Jamal Johnson is one of Auburn’s three upperclassmen on this year’s roster, and as a veteran, his role will have to expand in the Tigers’ young backcourt.
Primarily a catch-and-shoot specialist off the bench in season’s past, Johnson shot 38.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. Johnson led the Tigers in three-point percentage.
During this offseason, though, Johnson has worked on his skills to contribute more to the team.
“I got a chance during quarantine to work with my dad, working on my defensive slides and trying to get better laterally, so I can be able to defend better,” Johnson said. “I’ve also been working on my in-between game, my midrange, and getting to the rim, so I’m just not a catch-and-shoot person because that’s easier to guard. So I’ve been working on stuff like that, trying to evolve my game a little bit more.”
With many young shooters on the squad, having Johnson perfect his shot and the mid-range game will help Auburn stay diverse on offense.
However, shooting 3-pointers is where Johnson is best, and he won’t shy away from a long-range shot.
“I’m preparing and working every day to shoot a lot of 3’s,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to work every day to put myself and our team in the best position to be successful. I’m going to shoot 3’s. I’m going to defend. I’m going to do whatever it takes for the team to win. So, whatever my role is, that’s how I’m going to fight and do it as best as I can.”
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As the most experienced upperclassman on the team, Johnson will have to lead the Tigers anyway he can. Playing under and learning from Jared Harper, Bryce Brown and Samir Doughty have taught Johnson how to be a leader and how to lead a team to victory.
“All those guys before me who paved the way,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to learn from them and trying to incorporate their leadership into mine so that I can be a leader of our team to help us win games and get better every day, as much as possible. I’m still learning, but yeah, I’m trying to be a leader as the most experienced player.”
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