“I have no idea,” said Frank Martin, when asked what was going on with point guard Ty Johnson.
Johnson scored 21 points in a loss to Baylor two games ago. He had seven points in a win over Cornell and zero in a loss to Charlotte. It mimicked his start last year, when he had 18 in the season-opener, then 13 over the next two games.
Johnson blamed himself for the Baylor loss, saying he was showcasing bad leadership. It’s the kind of thing seniors say, and he’s the Gamecocks’ only senior – take the heat because you’re the guy the team has to follow. It will all pay off later on.
That works if you’re still producing the same way. Johnson isn’t, and it’s heaping more pressure on Marcus Stroman – who is playing very well but is a freshman, prone to freshman mistakes – Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell.
Notice is a shadow of the player he was over the summer and Thornwell is trying as hard as he can. He had 20 points against Charlotte, but two after halftime. The Gamecocks flow through their guards, and the guy at the center of the attack has been missing for two games.
Many games to go, but for Johnson, it’s a ticking clock on his college career. Whatever’s bothering him, he’s got to get it solved.