Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By CHIP MILLERSpecial to ZAGSBLOGFRISCO, Texas — Stanley Johnson, the No. 12 player in the Rivals 150 for the Class of 2014, is considering adding another big-time program to his list.
“One school that just offered me is Kansas,” the 6-foot-6 small forward from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei told SNY.tv at the Nike EYBL stop here.
“I’m talking with them a little bit. I got a little bit of interest in them.”
Johnson’s current list consists of seven schools — Arizona, Kentucky, Florida, Oregon, Duke, UCLA and USC
Kansas is attempting to get in to the star prospect’s recruiting late, something that caused Johnson to raise a question to Jayhawks head coach Bill Self.
“We had a little talk and I was wondering, ‘If I was the type of a kid that you wanted that bad, why haven’t you called me before this?’ Johnson asked Self.
Johnson said Self told him: “I really haven’t seen you, we’ll I’ve seen you, but I really haven’t seen you. Last week you really impressed me and I feel like you’re our No. 1 prospect.”
Johnson showed some of the game that impressed Self on Saturday. After a slow first half in the morning game, he lit up the stat sheet in his normal fashion, ending Day 2 at the EYBL here with an impressive 19.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
In his first game, Johnson was a no-show until the 2-minute mark of the first half, when he drained back-to-back 3-pointers and two foul shots to pull his Oakland Soldiers within 11 points at the half, eventually finishing with 17 points and 11 boards.
So what intrigues Johnson about Kansas?
“Just having that talk and seeing how he wants to use me in the game, that’s really the biggest thing that attracted me to the school,” he said.
Johnson said it’s too early to officially place the Jayhawks on his current list, but it’s definitely not out of the question.
“I wouldn’t say I’m putting them on my list,” he said. “I want to talk to them a few more times and make sure it’s right, but they’re a really good school and I’m really glad I got an offer from them.”
For now, teams like Kentucky, Arizona and Florida know their competition for Johnson, but that could change quickly and the space at the top could get a little smaller, especially when a heavyweight like Kansas knocks on the recruiting door.
And for now, Stanley Johnson is listening.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.