2013 NCAA Tournament: Miami (FL) Has Already Proven They Can Survive Without Reggie Johnson
A senior, the news of Johnson’s latest injury is certainly news that Hurricane fans, or anyone for that matter aside from the Golden Eagles, did not want to hear. Johnson’s collegiate career could very well be over if Miami cannot take the region and advance to the Final Four.
Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, who is one of the more underrated coaches on the national level, is certainly working Johnson’s absence into the game plan and it will be interesting to see if the Golden Eagles look to attack both Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji early and often. Gamble and Kadji however, have proven themselves to be more than viable threats, even without Johnson in the lineup. In fact, the Hurricanes are 7-2 this season without Johnson. Miami has proven themselves in the past to be more than capable of winning without their senior forward.
The loss of Johnson, who leads the team in rebounds, will certainly impact this Sweet 16 contest. Johnson’s ability to attack the glass and finish with second chance opportunities will surely be missed. However, head coach Jim Larranaga can now go back to smaller and more quicker lineups. We saw what Rion Brown for example, is capable of producing off the bench. Brown scored 21 points in the Hurricanes’ third round victory over Illinois.
Miami (FL) and Marquette will tip-off at 7:15pm (EST) on Thursday night.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS