On Sunday evening, The Daily spotted sophomore forward Brandon Johns Jr. in a walking boot on his right foot. A U-M spokesperson confirmed that Johns has a sprained ankle and the boot is mainly used for Johns’ comfort. The timetable for a full recovery is unclear at the moment.
Last season, in his freshman year, Johns played in 28 games, all off the bench, averaging one rebound and 0.8 points. Now in his second year with the team, many are expecting a breakout year for the forward.
With last season’s top three offensive producers departed for the NBA for the Wolverines, an uptick in production for Johns will be crucial for Michigan to fill its production void.
Last season, Johns’ minutes were limited due to struggles adjusting to his new position at the ‘5’ and some confidence issues on the floor. With an ankle injury possibly limiting his participation in practice, the setback could prohibit Johns from using crucial practice time to quell the concerns from last season.
Coming in as a highly-touted recruit, Johns struggled to find a role with the team. The then-freshman started the season playing back-up center to senior Jon Teske in a limited role. After struggling to adapt to the college game, a committee comprised of Johns, Colin Castleton, Austin Davis and Isaiah Livers saw time at the ‘5.’
Expected to play multiple positions this season, Johns will most likely see the bulk of his playing time come at the ‘4’ spot — sharing the responsibilities with Livers.
Johns spent all off-season in Ann Arbor working with strength coach John Sanderson putting on muscle, and according to early practice reports from new coach Juwan Howard, Johns is expected to see legitimate minutes on the floor this season.