Michigan Basketball: How Wolverines get more from Brandon Johns

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Michigan basketball assistant coach Phil Martelli addressed the media Tuesday and talked about what needs to happen with Brandon Johns.

Listening to Phil Martelli talk about basketball is always a treat and on Tuesday, he joined the local media to talk about the Michigan basketball team.

Martelli dropped lots of interesting nuggets. He address the development of Hunter Dickinson and how Austin Davis beat out the freshman in camp.

Martelli, the second-year assistant under Juwan Howard at Michigan basketball, also talked about Franz Wagner and basically everyone in the program.

One guy he mentioned was Brandon Johns and basically, he said the Wolverines need more out of Johns, which is very true and here’s what he said about the struggles of Johns this season:

"“He has to breathe. And that’s not a smartass answer, he’s trying to play this game right now holding his breath. And he’s got to loosen up. He’s got to be that guy, he got 20 in the biggest stage that there could be, Madison Square Garden. But right now, even in practice sessions. He seems to me to be tensing up, and Juwan Howard is not a coach that causes you to tense up. So I’m going to make it a project to make sure that Brandon remembers to breathe and relax.”"

It hasn’t been all bad for Johns this season but he has been inconsistent and in seven games and 11 minutes per night, he’s averaged 4.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and an assist per game.

Johns is 10-of-17 from the field overall and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. So when he’s attempted shots, he’s been making them, but over the last few games, he hasn’t made much impact.

And some of his advanced numbers are just atrocious. He actually leads the Wolverines (among regular players) in fouls per 40 minutes (6.3) which is even higher than Austin Davis before he was injured. He also leads all the regular guys in most turnovers per 40 minutes.

Johns has been known as being a stellar rebounder, but he’s sixth on the team in total rebounds per 40 minutes and rebound percentage, which is troubling to say the least.

But to be fair, Johns just hasn’t seem to have found a role on this team. Michigan has been trying him some at the backup center position and it’s hasn’t been all that successful yet.

At some point, with Austin Davis out, Hunter Dickinson is going to get into foul trouble and Michigan will need solid minutes at the five from Johns or Terrance Williams.

Coming into the season, I viewed Johns as a borderline starting quality player based on what he did last season when Livers was out. And if he can find himself, he can surely be that kind of player again the Wolverines.

dark. Next. 5 Takeaways from Wolverines 7-0 start

Hopefully, Martelli can get him to relax and get back to being Brandon Johns.