Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 25 Player Countdown. Each day, we publish a new article counting down the 25 best players in the Atlantic 10 this past season. Today, we feature #4 Melvin Johnson.
In his four year career at Virginia Commonwealth University, Melvin Johnson finished every season the same, playing in the NCAA tournament. Quite an accomplishment for anyone playing on a mid-major team. That is… If VCU can even be considered “mid-major” anymore. As VCU’s senior leader this past season, Johnson helped carry the team to more success and take Ram Nation to even bigger heights.
Twice in the 2015-16 season Johnson dropped over 30 points in a game. His most impressive and all-around performance, however, came on January 5th at Saint Joseph’s. The 6’4″ senior guard scored 25 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 steals. His powerful play was just enough to help lift VCU to a 85-82 road win. Beating a team like SJU (who would eventually go on to win the A-10 tournament title against VCU) certainly proved large for the Rams. As a 10 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament, VCU used this quality road win to not only make the field of 64, but also to eventually earn a share of the A-10 regular season title.
Melvin Johnson showed steady improvement throughout his VCU career and definitely saved his best for last. In his senior season Johnson scored in double figures in 33 of the 36 games. He averaged an outstanding 17.4 points per game to go along with 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists night in and night out. Johnson’s most gifted attribute clearly was his shooting. Last season Johnson shot 81% from the foul line and 42% from the floor. Not to mention the guy was an incredible three point sniper. Shooting 38% from behind the arc, Johnson had the ability to catch fire at any given time.
In his time as a Ram, Johnson helped build VCU into a household name. The electrifying scoring numbers Johnson put up in his senior season earned him a spot on the All A-10 First Team and the #4 spot in our top 25 countdown. While Ram Nation will forever remember the wins Johnson helped bring to VCU, opponents are thankful he’s finally out of eligibility. Johnson will now take the next chapter in his career and play professionally either in the NBA or overseas. One thing’s for certain though, wherever he goes, Melvin Johnson will continue punishing the opposition with his own kind of three point havoc.
Previously: #5 Tyler Cavanaugh
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