Scouting video: Robert Johnson vs. Christchurch school

  • 06/13/2014 8:41 am in


Over the summer, Inside the Hall will be taking a look back at some of 2014 signee Robert Johnson’s top games from his 2013-2014 season at Benedictine College Preparatory.

(Previously: Scouting video: Robert Johnson vs. St. Benedict’s)

As a senior at Benedictine, Johnson averaged 24.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals as the Cadets finished 25-7 against a schedule with talented teams from across the country.

In the second installment of our scouting video of Johnson, we look back at a January 31 meeting with the Christchurch School, a college preparatory academy.

Benedictine prevailed on the road, 78-72, as Johnson finished with 25 points (9-of-19 shooting), five rebounds and three assists. The Christchurch School featured forward Devin Robinson, a former IU recruiting target and Florida signee.

This video, available after the jump, has a little bit of everything to give you a more complete look at Johnson’s game including made shots, some missed shots, a few defensive plays and a few assists as well.

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  • VAHoosier

    Great little pocket pass at about :50. And love seeing some of the defensive possessions. Thanks for posting!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Top-notch job Alex. The more we see this guy, the more of a complete picture we can have of his game (and the more there is to like!).

    The Christchurch School Seahorses…that’s great.

    He had the ball at the end of the game and closed out the win from the line. He always looks confident when shooting. He appears to be a better ball handler than I initially thought. I was perhaps most impressed by the three or four possessions we saw with him guarding Devin Robinson. We know Robinson is talented (and bigger than Johnson) but he appeared to want absolutely no part of Johnson’s pressure defense.

  • VAHoosier

    Quick question for some of you folks with more b-ball savvy than me: the release on RJ’s jumpshot looks a bit deliberate to me. Anyone else think he may need to work on speeding that up a bit. He does release nice and high, so may not be much of an issue at the college level. But I imagine pro scouts would want to see him speed that up.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I don’t know if I’m more basketball savvy than you but I’ll take a stab. I don’t think he has a slow release (as you say, he also releases high). That being said, I think he might be a bit deliberate (not really “slow” though) when lining up for a shot and that could allow defenders to close out on him before he gets his shot completely off.

    Personally, I don’t think it will be a problem at the college level. As for pro scouts…I don’t have any idea what issues they’d have with his shot but at this point in his career, I don’t think Robert or any of us fans need to worry about it. I’m certainly no expert on what NBA scouts look for in shot mechanics though.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I love his philosophy on defense. He will be a valuable guy for us for at least the next few years. Even with an absolute mismatch, he was all over Robinson.

  • This kid is an excellent pick up for Tom Crean and his staff. Very frustrating not to have quality size to add to what seems to be an excellent backcourt.

  • slightly confused at first on who was who. The picture on the post shows him as #4, but he appeared to wear #10 in the video while someone else with a similar build wore #4.

    His release looked a little slower than I expected, but I’m probably being too critical. Several months ago I was concerned that he couldn’t jump high enough to dunk when I saw a highlight clip of him in a breakaway play finishing with a layup instead of a dunk. Clearly I was wrong about that.

  • ForeverIU

    I definitely sense something odd and can’t put my finger on it. It seems like he needs to exercise more economy of movement and subtlety in his shooting. And maybe having more of a poker-shrewd mindset, lol. There were a few clunkers reminiscent of Jeremy Hollowel. I hope our coaching staff takes care of this fast.

  • PocketHoosier

    Ok. Not saying I have more basketball savvy, but hopefully I can help address your concerns by providing my opinion. When working off the dribble, his pull up mechanics are fine, but his catch and shoot mechanics are wrong. He stands too upright prior to his catch and then goes through a “lock and load” motion that is likely what you are seeing that looks slow.

    Particularly, the miss on the wing right in front of the camera at 2:28. Notice how he catches the pass high, but clutches the ball, brings it down, then rises up. That shooting motion is consistent with a hit at 2:40 and a miss from the corner at 1:53. From a fundamentals standpoint, the corner miss is on the passer. He put the ball on the spot too early, so Johnson’s feet didn’t contact the ground at the same time the ball hit his hand. He was still in his turn.

    The hit at 2:40 was pretty solid, but yes, he has a fairly protracted “lock and load” motion as you can see from the side.

    The miss at 2:28. I watched that several times because it was the closest to the camera. From his footwork, he was going through a two foot stop but it was wayyy too much motion for a catch and shoot. One or several of the following happened:

    1) He caught the pass too close to his body and didn’t “brake” it coming into his hand. That can cause you to have to clutch the ball as he does.

    2) He was too upright when he caught the ball and crouched after the catch instead of before the catch. That will delay the shot

    3) His shooting rhythm was off. The ball hitting his hand and his feet hitting their spot should happen in synchrony. It could be that he’s subconsciously running through a mental checklist and waits before he receives the pass to go through his shot, but those are not proper catch and shoot mechanics.

    For proper catch and shoot technique, you’re “supposed” to catch the ball and go straight up into the air. Body loaded, arm and elbow already in shooting position.
    Ball touches the hand, feet leave the ground, arm extends; easier said than done.

    HIT: The “crossover jab step step back pull up” from the top of the key @ 00:42 ->Those mechanics are money in the bank if he can get away with the push off, even if his footwork was a bit sloppy (too many indecisive “pitter patter” steps) The shooting motion was a thing of beauty though.

  • PocketHoosier

    No matter how much work he puts in, every shooter is vying for second place for “quickest release in college basketball” because we all know that Rick Pitino has the quickest release in college basketball.

  • PocketHoosier

    Like I said in another comment, there are two “biggest” problems with his catch and shoot mechanics and they will be a problem at the collegiate level; of what severity, it is hard to say.

    1) His feet are too slow. On a two step stop, the feet are supposed to arrive at the spot at the same time the ball does. He likes to catch the ball, then move his feet to the spot, then crouch, then shoot.

    2) He clutches and lowers the ball after catching the pass instead of moving straight up into his jumper. This is likely due to a synchronization issue with getting everything in order for a catch and shoot jumper.

    Those mechanics are fine and dandy on an open court, but at the collegiate level, his slow release means that he will have to fight through a lot of contested shots that really should be uncontested shots.

    He should be crouched ready to receive the pass with his hands up in shooter’s position, his feet should be moving to his stop as the pass is in the air timed so that they ideally hit the ground at the precise moment that the ball touches his hand, and the hands should brake and guide the ball into position as the feet leave the ground to go up into the jumper. He catches upright, hops to his stop, crouches and lowers the ball and then rises up.

    It’s slow; very slow. When you hear someone say “He’s a catch and shoot shooter” there is a specific meaning to it.

    Johnson is not a catch and shoot shooter…..yet.

    He doesn’t have the mechanical problems on his dribble pull ups; different animal.

  • Snookafly

    This was a really nice sample video. Agreed on the defense. A guard should have an edge on a forward that far out, but RJ’s intensity really shows. He looks like he takes it personally and that’s a very good thing.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Would your brain explode if you had to analyze John Shurna’s shot?

  • PocketHoosier

    …please don’t make me