Purdue coach Matt Painter believes his team is at its best when JaJuan Johnson is involved in the offense.
It appears his team finally agrees.
Johnson scored 21 points to help No. 13 Purdue beat Michigan 69-59 on Saturday.
In Purdue's four wins since Jan. 1, the 6-foot-10 Johnson is averaging 21.5 points. In the Boilermakers' three losses, the center is averaging only six points.
Painter said he talked to the team about getting the ball to Johnson after a loss to Ohio State in which Johnson took only five shots.
"We really put an emphasis on it," he said. "Why we would get away from that doesn't make sense."
Part of the problem against Ohio State was that Johnson wasn't aggressive in positioning himself against the Buckeyes' zone. Painter said Johnson did a better job on Saturday, consistently going over the top of Michigan's zone defenses for easy buckets.