As we say with every incoming freshman, it's really hard to put together a preview for a guy that we have yet to see suit up in a college game. So in lieu of any real, hard hitting analysis.... MIXTAPE!!!
Alright fine, I guess I'll put a little more effort into it.
Unlike yesterday's previewee, John Dawson, JaJuan Johnson comes to Marquette with plenty of fanfare. He led a nationally ranked Southwind HS (Memphis, TN) to a state title. He is the most highly regarded prospect in the 2013 recruiting class: ranked #30 overall by rscihoops.com, #35 by Rivals, #32 by Scout, and #27 by ESPN. And while we are constantly reminded that the recruiting rankings are NOT a guarantee of future success, you can't help but feel like - if that many people think he can play, then there's got to be something to it.
Minimum Expectation: I don't know if you've heard, but there are minutes to be had in the Marquette backcourt this year. With the graduation of Junior Cadougan, the departure of Vander Blue to the professional ranks, the injury to Duane Wilson, and the fact that Todd Mayo can be... umm... how shall I say.... unpredictable, there figures to be plenty of opportunity for Johnson to crack the backcourt rotation this season. Despite the lofty pedigree, I don't think it's reasonable to expect that he will have a MAJOR impact in his freshman season. Because, as we all know, Coach Buzz tends to bring the frosh along slowly. However, I fully expect JaJuan to be a contributor this year and I hope to see flashes of brilliance to make me giddy about what is to come.
In My Wildest Dream: I'm wrong. JaJuan Johnson's brilliance doesn't come in mere flashes, it comes in bucketfuls. In this scenario, he seizes the opportunity presented to him and makes it impossible for Buzz to take him off the floor. He becomes the impact freshman that we haven't seen since.... Dominic James? Travis Diener? Wardle? I'm not even sure.
My Worst Nightmare: Johnson is your standard issue freshman. He has a few moments in the preseason, but like most freshman, he doesn't do the little things (see: play defense) well enough for Buzz to trust him once the real season begins. Then he is banished to the bench for the latter part of the season, and we are forced to wait until next year to see what he can really do.