2015 Watch: White & Johnson

8 Feb
Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson

Fans, coaches and players of the Greater Miami Conference, which is made up of ten of the biggest schools in the state of Ohio, all located in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, know just how physical play in the league can get.

For a league known for being good in basketball, but probably even better in football, it takes size, strength, athleticism and toughness to go along with basketball skills to survive in the GMC.

Two programs that have personified that gritty style are the Fairfield Indians and Lakota East Thunderhawks. Friday night, Triple Double Prospects traveled up to Lakota East to watch these two teams face-off, in what was promised to be a physical battle.

Fairfield ended up taking control of the game in the second half, en route to a 55-36 win to put them into a tie for first place along with Middletown for the GMC title. However, TDP was more interested in looking past the final score and focusing on the play of two of Ohio’s top young post players.

Class of 2015 power forwards Alex White, of Lakota East, and Justin Johnson, of Fairfield, each looked like the most impressive prospect on their respective teams Friday night, building on solid junior seasons.

Johnson led Fairfield with 18 points and 5 rebounds on an efficient 9/15 from the field, while White led Lakota East with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks in shooting 6/14 from the floor.

The two did not guard each other the entire game, but there were plenty of possessions where the 6’7 Johnson was matched up directly with the 6’8 White, including one trip late in the third quarter where White elevated defensively to block a right-handed hook-shot attempt from Johnson.

Alex White

Alex White

While Johnson can wow you with his athleticism and floor-running ability, it is the energy and offensive rebounding abilities of the junior that make him an efficient scorer. A hybrid forward who is still raw offensively but has show improvement in his scoring game, Johnson has become much more of an aggressor this season, and is now looking to attack slower forwards off of the dribble from the short wing.

White is more of an all-around scorer as a guy who can score with his back to the basket, face-up and attack and really thrives at shooting the mid-range jumper. Another solid rebounder, White does a great job of using his length to keep balls alive on both ends, and plays with a terrific motor.

The thing that excites TDP the most about these two, they play hard and with a smile, as both prospects have clearly developed a love for the game and the desire to keep improving.

Johnson currently has interest from several Division I schools, and will almost assuredly attract offers by the end of the spring session of AAU ball. On the other side, White has earned scholarship offers from Wright State and multiple MAC schools, while also accumulating interest from several other mid-major programs.

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