DraftExpressProfile: Alexander Johnson, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook
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Alexander Johnson
Top 25s - Full List
RankCategoryTotal
16TO/404.5
25TO/40p4.2
10Fta/409.4
18Fta/40p8.8
14Ftm/406.6
21Ftm/40p6.2
12FTA/FGA0.72
24PF/405.1
3TO/405.3
3TO/40p5.1
Team: NON-NBA College Team: Florida State
PhysicalsPositionsRankings SalaryMisc
H: 6' 9"
W: 225 lbs
Bday: 02/09/1983
(31 Years Old)
Current: PF
NBA:   PF
Possible: PF/C
RSCI: 43
Agent: Larry Fox
High School: Dougherty
Hometown: Albany, GA
Drafted:  Pick 45 in 2006 by Trailblazers
Best Case: Kenyon Martin
Worst Case: Chris Wilcox

Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s

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Private Workout: Hollins, Johnson, Diaz, Kelly, Williams, Jeter
June 9, 2006

Absolutely the star of this workout, Johnson went a long way in solidifying his place in the first round with his performance and could even have moved himself into the teens. Johnson showed off everything he needed to show to prove his worth to an NBA team, whether it was with his rebounding, his mid-range shot, his toughness or with the sheer quickness in which he moves on the floor and gets off the ground.

Johnson's shot was money from the second he walked into the gym and until the workout ended. He showed great decision making when receiving the ball in the high post and taking what his extremely tall, long and athletic defender Ryan Hollins gave him. Johnson threw a number of jab-steps and shot-fakes at him to try and get him in the air; since Hollins did not bite, he was went ahead and elevated high off the ground and stroked the ball from 16-18 feet out almost every single time.

Johnson also impressed with his quick and explosive second leap, using it especially well on the glass. On one occasion, Johnson missed a shot about 6-7 feet from the basket, but immediately jumped up over Ryan Hollins to grab the rebound while maintaing the balance to score the putback. On his second leap, he didn't even need to gather himself, and was still able to easily get through Hollins to grab the putback.

Inside the post, he mixed up his back to the basket work nicely by facing the basket and using excellent counter moves to blow by or spin by his man explosivelly. The most impressive sequence of the workout came when Diaz came off a screen and threaded a pretty bounce pass to Johnson for a spin to his right shoulder and explosion off the ground for one of the most thunderous dunk we've ever witnessed in person, plus the foul. Being pushed away from the basket and forced to use his left hand, he got incredibly high off the ground and threw it down in so hard that had the entire gym in a state of disbelief.

When one of his teammates missed, Johnson was just quicker than anyone else on the floor to every single loose ball. His tenacity and physicality meant that he just wanted every ball more than anyone else. He used his strengh to get to wherever he wanted on the floor, but combined that with nible feet and terrific anticipation skills to leave an extremely strong impression. He made 9 of his 11 shots in the competitive 2 on 2 portion of the workout, and looked like he could have continued running for another few hours when it was finally done. Teams that were in attendance here like the Bulls, Timberwolves, Jazz, Pacers, Knicks, Hawks and Sonics could surely use a player in his mold who has a well-defined role on the floor and brings a workmanlike attitude to everything he does.
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Private Workout: Alexander Johnson, Guillermo Diaz, Jeremy Kelly
June 6, 2006

Johnson’s endurance and conditioning were the most prevalent things to come out of this workout. Since stream lining his physique to a lithe 228, Johnson has been able to show off the plus NBA athleticism he possesses. Johnson has an extremely quick double-jump and his mobility and overall agility looked excellent. Johnson gets up with speed and his lift is excellent, not needing to gather himself at all due to his terrific lower body strength. Johnson looked noticeably bigger in his shoulders and chest since the last time we saw him. On physical appearances alone, he is certainly one of the most impressive players in this draft, if not the most impressive. Once he starts bouncing around the floor and getting up to punish the rim, that impression only increases.

Johnson showed good overall skills to couple with the raw physical ability he displayed. Johnson handled the ball decently for the position he projects to and showed excellent footwork in the post drills. His touch is soft and both his jump-hook and turnaround jump-shot look polished. Johnson still needs to continue to work on his ball fakes and reaction time out of those fakes, but his ability to finish the move was solid. Johnson’s shot could not be explained as fundamental because of the way he arches his back and falls away a bit. But, he uses his full length to shoot a high arching shot when stationary and there is little wasted motion. When Johnson keeps his motion north/south and limits the east/west drift when squaring for his shots, the results are there.

