Huggins: Kedrian Johnson’s defense “really key” against UAB’s top scorer

Gold and Blue Nation

Huggins calls Johnson a "heck of a defensive player"

Kedrian Johnson had one of the best games of his West Virginia career Saturday against the UAB Blazers.

Johnson scored nine points, all of which came after halftime, and dished out four assists. He also drew five fouls in the game, and was 7-for-8 from the free throw line.

The offense Johnson provided was meaningful, as he, Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman combined to score 34 of the Mountaineers’ 39 second-half points.

But what Johnson did on the defensive end was what stuck out to Bob Huggins.

“I thought the job that [Johnson] did on [Jordan] Walker was really key,” Huggins said. “He’s longer, so he could bother [Walker] a little bit with his length. And he’s one of the few guys in the world that’s as fast as he is. So, I thought that was, for us, a really key matchup.”

Johnson held the UAB leading scorer to just 13 points, which is three points below his season scoring average.

“I think [Johnson], with his length, bothered him. [Walker is] a heck of a player. He’s really good. We didn’t do a very good job on him early,” Huggins said. “That was a heck of a player against a heck of a defensive player. That was a really good match up.”

Johnson also picked up two of West Virginia’s seven steals in the contest. His second takeaway led to a fast break bucket on the other end by Johnson, which was his only made shot from the floor.

Johnson played to a plus/minus of 11, meaning WVU outscored UAB by 11 points with him on the floor. That was tied with Pauly Paulicap for the best plus/minus on West Virginia Saturday.

Walker’s plus/minus was -1. He committed seven turnovers.

Walker was also held to just 1-for-9 from three-point land, and his 14 missed shots were the most from any game this season.

Credit to Johnson on the defensive end.

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