Chris Johnson is entering a senior season looking to re-write the record books. The long and athletic wing-man has a knack for knocking down treys and skying for the boards. With one year of eligibility left, Johnson has already soared into 36th place in UD’s all-time scoring list with 1,069 points. He reached the 1,000 point milestone in the final regular season game at George Washington to become the 43rd member of this exclusive club.
Johnson is also poised to break into UD’s top 15 all-time in career rebounds. He has 642 career rebounds, including 232 career offensive rebounds. He already ranks 8th in school history in offensive rebounds. On top of that, Johnson’s 167 three pointers made places him 6th in school history.
Johnson joined the Flyer recruiting class of 2008 from Columbus Brookhaven High School as an unheralded recruit, but quickly earned a reputation as a high-flying, explosive scorer and a rebounder with a non-stop motor. He also earned himself a spot on the 2009 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team and 2011 Honorable Mention Team.
The athletic 6-foot-6 forward with an 82.5-inch wingspan proved he was far more than a one-hit wonder as a sophomore, being named the winner of the A-10 Chris Daniels Award (most improved player) and Most Valuable Player of the NIT. One of the best rebounders of his size in the country, he was one of just three players to have a 20-point-20 rebound game in 2009-10.
Johnson’s development shows no signs of letting up. The senior captain worked hard on his ball-handling in the off-season in order to draw fouls and take advantage of his 82% career FT%.
Chris Johnson earned himself a spot on the Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention Team after a great junior season. The smooth, left-handed forward, started all 36 games during the season with averages of 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. For the season he compiled a total of 428 points and 215 rebounds while playing a team-leading 1,070 minutes (29.7 mpg).
Johnson also led the Flyers in steals with 31 (.86 spg), free throw percentage (.830) and three-pointers made with 77. He finished second on the team in scoring, rebounds and offensive rebounds with 76. He also tied for second on the team in blocks with 14 and ranked third in three-point percentage (.379). He scored in double-figures in 24 of the Flyers’ 36 games and led the Flyers in scoring 13 times. He also recorded four double-doubles for the season.
In the third game of the season at Ole Miss, Johnson broke out with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds while playing a career-high 43 minutes. Against East Tennessee State, he knocked three treys and netted 15 points. Against Central Connecticut State, Johnson recorded his second double-double of the season with an 18 point and 10 rebound effort. That game started a streak of 12 consecutive games where Johnson would score in double-figures. At Old Dominion, he scored a season-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting and hauled in nine rebounds. Against Winthrop, Johnson scored 16 points and snagged eight rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds. In the following game at Seton Hall, he recorded his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. On New Year’s Day against New Mexico, Johnson shot 4-of-7 from downtown on his way to a 15 point and seven rebound performance. He opened the Flyers’ Atlantic 10 conference slate with 13 points and six rebounds at Saint Louis. At Xavier, Johnson netted 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. In the following game against Fordham, Johnson scored 12 points, grabbed five boards and dished out a career-high five assists. Johnson produced back to back 14 point games at Charlotte and home to Duquesne then followed that with a 22 point and nine rebound effort against Xavier.
He ended the season on a strong note by netting double-digits points in the final four games. He produced his fourth and final double-double of the season, in the A-10 tournament against Xavier with 12 points and 10 rebounds. In the A-10 semifinal match-up, Johnson reeled off 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Against Richmond in the A-10 Championship game, Johnson netted 11 points and hauled in six rebounds. In the finale at College of Charleston, he scored 14 points and snagged eight rebounds.
Chris Johnson enjoyed a great sophomore season for the Flyers, which earned him the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Chris Daniels Most Improved Player Award and the NIT MVP award.
He broke out with a double-double in the first game of the season against Creighton with 18 points and 15 rebounds. In the opener of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off against #19 Georgia Tech, Johnson contributed a game-high 19 points on 7-13 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. He also scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals in the win at Miami. He recorded 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting at George Mason, and chipped in 12 points against Boston. Johnson scored in double figures in the first eight games of the season.
