Cameron Johnson is a 6’8.5” bonafide sniping 5th year senior from North Carolina. Johnson is off to a scorching hot start, and is one of the most efficient seniors in college basketball. A former transfer from Pittsburgh (also his hometown), Johnson has continued to improve his game year-over-year, and clarified to scouts the translatability of his prospect archetype to an eventual role in the NBA as a stretch forward.
Tale of the Tape
NBA Range / Gravity
Johnson’s preparatory footwork, picture-perfect shooting pocket, and simple, lightning quick release make him an elite catch-and-shoot threat from well beyond NBA range, even in the face of a solid closeout. He is consistently balanced, and does an excellent job of fluidly one-two stepping or hopping into a squared shooting stance based on the off-ball action and angles leading to his shot attempt.
Johnson ranks in the 98th percentile among D1 players in the half-court as a three point shooter (1.556 PPP). He also ranks in the 93rd percentile (1.446 PPP) in half-court set catch-and-shoot situations, with minimal guarded/unguarded variance.
In the clips below, we highlight Johnson’s fluid gather into his shooting motion, compact form, and high/quick release from NBA range, stemming from several actions:
As you can see, although his NBA role projects to primarily a catch-and-shoot specialist, Johnson’s shot mechanics remain consistent in all situations. This grants him the shot diversity to knock down NBA range threes when a pick-and roll defender goes under the screen, in a late clock catch-and-shoot scenario, off the bounce following a dribble-hand-off, and more.
As we indicated in the ‘Positional Skill Breakdown’ above, Johnson is not an explosive quick-twitch athlete. Having grown up playing combo guard and hitting his growth spurt later in high school, Johnson does have ample lateral quickness to stick with fours and fives, as well as some wings that lack burst, but it is certainly not his strength. He often gets caught in too upright of a defensive stance on the perimeter, which puts him at a disadvantage when matched up against quicker players.
He does, however, use his length to his advantage to disrupt passing lanes and recover when a driver gains a first-step advantage on him. This is a notable improvement from prior years. This season, Johnson’s hands have been much more active as on-ball defender than in years past, making passing angles more difficult for his match-up. Johnson has also improved his persistence as a passing lane disruptor when one pass away, and has a knack for using his length to spur deflections or errant passes.
Although this length has yet to translate to notable rim protection aptitude or help-side instincts, it has manifested itself in Johnson’s steals (1st on the team) and rebounds (2nd on the team).
In the clips below, we highlight Johnson’s functional use of his positional length to disrupt passing lanes and make impact defensive plays:
Johnson’s shooting range and mechanics paired with his positional length translate to a well-defined stretch forward role in the NBA. He has shown an ideal balance of confidence as a shooter and self-awareness to play within himself, know his role, and cater his decision-making to his strengths. The PBC weighted consensus rating slots Johnson as a late 2nd round / Two-Way prospect. If Johnson continues at this rate of efficiency and effectiveness throughout ACC conference play, he certainly has the potential to climb toward the middle of the 2nd round.
*Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports and Sports-Reference.com.
Jon Chepkevich serves as the Director of Scouting for the Professional Basketball Combine. In his role at STATS LLC, Jon reviews the financial terms/profitability of customer contracts, develops NBA minutes projections, and records live statistics for NCAA and NBA games. When he isn’t in the office, Jon enjoys Chicago’s competitive pick-up hoops scene, dissecting NBA draft prospects, and performing salary cap analysis.
Follow Jon on Twitter @JonChep.
James Fox serves as a Scouting Intern for the Professional Basketball Combine. James attends the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he is a student-athlete on the men’s basketball team. He plans on graduating in May with a Sports Management degree. Outside of the classroom and off the court, James enjoys attending Wisconsin sporting events with friends and family as well as watching plenty of NCAA and NBA basketball.
Follow James on Twitter @JamesFox23.