Que Johnson, one of the most highly ranked college basketball recruits to ever sign with Washington State, has always been enormously talented.
He just hasn’t always been very good.
Unlike most four-star prospects in the highly scrutinized world of prep basketball, Johnson was something of a late bloomer. While some of his peers had been scouted since elementary school, Johnson wasn’t even one of the best players on his eighth-grade team.
“I was kind of bad,” Johnson said. “I just shot 3s. I couldn’t shoot and I was kind of chubby.”
The wing grew out of his baby fat, developed a sweet shooting stroke and easy athleticism, turning into a versatile scorer who turned down scholarship offers from Gonzaga and Washington to be the man at WSU.
But because of his late start, Johnson never learned how to be the offensive focal point in high school and his inconsistent past has yielded an inconsistent present. Oh, he’s shown glimpses of that talent. When DaVonté Lacy missed time with a burst appendix during the 2013-14 season, Johnson, just a redshirt freshman, became the team’s scoring threat and hit double figures in 13 games.
But he regressed last season, only reaching double-digit scoring in six games, though he opened the season with a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) at UTEP.
Johnson spent the offseason training long hours in Michigan and Los Angeles so that he can be a consistent, versatile scorer for the Cougars. Just like Lacy.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.