing.

In highschool, Johnson signed his Nationwide Letter of Intent with Nebraska the place his lead recruiter was Hunter. However earlier than Johnson bought on campus, Hunter took an assistant teaching place at UConn. Consequently, Johnson withdrew his Nationwide Letter of Intent and opted to signal with Pittsburgh. Now, Johnson and Hunter can be reunited at Indiana.

“He (Hunter) all the time thought it was the precise spot for me to be in,” Johnson stated. “They’re in want of a guard who can get within the paint and get guys open. I believe I could be a massive asset for them subsequent yr.”

Johnson additionally spoke with head coach Mike Woodson. Johnson believes he can slot in with Woodson’s 4 out/one out offensive system. Of their conversations, Johnson was impressed with Woodson’s demeanor.

“He’s a extremely down-to-earth man that cares about you on the court docket and off of the court docket as effectively,” Johnson stated. “He’s each methods on and off of the court docket. You must go to class and do all the opposite issues proper.”

Johnson stated he’s been in touch with a few of his new teammates. He’s planning on arriving in Bloomington in Might.

“I simply can’t wait to get to Indiana and meet them head to head,” Johnson stated “…I simply advised them be able to work. The principle factor I’m coming to do is win.”

In his spotlight tapes, Johnson shows an elite quickness with the power to create off the bounce and rating transition. Over the past couple of seasons, Indiana hasn’t had somebody to have the ability to constantly create for others. In his personal phrases, although, Johnson describes his recreation like this:

“I bought a giant coronary heart that cares in regards to the recreation,” he stated. “I all the time give my all. That’s what I count on Indiana to consider me. At all times giving my all.”

Proper now, he’s been figuring out day by day in Virginia along with his coach. Amongst his exercise group is former Maryland star level guard Anthony Cowan, however Johnson stated he hasn’t acquired any recommendation about enjoying within the Large Ten but.

One other facet during which Johnson might help the Hoosiers is capturing, one he stated he’s been particularly targeted on throughout his latest exercises. The Hoosiers have struggled the previous few seasons to constantly shoot from the skin. Johnson, who hit 5 threes in a single recreation final season, has the potential to be a high-volume scorer.

“I’m always capturing the ball,” Johnson stated. “I imagine I’m capturing the ball method higher than I’ve had earlier than. I believe I can proceed to trust and convey it out subsequent yr.”

With the return of Parker Stewart and Khristian Lander, Woodson has quite a lot of backcourt choices at his disposal. Johnson, who’s performed three seasons of faculty basketball, provides one other veteran presence together with senior with Rob Phinisee. In whole, the addition of Johnson has the potential to repair a few of Indiana’s most urgent problems with capturing and play-making.

Whereas he’ll have to regulate to a brand new campus quickly, one facet of shifting to Bloomington from Pittsburgh that Johnson isn’t going to fret about, he says, is adjusting from the frigid temperatures of Pittsburgh.

“There’s going to be no distinction,” Johnson stated with amusing.

However for the remainder of Wednesday evening, to have fun all of it, he’ll in all probability play some Name of Obligation on his PlayStation 4.

(Picture credit score: Pittsburgh Athletics)

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