In the second round, the Indiana Pacers selected Alize Johnson out of Missouri State. The senior power forward averaged a 15 and 12 double double for the Bears, helping them to an 18-15 record before bowing to Southern Illinois in the MVC Tournament.
Missouri State’s lone postseason win came against Valparaiso, an 83-79 victory led by Johnson. He finished with 22 points and 19 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass, including six assists in the win.
Johnson at 6’9” was fifth in the nation in rebounding and showed himself a capable three point shooter, though his percentages were down from .388 to .281 this past season. He still shot over 50% from the floor, however, being named First Team All-Missouri Valley.
He took part in the pre-draft workouts with the Pacers and talked with Pacers.com, giving the team a glimpse of a guy ready to come in and get to work. Evan Morris broke down Johnson further on Indy Cornrows, noting his growth spurt within college:
The 6’9” forward has spent two years in the Missouri Valley Conference putting up similar numbers in both of those years. He averaged 15.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in his latest season. Johnson, who was just 6’4” in his senior year of high school, has grown 5 inches in college but has maintained his fluidity. He is unusually fluid for a power forward, but probably not skilled enough to play minutes at the small forward position. Johnson is a solid rebounder but needs work on the defensive end.
Johnson will no doubt be part of the Summer League squad where there will be more of an opportunity to see what he has to offer against some of the elite young talent in the NBA.