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Louisville basketball preview: David Johnson player spotlight

The Louisville native figures to play a key role once he returns from injury.

Player Spotlight: #13 David Johnson

Class: Freshman

Position: Guard

Height: 6’5

Weight: 210

Hometown: Louisville, KY (Trinity)

It’s always exciting when a local kid plays for the Cards, and that’s what we have with David Johnson, who comes to us from Trinity High School. Despite missing a few games late in his senior season with a knee injury, he did come back to lead Trinity to the KHSAA State Championship and he was named MVP of the Sweet Sixteen and was also a Kentucky All-Star. For the season, he averaged 16.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and four assists per game.

Speaking of injuries, Johnson had surgery in July to repair a torn labrum in his left (non-shooting) shoulder. At the time, the rumble around campus was about how well Johnson was playing in practice and that he was pushing for serious playing time at one of the guard spots right from the start. With the depth that the Cards have in the backcourt, the news was more of a bad thing for Johnson and his development than it was for this team to start the season.

How long will we have to wait to see Johnson make his debut? The original timeline in July was 4-6 months, which would be November-January. At ACC Media Day on Tuesday, Chris Mack said that Johnson saw the doctor the other day and his timeline to be back on the court and practicing was six weeks. Depending on when that was, let’s just say that takes us to around mid-November. So while it is within that original timeframe that we saw, it is encouraging to at least see it on the front end of that and not delayed at this point.

After the opener against Miami, the non-conference schedule is very manageable (to say the least) until December 3 against Michigan. That is the eighth game of the season. So maybe Johnson comes back around game five or six and can begin to knock some of the rust off before the meat of the non-conference schedule (Michigan, Texas Tech, Kentucky) and before the rest of the ACC season.

Johnson can play at either guard spot, but with the likes of Fresh Kimble, Darius Perry, and Ryan McMahon, I would not expect him to come back from injury and be expected to run the point. The Cards will probably have him play off of the ball and get comfortable on the floor and in the rotation. He hit 5 of 7 three pointers in the state championship game last season, so he can knock down big shots in the big moments.

He will bring very good size to the guard spot. At 6’5, it’s easier for him to see the floor and he has good vision and can pass the ball well. His frame also allows him to get into the paint and either shoot the mid-range shot or get to the rim.

Here’s to hoping for another successful career for a player from Trinity that will be wearing #13, much like his cousin, Ray Spalding.