Men's Basketball

Freshman Johnson struggles to find shooting stroke

Teammates agree B.J. Johnson is one of the top shooters on the team. They always mention him with Trevor Cooney.

But in Syracuse’s two exhibitions this week, the freshman wing is just 1-for-11 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range. He scored only two points — both on free throws — during SU’s 81-46 preseason finale win over Ryerson on Tuesday.

“All you can say is just, ‘Keep shooting,’” Cooney said. “He’s a good shooter. He makes shots in practice and he’ll make shots in a game when he gets his shot.”

Johnson quickly left the locker room after Tuesday’s game, but C.J. Fair said Boeheim berated Johnson for his defensive lapses against the Rams.

Twice he and fellow freshman Tyler Roberson retreated to the same side of the court on defense.

“I think he got a little frustrated today,” Fair said. “Coach got on him about a defensive assignment. He knows the defense very well. He’s got to know that if you make a mistake you’ve just got to keep it going.

“You can’t dwell on it if coach gets on you.”

After missing both of his shots in the first half — playing a team-low three minutes — Johnson returned at the 8:37 mark of the second half.

He bricked a corner 3 on Syracuse’s first possession, committed a foul at the other end of the court and missed a jumper to complete a miserable 35 seconds.

Ninety seconds later, Johnson pump faked in the corner, drove and was fouled.

He missed his final attempt of the game.

“It’s frustrating when you’re a freshman, your time is limited and you’re not making a shot,” Fair said. “I can see where he’s coming from. “

  • Michael Miller

    Hang in there BJ. Your time to shine will soon be here.

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