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For week ended October 24, 1999 Posted 31 Oct 1999

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The 'other' Johnsen is ready to play at U.

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."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information