4:59 PM EST, February 9, 2012
There's nothing that motivates a player in the summer like a lack of respect.
"I had D-I schools looking at me, but I had no offers," said Elkhart Memorial point guard Todd Johnson. "So it motivated me very good because it tore me down a little bit, but at the same time, it made me work harder."
"I think Todd did have a little chip on his shoulder to a certain extent," Memorial coach Mark Barnhizer said. "And I think that's one of the reasons that he's improved. Because he felt like he had to. Had to prove himself. So he made that big jump."
Improved to the point where Johnson is now averaging 20 points a game, which leads the Northern Lakes Conference and is top 10 in the entire area.
"My (biggest) improvement is in my jump shot," Johnson said. "My first two years playing basketball, my jump shot wasn't improved. So, my last year, I got it improved."
The offer finally came from Northern Kentucky, a Division II school that's moving to Division I next season. And Johnson is excited for the chance to be a part of that."
"It was a relief," Johnson said. It was a big chip off my parents' shoulders and a big chip off mine. So going into senior year, there's nothing better than knowing where you're going next year."
"Because he got his recruitment out of the way, got it done before the season started, I think it's allowed him to relax as a player," Barnhizer said. "And he's having by far his best year because of it."
And his academics certainly haven't slipped either.
"He's kind of the total package in that area," Barnhizer said. "He's one of the talented kids in our program, that has taken his schoolwork seriously. It's going to be what I think is a great road for him in the future."
But the only road he's thinking about right now is the one to Indianapolis.
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