Written by redditor ank1613, take a look at this in-depth and humorous breakdown of Stanley Johnson’s scouting report as the 2015 NBA Draft draws nearer. Make sure to click the links to see highlights and visit ank1613’s website, HoopsRambler, for more draft prospect breakdowns.
Alright I’m going to level with you here. I’m not sure if this is a common misconception, if I’ve been duped by the masterminds at Fox, or if I’m a complete and utter idiot, but I always thought The OC was a reality show.
You can’t blame me right? I’ve never actually seen an episode. I just figured that it was cameras following around gorgeous rich women. Just like pretty much every other show that catered to teens who for some reason need MORE drama in their lives than was provided by the Vesuvian whitehead on their chin.
Future NBA Lottery pick Stanley Johnson’s Wikipedia claims he is “Arguably the best player to ever play in Orange County, CA”. I would assume the argument is essentially a toss up between the now 6’6.5”, 242 pound swingman, and one of those guys with the frosted tips and a Maserati from The OC, who I am sure was just swimming in it.
He may not have the frosted tips (those will come back right?), but Stanley Johnson is just as much a winner as the loser in the Hummer H2 cruising through the hills at 6 miles per gallon on a warm spring day in 2006.
Before leaving the beautiful women of Orange County, California for the beautiful women at the University of Arizona, Stanley Johnson brought home the state championship hardware four straight times. Granted, after having measured in at almost 6’7” and 226 pounds just after turning 16, I’m sure the school councilor recommended the young Mr. Johnson towards a lucrative career in terrorizing Japanese cities, but an NBA career also appeared to be within the realm of possibility.
Johnson has the ability to stuff the stat sheet pretty much anywhere he desires. Before exiting high school powerhouse Mater Dei as the ESPN ranked #6 player in the country, the small forward put together a per-game stat line of 25 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists. On the defensive side of the ball his 3 steals per game could have made Swiper of Dora the Explorer fame blush. Although to be fair, Swiper was absolutely terrible at pretty much everything, and is presumed dead in the underbrush of the dark spooky forest (¡El Bosque!).
The Pac-12 Freshman of the year now looks to make his move to the NBA after struggling in multiple games of the NCAA tournament, finally falling in the elite 8. Johnson’s dip in production under the brightest lights may cause a reciprocal decrease in his stock, but the tools to succeed in the big show haven’t disappeared. The team that can fend off reactionary big board changes may just come away with a steal.
We interrupt this breakdown to deliver urgent news that I’ve just discovered. Stanley Johnson’s step-father’s name is Easter. Now back to your regularly scheduled snark.
Johnson’s physical frame is truly the rock upon which he can build his church. He’s measured almost up to 6’8” at some combines, and entered U of A wearing 243 pounds of chiseled muscle. The most terrifying part? Johnson claims to have never lifted a weight before donning a Wildcat’s uniform. If anyone knows where the Orange County Nuclear Waste facility is, call the Feds, because its leaking.
Despite his enormity, Johnson’s 6’11” wingspan distributes his weight evenly, allowing the tremendous athlete beneath the swole to display an undoubtedly skilled basketball player. He can put the ball on the floor with confidence and any player coming to double is going to feel it. I found, rolling my eyes every other drive from the perimeter, that a human who looks like he was inflated with a cartoon pump is not supposed to be able to move the way Stanley Johnson does. He’s one of the most complete physical specimens I’ve ever seen after one year of college. His length and ability to attack smaller defenders at times make a score or a foul look inevitable.
Johnson isn’t the greatest finishing wing in the draft class, and it is certainly a skill that he must improve upon in order to succeed. So often his moves are instinctual, explosive, and almost wild at times, yet with the physical tools at his disposal, it’s hard to believe he won’t improve based on the sheer freakishness of his body. Stanley Johnson goes home every night and sleeps in a huge glass aquarium full of green liquid as tubes deliver testosterone and angus beef directly into his bloodstream.
As a rebounder, Johnson has solid positioning, respectable vertical and hands, and should become a very good rebounding swingman in the NBA. He chases his misses and has a lightning fast second jump, which translates on both ends of the floor.
Johnson struggles finishing at the rim at times, which is in part due to the fact that he is an insane kamikaze boulder, and in part due to his confidence that his strength and hangtime open the door for and ones, of which he had eighteen on the season.
As one would expect, Stanley Johnson leaves a wake of post traumatic stress disorder and swooning playboy models in transition.
When I first started looking into Johnson’s play on the break, I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. Was it admiration? Was it jealousy? As the film rolled on it dawned on me exactly what that feeling was.
It was fear.
I was scared of Stanley Johnson. He’s so big, so fast, so strong. There’s just nothing anyone can do when Johnson has a full head of steam. Whether or not he has the ball, Johnson is a threat to score on the fast break or odd-man situation. He can finish jaw dropping oops that he called for 3 steps behind centercourt or take it himself with a Fonzi smooth finger roll. His defensive instincts generate easy buckets so quickly it makes me want to go get an adult.
Arizona as a team was far from stacked with elite shooters to open the floor for Johnson. He showed significant improvement as a 3 point shooter himself, climbing from 29% before becoming a Wildcat to 37% after his freshman season. He showed solid confidence and fairly strong shooting fundamentals both off the dribble and catch and shoot situations. Most impressively, Johnson shot 49% on pull up shots, often aided by his play in the pick and roll. The shiny new stop and pop, coupled with a nifty floater, helped to alleviate the pressure from the defensive bear traps teams could employ against a shaky shooting Zona. His 13.8 points per game should be exposed a product of the environment when Johnson gets the opportunity to play with NBA spacing.
As one would expect from an athlete of his caliber, Johnson’s defense is something to behold. For fear of hyperbole, I will put this lightly, he will murder you. He’s long and fleet of foot enough to contest shots, even if he’s over helped. He has great natural footwork and ball tracking, and is lockdown in isolation situations.
Despitethe exaltion of defense as arguably his crown jewel, it seems at times Stanley lacks the mental consistency to bring his first class D every play of the game. The team that selects Johnson should expect to see flashes of top flight defense from day one.
They say you learn something new every day. Today I can safely say I learned two things. The OC is not a reality show, and it is terrible (my research knows no bounds), and that I am scared to death of Stanley Johnson. He is a physical specimen so athletic, we don’t even know his floor yet, let alone his ceiling. If you’re an NBA player in five years, you just might find yourself getting burned by this former Arizona Wildcat.