Indiana Signee Robert Johnson Named 2014 All-Metro Player of the Year
April 9, 2014
BY ERIC KOLENICH
The season hadn't begun, but Robert Johnson already was making headlines. It was September, and the Benedictine senior had just made his commitment to college. He picked Indiana, one of college basketball's most storied programs, over a host of other offers, including Virginia and North Carolina.
With that commitment came an expectation to excel at the high school level. And, in the past season, Johnson didn't disappoint.
He averaged 24.5 points and 6.4 rebounds his senior year, leading Benedictine to a 25-7 record. He was named all-state and received honors from nearly every tournament his team attended. Johnson gets one final accolade before he packs his bags for Indiana: 2014 All-Metro player of the year.
"I did a little bit of everything for us this year, and we had a pretty good year," Johnson said.
In addition to bearing the scoring load for the Cadets, Johnson led the team in rebounding, often initiated plays as point guard and defended the opponent's best player. Even when that player was Devin Robinson, Christchurch's 6-foot-8 forward who is committed to Florida.
"He just had such a great year when it comes to everything he did," Benedictine coach Ryan Marable said. "This year, he was really like the alpha."
When Johnson was a junior, Benedictine started four seniors destined for Division I schools. He was the only starter coming back for another year. At the end of his junior year, Marable said, he began to resemble the player he is today.
He led the Cadets on a run to the Virginia Independent Schools state championship. Then he performed strongly in the postseason Alhambra tournament.
"He kind of started his senior season then," Marable said.
His game snowballed in the spring and summer, when Johnson joined the Boo Williams travel team. His performance there attracted the attention of Indiana and the other high-major schools.
But once he chose a college, would he remain committed to his high school team? When big-time basketball players make their college decisions, sometimes it's hard to remind them there's still a year of high school left.
But Johnson never put one foot out the door. There was a single practice before the season, Marable said, were Johnson needed to refocus. The coach had a chat with his player. And from then on, the senior played as he needed to.
"Once the season started, once the game started," Marable said, "he was focused on winning basketball games."
Added Johnson, "I think (committing) took off some of the pressure of recruiting, so that was good. I could go out there and play free."
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