Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
The 'other' Johnsen is ready to play at U.
Deseret News 20Oct99 S2
By Mike Sorensen: Deseret News sports writer
Ute fans are excited by this years line-up of four returning starters,
all-league forwards Hanno Mottola and Alex Jensen, center Nate Althoff,
off-guard Jeremy Killion, top reserve Tony Harvey and several
outstanding newcomers such as point guards Trent Whiting, Gary Colbert
and freshman Nick Jacobson.
Coach Rick Majerus said, "When you're gone, you think nobody remembers
you at all." "I feel good about my game," Jeff said. "I still need to
get in top game shape. I can't say how long it will take. Alex
(Jensen) said it takes around eight months." Johnson returned home five
pounds lighter than when he left at 198 pounds but has grown no taller
than his 6'5".
"His work ethic is great, and his attitude is terrific," said Majerus.
"But he's not the player he was when he left. It's going to take some
time." "It's hard to be gone two years working on the God squad and
come back home and hit a guy. For two years you're riding a bike and
preaching Jesus Christ, and then you're supposed to put a hard screen on
a guy. I've had so many returned missionaries, I know what it takes.
It's a tough adjustment."
"He wants me to crash the boards every time," adds Johnsen. "He won't
beat Al (Jensen) out, I know that," Majerus said. "My expectation of
him is that he defends and rebounds and runs the floor hard."
Jeff is looking forward to next June when he and Britton can have a
chance to play together like they did at Murray High. "Everybody talks
to us about playing together," he said. "I'm excited to play with him
again, very excited."