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Is IU’s Robert Johnson ready for a slump-breaking effort?

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 04:18 pm

Can Robert Johnson regain his shooting mojo? He’d better if Indiana (15-12) is to win at Iowa (14-13) on Tuesday night, and end the season on a crucial winning streak.

The junior guard has been a steady presence since arriving on campus, but life has been tough the last four games. He’s just 9-for-39 from the field, and 3-for-21 from three-point range. He’s scored a total of 22 points, which is not what you want from a guy averaging a career-best 13.2 points. He’s also averaging 4.3 rebounds. That, too, is the best of his career.

He’s been pushing to regain his form, shooting extra with associate head coach Tim Buckley.

Assistant coach Rob Judson expects Johnson to have a big impact down the stretch.

“He has not made shots in the last couple of games,” Judson said, “but he’s still our leading three-point percentage shooter in Big Ten play.

“He’s constantly in the gym. He’s constantly shooting.

“Shooters will go through those slumps. It’s just like a hitter in baseball. Rob has been positive. He works on his form. Last year Nick Zeisloft went through that, and broke out of it. We’re looking forward to Rob breaking out of this. Once you see a couple shots go in, the basket gets real wide.”

Iowa is a pressure team that figures to double team IU center Thomas Bryant a lot. What can he do to play his way out of it?

“It’s recognition,” Judson said. “He has to keep head up to see the double coming, then make a good positive play on the escape of the trap. He has to stay relentless with those fundamentals.”



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