Brandon Johns has been labeled as a potential breakout forward for the Michigan Men’s Basketball program ahead of the first season of the Juwan Howard era, but it looks like he might be on the shelf for the time being.
According to a report from the Michigan Daily, the sophomore was spotted on campus in a walking boot this weekend and U-M Athletics confirmed that he has a sprained ankle. No timetable has been given for his return to the court at this time.
“On Sunday evening, The Daily spotted sophomore forward Brandon Johns Jr. in a walking boot on his right foot,” Daily reporter Jacob Kopnick wrote. “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.”
Howard praised Johns for what he had seen during the early portion of preseason practices earlier this month.
“(He) has a beautiful shot, (he is) athletic and skill-wise he still hasn’t tapped all the way into what he has,” Howard said at Big Ten Media Day. “Once he figures that part out? Woah, this kid’s interesting. And that’s the beauty of working with Brandon and many others like Brandon, when I talk to them at the beginning of practice — great eye contact, trust, you can see I want him and I’m going to do whatever I can to help him get better.
“He knows he has an opportunity to play. We’re going to lean on him, he can be one of those stretch fours that can be able to guard a ‘2,’ ‘3,’ ‘4’ and ‘5.’ Now it’s basically picking up the concepts and learning the terminology. He’s going to be good.”
Johns, a former four-star recruit out of East Lansing, Michigan, played in 28 games last season and averaged 0.8 points per game and one rebound per contest. When he is healthy, Johns is expected to get the majority of his minutes playing the four this season, but with ‘positionless basketball’ coming, according to Howard, they feel he has the versatility to do multiple things in different lineup combinations.
Michigan still has time before the season begins with an exhibition coming on Nov. 1 at Crisler Center against Saginaw Valley State before opening the regular season at home on Nov. 5 against Appalchian State.