St. Francis transfer looks to make immediate impact

Published by The Rocket, Author: Stephen Cukovich - Assistant Sports Editor , Date: November 9, 2017

After appearing in 22 games for Division I St. Francis University as a true freshman, then redshirting the following year, redshirt sophomore guard Madison Johnson will make her SRU debut when the team kicks off their season Friday at Virginia State University.

“Madison Johnson probably has the chance to make the biggest impact,” SRU women’s basketball head coach Bobby McGraw said regarding first year players on the team.

In the 2015-16 season Johnson recorded 45 points, with 18 coming in her first collegiate contest against the University of Cincinnati to earn her Northeastern Conference (NEC) Rookie of the Week.  Johnson was a 38 percent field goal shooter and a 26 percent shooter from three point land during her time at St. Francis.  She was able to tally five rebounds, six assists, three steals, two blocks, while compiling a total of 108 minutes during her freshman season.

When it comes to differences between SRU and St. Francis, Johnson says she is more personally accountable for getting outside practice and reps with the Green and White than at St. Francis.

“You get out of it what you put in,” Johnson said.  “Definitely hard work is needed and getting extra shots off on your own, that’s the main difference.”

The Knox, Pa native attended Keystone High School where she lettered four times in basketball and three times for volleyball with all-state honors for basketball her junior and senior years.  She helped lead her team to a District 9 title in 2012, while also earning District 9 Rookie of the Year honors her freshman year, Player of the Year her junior season, and a three time All-Conference honoree.

“She’s a great teammate, which only goes so far if you’re not skilled, but she’s highly skilled,” McGraw said.  “She has a tremendous work ethic and she is hands down in the best physical shape on the team.”

The newbie to the team will get immediate playing time alongside fellow sophomore guard Brooke Hinderliter.  Over the past few weeks Johnson has been able to become more familiar with her new teammates and coaches which comes with the territory of being a transfer, but Johnson says she has been welcomed nicely to the SRU family.

“It’s been very awesome meeting new teammates and getting a chance to play with them,” Johnson said.  “We are really clicking and playing well together.  I’m really excited just to see how everything works out.”

For Johnson, transferring to The Rock wasn’t a hard choice being that it is closer to home for her and she still gets that same competative atmosphere she had during her time in Division I.

“Slippery Rock has always been a school I’ve watched throughout the years,” Johnson said.  “The PSAC I know is a very competitive conference and so I just thought that Slippery Rock was fitting for me.”