Johnson progressing as a player

Johnson progressing as a player

Nick Johnson has improved a ton since last season. Read on to see Sean Miller's thoughts on his progress, why Johnson believes he is better, and much more.

As each game passes, you can make a legitimate argument that the most consistent player Arizona has right now is sophomore Nick Johnson.

Against NAU on Wednesday night, Johnson hit all three of his field goal attempts while scoring ten points and adding seven assists and four steals to only one turnover. It is the type of game that Johnson has put up more than once and Sean Miller is taking notice.

"I don't say it to the detriment of the other players, because there were a lot of guys who played well tonight, but Nick was the best player on the court for us," Miller said Wednesday. "He's so comprehensive in his approach. From a defensive perspective he gets four steals, but if he had no steals he'd still be good on defense because he was in the right place. He's contagious with the way he's playing on defense.

"On offense, I thought even his one turnover was close to an assist. Seven assists and one turnover puts him at 20 assists and four turnovers on the year. Even on shots, he took what the defense gave him and he got to the line."

In fact, Miller's compliments of Johnson go far beyond what he was able to do against NAU.

"He's a fun guy to have as a teammate because he's so much about playing the right way," he said of Johnson. "He makes the correct pass, he only takes shots when he's open, and he plays hard on defense.

"He had a great off-season and he's much farther along as a player than a year ago. That's to his credit with all the work he's put in."

Johnson realizes his increased level of success and attributes it to the fact that Arizona as a whole is a better squad than last season.

"I'm a play maker," he said. "When I get comfortable I make plays and my teammates are knocking down the shots and giving me the assists."

For Johnson, being comfortable with his teammates is a feeling that is growing with each games that passes. "People are getting more comfortable playing with each other," he said. "We have a very deep team and it's going to continue to grow during the year."

Now, Johnson will have to take his assist to turnover ratio and other skills on the road to an environment that a handful of his teammates have not played in before.

"I'm excited," Johnson said. "Coach (Miller) said that it's the most exciting feeling to get a win on the road. When we got a win on the road it was the most exciting moment of the season.

"We have our young guys going on their first road trip, but we also have veterans who are ready to play. We're going to go into practice to prepare for Texas Tech and get that win."

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