Provo • A week ago, after BYU earned a 60-51 road win at Santa Clara, Paisley Johnson was in the middle of the post-game lineup, sharing high-fives with the opposing team when she looked up and noticed her parents were proudly holding up a sign that simply said “1,000 points.”
The moment caught her off guard.
Johnson wasn’t aware she had been so close to hitting that milestone — she thought it was still far away — but became the 31st player in program history with at least 1,000 career points after dropping 28 points against the Broncos. She also became just the 15th junior to reach that accomplishment.
“It's something that is an accomplishment I really did want, and I knew I was going to be able to attain, it was just a matter of when,” Johnson said. “But I've had great opportunity these past two years especially to be a big scorer for this team and a lot of my points come off assists from my teammates. … That was such a big factor because I'm not the best one-on-one player, so that definitely contributed a lot to 1,000 points.”
Johnson, who is shooting 40% from the field this year and leads BYU in scoring with a 14.8 average, was the second Cougar to reach 1,000 points this season.
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Brenna Chase Drollinger racked up her 1,000th point when the Cougars hosted in-state rival Utah, Nov. 29, 2019. The senior, who is shooting 33% from the field and averaging 4.2 rebounds, now has 1,262 career points with at least a handful of games left for BYU.
The Cougars will wrap up the regular season this week with a two-game homestand, starting with Pepperdine on Thursday, before preparing for the West Coast Conference tournament. With the current league standings, BYU is set for a No. 3 seed and will earn a double-bye into the quarterfinals.
Chase Drollinger is in 21st place in the school’s all-time scoring list, but has a chance to move up a spot or two before her BYU career comes to an end, depending on how she does over the next couple of weeks.
Johnson currently has 1,016 career points.
“Obviously it's a super hard club to join and I'm just super impressed by Pais and that she's done it so early in her career,” Chase Drollinger said. “I can't wait to see what happens next because she has so much potential and she's just going to be better and better.”
Coach Jeff Judkins believes having two of his athletes join the 1,000-point club shows just how good both Johnson and Chase Drollinger are as players. Yet, looking back at when he recruited them, he probably wouldn’t have thought that they would both hit that milestone.
When he saw them in high school, he believed both of them could earn All-WCC recognition. And they have.
Chase Drollinger and Johnson were two of three Cougars who were selected to the 2019-20 All WCC preseason team. The third player was Sara Hamson.
At the end of the regular season last year, Johnson was selected to the All-WCC second team, while Chase Drollinger was selected to the All-WCC first team.
“Those two have been a joy to coach,” Judkins said. “They compete. Their games have changed so much where they're more of a complete scorer. … Both of them have really worked hard on becoming that kind of a player. When you have that, you can run a lot of good things for them and give them a lot of good opportunities.”
While this season is close to wrapping up, there's still another year for Johnson to look forward to.
Entering this season, Johnson set her sights on earning WCC Player of the Year. If she doesn't get it, though, she'll just move the goal over to next season.
When it comes to scoring, Johnson doesn’t believe she can hit 2,000 career points (a feat only five former BYU players have ever accomplished), but is eyeing the 1,500-point mark.
“Other milestones, for this year and next year, I want to make it to the NCAA Tournament and next year I want to win our conference,” Johnson said. “Not just the tournament, but the conference. I think those are definitely some goals that this team can obtain and really run with.”