Friday, November 20, 2009

In the Spotlight: Wesley Johnson

Wesley Johnson
Position: Small Forward
Ht: 6-7, Wt: 205
Hometown: Corsicana, TX
College: Syracuse
Class: Junior
DOB: 7/11/87


  • Extremely long arms which he uses effectively on both ends of the court
  • Very athletic / terrific hop / quick bounce off his feet
  • A natural scorer that has the potential to put up big scoring outbursts on any given night.
  • Plays well in transition, does a great job getting out and filling the wing and uses his athleticism to finish.
  • Good shooter with deep range – more comfortable on a catch and shoot… Doesn’t need much room, as he’s able to hit while being contested. (Needs to continue improving from the outside, as he’s done - primarily off the bounce.)
  • Crashes the glass on both ends – despite his skinny stature, he’s able to use his length and hops to secure rebounds.
  • Defensively, his length causes problems as he does a great job closing out on shooters, creates deflections, and blocks a lot shots - showing great timing.


  • Very thin frame
  • Not very physical – tends to avoid contact
  • Must improve his ability to breakdown the defense off the dribble – doesn’t look to penetrate to the basket
  • Ball handling has to improve (struggles going left) – which will allow him to penetrate with more consistency.
  • Needs to stay active and keep running off screens / slashing to the basket – at times, he finds a spot and waits for the ball to rotate over
  • When establishing position in the post, he needs to fight harder and do a better job sealing his defender.
  • Court Vision - Doesn’t create many scoring opportunities for others – he’s a scorer that looks for his own offense.


Having sat out last season, transferring from Iowa State (22 yr old, Jr.), Wesley Johnson is making up for lost time in his first few games with the Orangemen.

Despite his slender build, Johnson has an enormous wingspan which he takes full advantage of. Combined with his super athleticism and Johnson creates a tough match-up for anyone at the college level. Offensively, he’s able to just elevate and shoot over the defense, or come off a screen and hit on a catch and shoot. In transition, Johnson looks as if he’s gliding at times and he’s a solid finisher on the break.

However, when isolated one-on-one, Johnson hasn’t shown the ability to break down the defense and get to the rim, or the propensity to create offense for others. Adding this component would make Johnson much less predictable and really help him create more space, by forcing the defense to play off him a bit.

Additionally, adding another 15 – 20lbs of muscle mass would also help play a huge role in Johnson’s development. He’s naturally lean and will always have a thin stature, but putting on more weight will give Johnson confidence to mix it up inside… mainly finishing after contact, fighting for rebounds, solidifying position on the block and sealing his defender, etc…

Overall, Johnson has a lot of upside and there’s something to be said of a tremendous athlete that can stroke the ball from deep. As he continues to improve his consistency from the outside, he’ll only get tougher to guard. He’s definitely a 1st round talent and with a big year, should move higher up the draft boards.