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Justin Johnson named to All-C-USA Second team

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Adding to his accomplishments in one of the most productive seasons in the post in recent WKU memory, junior forward Justin Johnson was named to the 2016-17 All-Conference USA Second team on Monday, as announced by the league office.

Johnson, a 6-foot-7 product of Hazard, Ky., is WKU’s first postseason all-conference selection since T.J. Price (first team) and George Fant (second team) were selected in 2014-15.

WKU Hilltoppers forward Justin Johnson (23) is pictured dunking during a Feb. 19, 2017, game against UAB at E. A. Diddle Arena. (Photo by Steve Roberts-WKU Athletics)

Johnson was also named a second-team preseason all-conference selection this season.

The versatile forward leads WKU in both scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (9.2 per game), and he leads Conference USA in both rebounding and double-doubles (13). Johnson ranks in the top 40 nationally in the latter two categories.

In conference play, Johnson has increased his production with 15.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Over his last 12 games, he’s averaging 16.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Johnson broke into WKU’s 1,000-point club this season and now ranks 39th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,105 career points. He could become the first Hilltopper to average more than 14 points and nine rebounds since Nigel Dixon in 2003-04, as well as the first to average 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists since Mike Odemns in 1974-75.

Johnson could also become the first WKU player to lead the program in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons since Chris Marcus in 2000-02.

His 56.2 percent field goal percentage in league play this season leads C-USA, and his 55.8 percent career percentage would currently rank seventh in WKU history.

Perhaps most impressively, Johnson has expanded his game to become a 3-point threat. He’s made 25 of 64 attempts from behind the arc this year (39.1 percent) after netting just one 3-pointer over his first two seasons.

Johnson could become the first WKU player to shoot at least 50 percent from the field and make at least 20 3-pointers in a season since Orlando Mendez-Valdez in 2006-07.

But as usual, Johnson has made his name on the boards. He’s the first Hilltopper with at least four games of 14-plus rebounds in a season since Dixon in 2003-04.

His 13 double-doubles this year are the most in a season for a Hilltopper since Juan Pattillo’s 13 in 2010-11, and his 23 career double-doubles are the most for a WKU player since Sergio Kerusch tallied 24 from 2008-11.

Johnson leads the eighth-seeded Hilltoppers (15-16) into this week’s 2017 C-USA Men’s Basketball Championship presented by MetroPCS in Birmingham, Ala. WKU will open play against ninth-seeded UTSA in the first round at 11:30 a.m. CT Wednesday at Legacy Arena, and the game will be streamed on Campus Insiders.

C-USA will announce its specialty and individual awards later this week.

How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter, @WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.

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