In the New Year’s Day game at New Mexico, he scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals. In that game, he went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, including a perfect 3-of-3 in the last minute. Johnson recorded his best game of the season in a home victory over Duquesne with a career-high of 26 points and a career-high of 20 rebounds. He was the first Flyer to record a 20-20 since Ryan Perryman, who also had 26 points and 20 rebounds at home against Duquesne on Feb. 25, 1998. After Johnson’s performance against Duquesne, he was named A-10 Co-Player of the week.
At Xavier, he tallied 10 points and 16 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive. In the home win against Xavier, he went for 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. In the second match-up of the season against Duquesne, Johnson recorded another 20-point game as he tallied 21 points, including 6-of-13 from three-point range.
Johnson played his best basketball of the season during the NIT championship run. In the Flyers’ five NIT games, he scored in double figures four times. In the first-round win over Illinois State, Johnson had 13 points to go along with nine rebounds. In the quarterfinal victory at Illinois, he had 18 points and seven rebounds, including 9-of-10 from the foul line. Johnson had perhaps his best game of the tournament when he recorded 22 points, nine rebounds and four steals in the semi-final victory over Ole Miss. In the NIT championship game victory against defending National Champion, North Carolina, Johnson scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Overall, Johnson finished the season as the second-leading scorer and rebounder for the Flyers with averages of 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds. He led the team in free-throw percentage (.848) and three-pointers made (66), was third in minutes played (24.1 per game), third in steals (34), second in double-doubles (3), and scored in double figures in 26 of the Flyers 37 games.
Johnson was perhaps the most under-the-radar member of UD’s 2008-09 freshman class, but he was the one who was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Newcomer Team and earned UD’s Thomas M. Luppe Memorial Award which goes to the team’s top freshman.
He led the Flyers in FT% (.772, 61-79), was second on the team in rebounding (5.2), and was fifth in scoring (6.3) even though he played just 16.2 minutes a game.
Johnson broke out with eight points and five rebounds against Delaware State in 13 minutes. He scored in double-figures for the first time in his Flyer career with 14 points over Bethune-Cookman, adding four rebounds, three steals, an assist and a block.
He had his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against No. 15 Marquette. Johnson tallied his second double-double of the season with a team-high 20 points and 12 rebounds versus Coppin State in his first career start. He had 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with eight boards against UNC Greensboro. Chris scored nine points, eight rebounds and the go-ahead shot with 1:05 to play in the win over George Mason, and hauled in seven rebounds at Toledo. Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds at Duquesne.
Before being named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on January 18 for averaging 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, and shooting .545 (6-11) FG and 1.000 (6-6) from the line for the week, he shot 4-of-5 from the floor and 7-of-8 at the free throw line to finish with 17 points and eight rebounds against St. Bonaventure. He led the Flyers with 13 points and seven rebounds, all coming in the first half, after hitting 4-of-5 shots from the field, both 3-point attempts and all three free throws versus Charlotte. Johnson was just short of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards against Richmond in the A-10 Quarterfinals.
Following a senior year in which Johnson averaged 26.2 points on 63 percent shooting, he was awarded Columbus All-District First Team and Player of the Year honors. Those numbers also earned Johnson a spot on the AP All-Ohio First Team in Division I and caught the attention of ESPN scouts, who ranked him the 39th best small forward in the nation. Rated one of the “10 Most Improved” players in Ohio by Prep Spotlight after his junior year, Johnson averaged 24.4 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a game for Brookhaven. Johnson was an Associated Press Second Team Division I All-Ohio selection (current Flyer Chris Wright was on the first team). He stepped up his game as a junior after a solid sophomore season where he was the only player among the team’s top ten players who was not a senior. After he moved into the starting lineup in mid-January, Brookhaven advanced to the OHSAA Sweet Sixteen. A four-year varsity player, he played on teams that were a combined 80-17.