Overall, Johnson showed us what an asset he can be to a team for the role he’d be projected to play. As an offensive and defensive rebounder, Johnson has the speed and agility to wreak havoc on opposing teams if they over-commit to the ball-handler. He has the raw athleticism, toughness and tenacity to go well out of his area to grab rebounds, and his hands looked impressive in all of the drills that were conducted here. Offensively, Johnson will be able to make a living solely off of put backs and alley-oops if that’s what his team decides to make his role, but he can also really set himself up nicely for the 12-15 foot uncontested jumper on kick outs and ball rotation. He seems to be a well-grounded, humble kid who has clearly shown the work ethic that makes NBA teams feel confident in their selection. With his size, body, freakish athleticism and attitude, Johnson will always be able to find a living in the NBA as a productive complimentary player, a la Udonis Haslem, with the upside to develop into more than that if he continues to work on his skills.
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Alexander Johnson NBA Draft Scouting Report
June 1, 2006
Strengths
Alexander Johnson has the type of body that would put most body-builders to shame with how trim and chiseled his physique is. After battling weight problems for much of his college career, Johnson is even a little too skinny right now, but has a perfect frame to continue to add weight. His shoulders are massively broad and his waist is slim, while his lower body looks outstanding. In the unlikely scenario that he does not make it in basketball, Johnson most certainly has a future in the NFL as a tight end. He is down to 225 pounds, and is considered by many to be the most athletic power forward in this draft after Tyrus Thomas. His feet are extremely nimble, his vertical leap is off the charts (somewhere in the 40” area), and he gets off his feet as quickly as any big man in this draft, often to pull down monster rebounds well out of his area.

Offensively, he has some very nice basic post moves, including a sweet jump-hook shot with either hand that is very tough to stop due to the quickness in which he spins and gets it off. He does a good job establishing deep position in the paint, but doesn’t see a ton of one on one situations in the paint as he doesn’t have a true playmaker or post entry passer on the team. When he does get the ball, his explosiveness and aggressive demeanor make him a magnet for drawing fouls. As his ball-skills continue to improve, he’ll be able to utilize his terrific first step to take people off the dribble and draw fouls that way as well. At the free throw line, he has a nice looking stroke, getting plenty of air underneath the ball, and should develop into a consistent 75%+ shooter as he continues to work on this part of his game. In transition is where Johnson might have the most success in the NBA, as the way he runs the floor combined with his outstanding quickness and leaping ability put him in a class of his own.

Johnson can also step outside and knock down the jump-shot outside to 18 feet, displaying nice elevation and a high release point, or even beyond that at times as he’s shown knocking down some 3-pointers this year. In the high post, he has a good feel for making unselfish passes, rifling in rocket passes the way he only hope would be returned to him next time down the floor.

Defensively, he is tough and aggressive, using his body well, being very physical and moving his feet extremely well. Florida State liked to front the post quite a bit, which reduced his chances of being a shot-blocking threat, but this is a part of his that we might see more out of in the pros in a traditional defense when foul trouble isn’t as much of an issue as it was in college.

As a rebounder, he is tenacious; combining both superb quickness and leaping ability with the willingness to go after anything that is even remotely in his area.

In terms of intangibles, Johnson’s are very solid. He is a very hard worker, a great competitor and reportedly an excellent teammate, being the player that his coaching staff repeatedly pointed out as their best player to have in practices.

Weaknesses
Johnson still isn’t an extremely polished player in any facet of the game besides rebounding. He can be a bit passive at times, floating in and out of the game and not maintaining his focus at all times, being a bit tentative in his decision making and struggling to stay out of foul trouble. Offensively, he still needs to add polish to his all-around game. He’s clearly still getting used to his new dimensions as a player both in terms of his physical attributes as well as the skills he’s picked up since shedding so much weight, and doesn’t quite know how to fully utilize his skills and athleticism at this point in his career. He only began to fully realize how good he is towards the end of the season, and therefore did not put up amazing numbers in college. High-level experience and a great feel for the game are still question marks for him. Despite already being a 23 year old junior, he still lacks some major polish.

