Entering at number three on our top players countdown is the senior center for the Akron Zips, Isaiah Johnson, who improved dramatically from his sophomore to his junior season as he bettered his field goal percentage by nearly 10% (48.4 to 58.1) as well as his total rebounds per game (4.2 to 7.4). The 6’10”, 290 lb. Cincinnati product will have to carry the Zips down low as the team has all the pieces in place for another deep run in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland as Antino Jackson will be a playmaker in the frontcourt for Akron.
At Walnut Hills (OH), Johnson made a name for himself as he was named to the All-Ohio First Team as a senior after averaging 17.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocked shots, and a 70.4 shooting percentage. He was arguably even better as a junior in high school, averaging a double-double per game with 17.3 points and 11.6 boards. Akron was the former high school defensive tackle’s lone offer, and Johnson certainly held up his end of the bargain as he is one of the premier post players in the MAC.
Johnson, who has a 7’2” wingspan, has room to grow on the offensive end as he only attempted 8.7 shots per game last season, although he does do a good job of getting to the line with a 0.69 free throw attempt to field goal attempt ratio. Defensively, he is a big part of Akron’s success by accounting for over 20% of the team’s total rebounds per game with 7.4 as well as 32.8% of blocks per game for the Zips with 1.3. If he can up his scoring to around 17 or 18 per game, that will open up a lot of different things for the guards and make Akron a really tough out in the MAC.