This is the fourth part in a six part series that dives into the strengths and weaknesses of all six members of Duke’s 2020 freshman class. Check out my previous player breakdowns right here. In this player breakdown I’ll be taking a closer look at five star small forward Jalen Johnson.
Jalen Johnson’s skill at his size is just ridiculous. At 6’8”, Jalen Johnson handles the ball like a guard and is a truly elite passer. He might be the best passer in the 2020 class outside of Cade Cunningham, that’s how good he is. Johnson is also an extremely versatile prospect. He can play at both the three and the four. And, he just does so many different things that contribute to winning. He rebounds well, is a force in transition, and is a really good finisher. Here are several examples of Johnson’s elite passing ability.
Johnson’s strength as a scorer right now is his ability to get downhill on dribble drives and finish in the paint. Here are a couple examples of Johnson using his athleticism to get into the paint and finish.
Johnson isn’t yet a great shooter, but he shows flashes as a shooter especially out of the mid range. He’s currently a much more comfortable shooter from the mid range than from three. Here are a couple examples of his mid range shooting ability.
Johnson truly is a very complete player, so holes in his game are hard to come by. But, there are a couple. Offensively, you’d mostly just like to see continued improvement from Johnson as a shooter. He isn’t a bad shooter, but there is a lot of room for growth for Johnson as a shooter. Defensively, Johnson sometimes struggles against quick perimeter players. He isn’t very quick laterally, and sometimes doesn’t move his feet defensively. Here’s an example of that:
Overall, Johnson is a very talented player that will be the centerpiece of the offense next season at Duke. He’s a mismatch nightmare that should dominate at the college level before being a top ten draft pick after one season at Duke.
That wraps up this Duke freshman breakdown, next up is Henry Coleman.
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