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Markell Johnson, efficiency machine

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at N.C. State Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Markell Johnson’s big 27-point performance against Auburn on Wednesday night was just the latest example of his growing importance to NC State as a scorer. Johnson has slowly taken on a bigger burden in that regard, and he’s also never been better.

Johnson’s shooting numbers this year are plain silly: he is making 72.7% of his twos and 50% of his threes. His 73.9 effective field goal percentage is the best on the team by a wide margin. He is establishing these career-best shooting figures while also taking quite a bit more shots, which is not easy to do, the weak non-conference schedule.

In his first two seasons, Markell was highly deferential, and last year averaged only 15% of the team’s shots while on the court. This team needs more, and he’s obliging—he is now attempting nearly 23% of the shots.

His shooting has come a long way since his freshman year, when he made only a quarter of his 48 three-point tries while hitting only 45.9% of his twos. His career averages in those two categories are up to 52.6% and 38.9%, respectively. A good-shooting Markell makes a world of difference.