Corvallis, OR, United States (4E Sports) – Arizona Wildcats junior shooting guard Nick Johnson scored 25 to lead the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats past Oregon State Beavers, 74-69, Wednesday at Gill Coliseum.
He wanted to take over the game to silence the pro-Oregon State crowd, and he did.
Arizona built several leads but couldn’t pull far away from a feisty Oregon State team.
With the score tied at 64, Arizona was able to force turnovers on three straight possessions to fuel a 7-0 run and take a 71-64 lead with 26 seconds left.
The the win further boosted Johnson’s stock, with talk of playing in the NBA after this season getting louder.
When asked about the possibility, Johnson said that he’s not thinking about that right now and is focused on winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship.
Johnson has helped carry the No. 3 Wildcats to a Pac-12 Conference title and No. 1 RPI ranking. He is currently under consideration for the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Oscar Robertson trophy award. He also stands as one of 10 Naismith trophy semi-finalists.
Miller also praised Johnson’s basketball intelligence, calling him one of the team’s coaches on the court. Even when Johnson is on the bench he can been seen coaching the players on the court.
The coach also noted that Johnson has increased his offensive repertoire from just being a slasher and occassional 3-point shooter.
But Miller doesn’t want to see any of his players leave for the NBA draft if they aren’t going to be a first round pick.