Indiana Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard believes rookie Alize Johnson has what it takes to be a dominant rebounder at the next level.
Johnson averaged 13.4 rebounds per 36 minutes for the Pacers during summer league. He ranked Top 10 among all players with 43 total rebounds in Las Vegas. Only three qualified rookies (including lottery picks Deandre Ayton, Wendell Carter Jr. and Mitchell Robinson) were able to average more rebounds per game than Johnson (8.6) during the tournament.
While in college, he led the Mountain Valley Conference in rebounds per game two years in a row. Last season, his 11.6 rebounds per game ranked No. 5 overall in the NCAA. His total rebound percentage (21.6 percent) while in college ranked second-best in the history of the MVC.
He had five games with at least 19 rebounds during the two years he played for Missouri State. In fact, he had at least 14 rebounds in nearly 30 percent of the games he played for the school.
When he participated in the Adidas Nations Counselors Tournament in 2017 against future NBA players, he was the overall leading rebounder. He took home MVP honors ahead of players like Michael Porter Jr., Mikal Bridges and Robert Williams.
The former Missouri State forward had a strong performance during the NBA Draft Combine scrimmages well with 10 rebounds in one game and nine the next.
While he is not expected to play much if at all this season, perhaps some time in the G-League and learning from veterans on the Pacers’ roster will help him become one of the next great rebounders for Indiana.