Remember the name: Orlando Johnson
Not many people know the name Orlando Johnson but the UC Santa Barbara junior is a big time player who will soon be reckoned with. A transfer from Loyola Marymount, the 6’5” wing has already had an accomplished collegiate career.
Johnson set the school record for freshmen at Loyola Marymount with 383 points giving him an average of 12.4 points per game. He also led the team in rebounding and shot 32% from three but didn’t feel he could get the best of his ability while playing for the Lions which led him to UCSB.
After sitting out his mandatory transfer year he came on strong for the Gauchos averaging better than 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in route to being named Big West Player of the Year. He did so while shooting just under 40% from three and nearly 50% from the field. Consistent, he scored in double figures in each of his 30 games played last season.
Orlando has good size for a perimeter player, especially at the mid major level. He’s got both good strength and length as well which helps him to score at the basket. He’s also a solid athlete which helps him on the glass and when slashing. Johnson has a well developed mid range game and is also a threat beyond the arch. The versatile scorer has mastered the ability to get good shots without using many dribbles. He’s got a high IQ and is a very underrated passer. Patient, Orlando plays at his own pace, rarely takes bad shots, and can really change a game when he gets hot.
OJ’s game is reminiscent to that of former Western Kentucky star and current NBA guard Courtney Lee. Around the same size (Johnson is has more length), he has shown the ability to take over the game when the ball’s in his hands as Lee did while playing in the Sun Belt Conference. The Big West’s premier player, Orlando has learned to continue to dominate the game even with defense’s that are focused solely on limiting his production. He’s got a chance to be a great pro.
Already this season Orlando has averages of 26.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 52% from three and 53% from the field. This includes a 35 point game against Fresno State in which he posted 23 first half points. All this and he’s only a junior! In 2012 make sure you remember OJ!