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Durand Johnson working on game and rehab in preparation for the season

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Durand Johnson is fighting his way back in hopes of being ready to start the season with the Panthers in November. Johnson is on track to do just that and when he gets back on the court, he wants to be more than just an outside shooter:

"Last year, before I went down, I was trying to mix up my game, not just be a spot-up shooter and get out in transition, but also take guys off the dribble, get to the rack, create for me as well as my teammates," he said. "So this year, coming in, I’m not just looking forward to just spotting up. I will be getting out in transition but I want to get the ball off the rebound, and I’m going."

...

"...I know ball handling is going to be the key," he said.

If Johnson is able to do some of that, he'll become even more valuable to the team. His value is already pretty significant with the ability to score from the outside, but he's known mostly as a shooter. Doing some other things like getting to the basket would, in theory, give him even more opportunities to shoot three-pointers since defenders would need to respect his ability to drive.

First things first, though. Johnson will need to work his way back into the rotation as head coach Jamie Dixon said in that linked Pitt News article. If Sheldon Jeter plays at small forward, it could be quite a competition with he, Chris Jones, and maybe even Cameron Johnson all getting minutes there to start the season. Shooting guard could be an option for Johnson, but with Cameron Wright eating up 31 minutes a game there last year, playing time could be difficult to come by at that position as well.

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