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November 20, 2013

Johnson showcases 'true point guard' skills in win

Ronnie Johnson entered Purdue's fourth game as its leading scorer, averaging 15.0 points largely because his trademark quickness allowed him to get to the rim consistently and make baskets efficiently, at a 60 percent clip.

But, in those first four games, he'd nearly led the Boilermakers in shot attempts, too.

Not bad to want to establish himself as a scorer, but considering his position, not bad to share the ball either.

So he showcased a balance in Game 4 against Eastern Illinois.

Johnson's offensive game revved up early - he scored all 10 of his points in the first half - but his attention wasn't focused on it.

He had eight assists, one shy of his career high, in only 24 minutes in Purdue's 83-55 victory.

"I thought I played like a true point guard," Johnson said. "I found my open teammates and scored the ball when I needed to. I thought I did pretty good."

Johnson contributed to eight of the team's first 10 points, scoring four and dishing a pair of assists for four more.

He had the flashy assists - running the break and dropping off a no-look to A.J. Hammons for a dunk for the first points and adding another no-look dish to brother Terone Johnson in the second half that led to a layup.

But he also did his job, too, attacking Eastern Illinois' zone enough to kick the ball out to a waiting Kendall Stephens on the wing for a three-pointer or feeding Hammons and Jay Simpson in the post for points.

"I thought he was great," Coach Matt Painter said of Johnson's night. "He had a couple stretches there where I took him out after he was playing really well, just to get Sterling (Carter) and Bryson (Scott) in because those guys deserve to play minutes. But Ronnie was great. Having eight assists and one turnover was huge."

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2013. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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