A new era of Duke men's basketball is on the horizon, and with it comes an almost entirely new roster. In this series, the Blue Zone analyzes film on each of the Blue Devils' new signees and transfers for the 2022-23 season. We previously looked at Kale Catchings, Ryan Young, Jaden Schutt, Mark Mitchell, Dariq Whitehead, Dereck Lively II, Christian Reeves, Kyle Filipowski, Tyrese Proctor and Jacob Grandison. Finally, let's take a look at Max Johns:
An under-the-radar addition to this upcoming season’s Duke squad is Princeton graduate transfer Max Johns. Johns joined the team in June, a late addition that head coach Jon Scheyer hopes will provide some much-needed veteran leadership to a very young roster. Johns is one of four transfers that will make their Blue Devil debut this year, joining Kale Catchings, Ryan Young and Jacob Grandison.
The fifth-year guard may not be an instant difference maker but will certainly provide a reliable option behind fellow guards Jeremy Roach and Jaylen Blakes. Johns appeared in every game for the Tigers in 2021, even earning the starting nod in one contest. Johns proved himself as a steady shooter as well, as he shot 45% from beyond the arc last season. This mark will give Scheyer confidence in throwing Johns into action if necessary.
One of Johns’ strengths is his ability to use his athleticism to attack the basket as a 6-foot-5 guard. This is an invaluable trait for a guard, as supreme athleticism and high vertical may allow him to go up above the talented big men that play in the ACC. This ability is also used frequently in converting transition opportunities. In the clip below, Johns gets out on the fast break and finishes above the rim with a thunderous dunk.
Duke traditionally loves to have an abundance of capable three-point shooters at all positions, and Johns certainly fits this bill. Check out this clip from the Blue Devils’ summer scrimmage where he maneuvers to get open and buries a triple at the top of the key.
Johns can also get on the defensive side of the ball. As a bigger guard, he is able to use his lengthy wingspan to affect shots and protect the rim. Check out this clip where a block from Johns on one end of the floor leads to a dunk in transition.
Johns will provide an older presence in the locker room that this team could desperately need when the going gets tough in conference and tournament play. It will also be intriguing to see how having an older guard to practice against will benefit the development of freshmen Tyrese Proctor and Jaden Schutt. Duke fans will hope that Johns’ experience and ability from deep can help the Blue Devils to another impressive season and further the development of their young core.
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