Welcome to our 2011 Villanova basketball season preview. We're going to be previewing a player per day from here on out - which will take us right up to the first exhibition game against New York Tech. Today, we preview incoming freshman Ty Johnson.
Villanova considers itself to be 'Guard U' these days - having earned the reputation with greats like Randy Foye, Allan Ray, Kyle Lowry and Scottie Reynolds. Maalik Wayns appears on the same path as his predecessors as he prepares to take the reigns this year, and he'll have another young point guard to mentor as well.
Ty Johnson comes to Villanova via recent 'Nova pipeline and Baltimore powerhouse Montrose Christian like Isaiah Armwood and Mouphtaou Yarou before him. Johnson is a consensus 4-star prospect as rated by Rivals, Scout & ESPN.
The 6'3" 185 lb. guard/forward from Plainfield, NJ is a true point guard who will do well to learn all he can from Wayns, who he'll be the primary backup to this season.
More on Johnson after The Jump.
The worst happened to Johnson this summer when he broke his foot during summer workouts almost immediately after arriving on campus. That setback cost Johnson a chance to play with the team in Europe this summer, something that Jay Wright surely wasn't pleased about.
Johnson is back to full health now though and has looked impressive to those who have seen him play. He's got a smooth stroke from the outside, but it seems to be only as a spot-up shooter. He hasn't really been able to create his own shot off the dribble yet though - not that he'll really need to immedaitely.
Johnson is a pass-first guard with a great handle. His ability to run the point should allow Wayns to play off the ball a bit more and look to score - something that Shabazz Napier did last year for UConn and Kemba Walker, allowing the latter to put together a legendary season. Don't expect that from Wayns, but it wouldn't be a shock to hear that is what Wright is thinking.
As a former high school quarterback on the gridiron, Johnson should possess great leadership skills and in time be the next great guard that Villanova has produced.
What are your thoughts and expectations for Ty Johnson this season?
When we're back tomorrow, we'll continue cycling through the freshmen when we preview Markus Kennedy.
Previous player previews: