Power forward / Center Brice Johnson
Brice Johnson is a four-year player for the North Carolina Tar Heels. However, he did not start for the Tar Heels until his junior season.
Johnson was kind of a late bloomer with the Tar Heels. He was solid role player for them in his first two seasons, but foul trouble often limited his effectiveness. He was an essential part of the Tar Heels’ offense in the final two seasons though.
He nearly averaged a double-double in his junior season and averaged almost 17 points and 11 rebounds in his senior season. He improved his field goal percentage each year with the Tar Heels that concluded with a 61.4% field goal percentage in his final season.
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Johnson was good post scorer in college, but he does not have a diverse set of post moves. He only has three or four post moves that he specifically relies on. He scores a lot of his points off of offensive rebounds, which is becoming much more of a desired skill set in the NBA.
Defensively, Johnson needs to improve in some areas. He needs to bulk up more in order to better defend NBA players in the post. Luckily, he does have enough athleticism to guard big men out on the perimeter. The other problem with Johnson is he lacks court awareness on defense. He has trouble noticing what the other players on the court are doing.
Scouts and analysts think Johnson needs to develop some semblance of a jump shot, but overall they think he has good offensive traits that will translate to the next level. NBA coaches will need to help Johnson get stronger, and Johnson needs to develop better court awareness on defense.
CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish recently had the Pacers selecting Johnson in his most recent mock draft. Here is what Parrish had to say about why the Pacers would select Johnson.
"Johnson was a monster while averaging 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds and leading North Carolina to the national championship game. The quick leaper improved his stock enough to where going in the top 20 of this draft isn’t out of the question. And for the Pacers, he would provide needed frontcourt depth."
The soon-to-be 22-year-old prospect would not be a starter for many NBA teams immediately. Right now, Johnson would be a bench player for the Pacers if they selected him. However, he could definitely develop into a starter for the Pacers in the future.
Johnson did have a pre-draft workout with the Indiana Pacers already so he is probably on their draft board. Johnson has a good overall skill base, but there are guys who are better offensively and defensively than him. While Johnson would be a nice pick for the Pacers at No. 20, he should not be their first choice.