Indiana basketball: Xavier Johnson needs to be better for the Hoosiers

Indiana's Xavier Johnson
Indiana's Xavier Johnson /

Four more days. Indiana basketball opens the season against Morehead State on Monday and we continue our roster countdown with our senior guard, Xavier Johnson, next up. Coach Woodson needs Johnson to play better and smarter this season for the Hoosiers to succeed.

Xavier Johnson | 6’3″ 200bs | Senior Guard

We got to witness a little preview as to what I’m talking about in the exhibition game against Marian University on Saturday. Johnson started alongside freshman guard, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and was clearly outplayed by his younger teammate. “X” had four points, three assists, and two turnovers in 24 minutes and shot just 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-3 from three-point range. Honestly, he looked like the most selfish player on the court for the Hoosiers most of the time.

Last season, Johnson showed flashes of what he could do for Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers, with multiple 20-point games and a passing clinic put on against Purdue with 12 assists and just two turnovers in March.

One of his best games of the season came at the best time, the Big Ten Conference Tournament Semifinal game against Iowa. Johnson registered 20 points and nine assists, the third-highest scorer of the entire game, behind only Keegan Murray (32 points) and Trayce Jackson-Davis (31 points).

When Johnson is at his best, Indiana basketball is at its best. When he’s playing out of control and selfish, the Hoosiers are not a fun team to watch.

The opportunity is there for Xavier Johnson to lead this Indiana basketball program to one of its best seasons in quite some time. Pairing up with Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson this season, Johnson can cement his two-year legacy in Bloomington with a strong “last dance” for the Hoosiers.

Projected 2022-23 stats: 36 GP, 36 GS, 25.3 MIN, 10.2 PPG, 4.9 AST, 3.1 TOV, 42 3PM

Next. Jordan Geronimo is the Hoosiers battery power. dark