JaJuan Johnson couldn't believe it when he was told he was named to the Associated Press preseason All-America team Monday.
"It just shows how far I've come since I've been here," he said in a statement. "I couldn't do it without my teammates. I'm just really excited."
Johnson averaged 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds and also was a member of the Big Ten's All-Defensive team last season.
He's considered by many national experts to be the best big man in the country, and his presence on the preseason All-America team would seem to cement that. My co-worker LaMond Pope is one of the 65 media members who vote for the AP poll, and he picked Johnson among his five.
Coach Matt Painter has raved about the work Johnson did during the offseason, adding muscle and developing his skills, and thinks Johnson has molded himself into the best post in the nation.
"This is a great honor for JaJuan because it shows how far he's come over the course of his career," Painter said in a statement. "It's scary to think that he's only really scratched the surface of how good he can actually be. It's a tremendous honor to be included on that team, and JaJuan deserves it for all the hard work he's put in and the first-class way in which he conducts himself."