Defensively, he doesn’t quite have the height or the length to be a huge presence, but this is not really an area he can afford to show too much in considering the way his team likes to front the post as well as his tendency to pick up cheap fouls. His hands are a bit on the small side, meaning he will have to work a little harder than most to be a double-digit rebounder.

Competition
Johnson was a top-30 prospect coming out of high school and a borderline McDonald’s All-American. He initially committed to Georgia, just a few hours from his home in Albany, but academic issues forced him to spend a year in prep-school first. Eventually landing as at Florida State, he showed outstanding potential initially and looked to be on his way to cashing in on a first round contract, finishing 3rd in the voting for ACC freshman of the year after two top-10 lottery picks in Luol Deng and Chris Paul. His sophomore year did not go according to plan, suffering from a severe hamstring injury that hampered him for much of the way, gaining plenty of weight and playing extremely tentatively as if he was afraid to do anything that would risk getting injured again. Physically, he was not the same, but it was mentally that Johnson struggled the most.

Despite the rumors of a new and vastly improved Johnson coming in the preseason, his junior year initially started off much like his sophomore year did, but for completely different reasons this time. Florida State’s extremely athletic guards could not or would not find a way to utilize the talent they had inside the post, and Johnson had trouble figuring out how to take advantage of his vastly improved frame.

A mediocre outing at Clemson eleven games into the season was when Johnson bottomed out, shooting 4-10 from the field, picking up 4 fouls and failing to pick up even one rebound in 30 minutes in a nail biting loss. After that, the light-bulb appeared to have come on and we saw a player intent on showing everyone that he is one of the top big men in the ACC after Shelden Williams. Behind a new offense that looked to get Johnson involved early and often, he scored in double figures and pulled down at least 9 rebounds in 10 of his last 13 games of the season, putting Florida State squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, but on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday.

Outlook
Johnson is in the draft for good after declaring and hiring an agent. After initially being projected as a 2nd round pick, he’s helped himself tremendously in early workouts and now has a very good chance of slipping into the mid-late first round. His strength, physicality, freakish athleticism, and budding face-up skills are all tailor made to the NBA private workout setting. Chicago, Indiana, Washington and New Jersey are probably the highest drafting teams that he has a good shot of landing at. What makes him intriguing is the fact that at age 23, he is ready to come in and play right away, but still has a considerable upside to continue to improve.




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In Case You Missed It...the Top Weekly Performers, 2/13-2/20
February 21, 2006
Florida State fans were in for a big surprise when their preseason games kicked off. Gone was their chubby, indecisive, nearsighted and often banged up starting center from a year ago. And in his place they got an extremely quick and strong beast with the body and hops reminiscent of Kenyon Martin.

Johnson went into the offseason thinking of transferring to another school, but came back into the fall semester with a completely new body, a wide arsenal of all-around skills and more dedication to the game of basketball than he’s ever shown before. Johnson shed 30 pounds, finally took care of his extremely poor eyesight by getting contact lenses, and hooked up with one of the top trainers in the country in David Thorpe at the 5-Star pro training center in Clearwater, Florida, which took his game and mental frame of mind to a completely different level. As you have read on DraftExpress over the past few years, Thorpe’s alumni include under the radar college sleepers-turned solid NBA pros such as Udonis Haslem, Kevin Martin and Orien Greene. This is one of the reasons Johnson is viewed as an intriguing prospect, as Thorpe’s students are far and few between and the fact that he will be training at such a well respected gym helps his stock almost right off the bat. Johnson would have to back it up himself, though, since these things don’t mean anything until he starts showing it in a real game. That’s exactly what has started to happen in the 2nd half of the season in Tallahassee.

The fact that he’s finally started to show his talent shouldn’t as much of a surprise to those familiar with his career, though. Johnson was a top-30 prospect coming out of high school and a borderline McDonald’s All-American. He initially committed to Georgia, just a few hours from his home in Albany, but academic issues forced him to spend a year in prep-school first. Eventually landing as at Florida State, he showed outstanding potential initially and looked to be on his way to cashing in on a first round contract, finishing 3rd in the voting for ACC freshman of the year after two top-10 lottery picks in Luol Deng and Chris Paul. His sophomore year did not go according to plan, suffering from a severe hamstring injury that hampered him for much of the way, gaining plenty of weight and playing extremely tentatively as if he was afraid to do anything that would risk getting injured again. Physically he was not the same, but it was mentally that Johnson struggled the most.

