Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Men's Basketball: Prairie Stars on guard to go far

Keymonta Johnson already knew University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball coach Matt Brock quite well and his penchant for man-to-man defense from their time together at Missouri Baptist University. When Brock decided to make the move from National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to NCAA Division II and replace former UIS coach Bill Walker this past offseason, Johnson wanted to come along.

“When he came here, I was like, ‘Why not?’” Johnson said of Brock, who spent the previous four years at MBU. “He knows the game of basketball. He’s a numbers guy. I just trust and believe in him. He knows what to do and how to put players in the right position to win. It’s all about winning, so I trust coach Brock.”

Johnson, a Decatur MacArthur High School graduate, knows he made the right decision. The 6-foot-3 junior transfer is one of the team’s top scoring threats and the Prairie Stars’ leading rebounder, averaging 13.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. “This is definitely the right place because everybody on the team plays hard,” Johnson said. “They want to win.”

The Prairie Stars are off to one of their best starts since joining the D-II ranks in 2009 and set a school record 22 3-pointers in their 108-71 rout against Oakland City University on Saturday, Dec. 7.

This article appeared in The State Journal Register on December 17, 2019.

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