Arizona Wildcats basketball: On Johnson's NBA travels, the U18 rout and other notes

2014-06-21T12:30:00Z 2014-06-21T12:40:01Z Arizona Wildcats basketball: On Johnson's NBA travels, the U18 rout and other notesBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Nick Johnson may get picked in the first round of next Thursday's NBA Draft, in the second round or not at all.

But he was reminded Friday when he visited the Sacramento Kings that sometimes it doesn't matter all that much. Sacramento, after all, has both a former No. 60 pick in Isaiah Thomas and a No. 2 in Derrick Williams -- and Thomas averaged 20.3 points per game and 6.3 assists last season while Williams averaged 8.5 points.

"Thomas is one of many examples" like that, Johnson said when asked about the difference in both players' draft picks and where they have been since then. "After the draft, you gotta go to work from there. It’s something you've been working for your whole life and you've gotta keep working on it. After Thursday, the grind starts again."

During his interview with the Sacramento media, Johnson was asked about his relationship with Williams, who left UA in 2011 as Johnson was coming in.

"He stated the whole Sean Miller era off right and I kind of took it from there," Johnson said, later adding: "He was in a different situation than I am, being the No. 2 pick."

So, of course, is Aaron Gordon, who has worked out for teams in the 4-8 range and just might get a look from Philadelphia (3), now that Joel Embiid is slipping (though Draft Express projects the Sixers might be able to get Gordon when they come back around at No. 10).

"He has the easy life," Johnson said, saying he spoke to Gordon recently. "He asked me how many workouts I had. I think I was at 12 then. He was like, `Man, you been going.' But he’s doing good. I have the utmost confidence in him going into this year. He does everything. We wouldn’t have been nearly the team we were this year if wasn’t for him. whoever gets him is going to be a good player for years to come."

The entire interview with Johnson can be found here on the Kings' website.


Apparently, standards are high for USA Basketball's U18 team: It beat Uruguay by 98 points but Billy Donovan wasn't too wild about some third-quarter defensive lapses.

"Coach let us know about that," incoming Arizona freshman Stanley Johnson said in the Colorado Springs Gazette's game story. "We can't afford to give up six threes in one quarter later in this tournament."

The full box score is on USA Basketball's website. USA will play Mexico today at 4:30 p.m. Arizona time. The games are being streamed for free on fibaamericas.com.


Scott Howard-Cooper has Gordon going No. 7 to the Lakers in his NBA.com mock draft.


Athlon Sports has Lorenzo Romar and Herb Sendek on the hot seat next season.


Wayne Tinkle has two former head coaches on his new OSU staff.


Colorado will host Auburn for its season opener.

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