Despite the rumors of a new and vastly improved Johnson coming in the preseason, his junior year initially started off much like his sophomore year did, but for completely different reasons this time. Florida State’s extremely athletic guards could not or would not find a way to utilize the talent they had inside the post, and Johnson had trouble figuring out how to take advantage of his vastly improved frame.

A mediocre outing at Clemson eleven games into the season was when Johnson bottomed out, shooting 4-10 from the field, picking up 4 fouls and failing to pick up even one rebound in 30 minutes in a nail biting loss. Since then the light-bulb appears to have come on and we’ve seen a player intent on showing everyone that he is one of the top big men in the ACC after Shelden Williams. Behind a new offense that looks to get Johnson involved early and often and 5 double-doubles in his last 7 games, Florida State has landed a spot right back on the NCAA tournament bubble.

That’s only part of the reason why Johnson’s name is starting to pick up some serious buzz, though. Standing 6-9 and with a frame and the type of athleticism that most college players can only dream of, he shows most of the all-around attributes and skills you want to see in an NBA power forward--potentially at the very least.

Johnson’s athleticism was never in question even when he was 255 pounds rather than the much more compact 225 he’s today. His feet are extremely nimble, his vertical leap is off the charts (somewhere in the 40” area), and he gets off his feet as quickly as any big man in the country, often to pull down monster rebounds well out of his area. He has some very nice basic post moves, including a sweet jump-hook shot that is almost impossible to stop when he gets the ball in the post. He does a good job establishing deep position in the paint, but doesn’t see a ton of one on one situations in the paint as he doesn’t have a true playmaker or post entry passer on the team. When he does get the ball, his explosiveness and aggressive demeanor make him a magnet for drawing fouls.
He can also step outside and knock down the jump-shot outside to 18 feet, displaying nice elevation and a sweet stroke in the process, or even beyond that at times as he’s shown knocking down eight 3-pointers this year. In the high post, he had a good feel for making unselfish passes, rifling in rocket passes the way he only hope would be returned to him next time down the floor.

In terms of weaknesses, Johnson still isn’t an extremely polished player in any facet of the game besides rebounding. He can be a bit passive at times, floating in and out of the game and not maintaining his focus at all times, being a bit tentative in his decision making and struggling to stay out of foul trouble. He’s clearly still getting used to his new dimensions as a player both in terms of his physical attributes as well as the skills he picked up over the summer, and doesn’t quite know how to fully utilize them at this point in his career.

Defensively he doesn’t quite have the height or the length to be an amazing shot-blocking presence, but this is not really an area he can afford to show too much in considering the way his team likes to front the post as well as his tendency to pick up cheap fouls. The clinic for footwork and quickness he put on Tyler Hansbrough in the UNC game a few Sundays ago, fronting and denying him any touches altogether in the last 10 minutes of the game should have been well noted by NBA scouts. He was well on his way to a career best game on the road at Duke two weeks later, giving Shelden Williams all he could handle with 13 points and 11 rebounds in his 14 minutes on the floor, but was shot down by the overzealous ACC refs who called one of the worst technical fouls we’ve seen all year (all 3 refs were eventually suspended by the ACC for the call), sending Johnson packing to the bench after the double foul.

Johnson has continued that excellent momentum over the past 9 games, scoring in double figures every time out, averaging nearly 10 rebounds per game, and shooting 80% from the line. As his stock has risen in the eyes of scouts, questions have arisen regarding his intents about the draft this year. Turning 23 just a few weeks ago, he isn't getting any younger any time soon. Right now he appears to be 50/50 on whether to declare or not, mostly depending on how he finishes up the season. If Johnson can find a way to lead FSU to the NCAA tournament and his stock continues to rise, he will certainly test the waters and go workout for 5-7 teams drafting in the mid-late 1st round. If the feedback is lukewarm, it appears that he will return to school.
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