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.
Robert Johnson Set to Announce; Big Recruiting Weekend at UConn; Recruiting Rundown (UPDATED)
One of the top shooting guards in the nation will come off the board today.
Robert Johnson, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound combo guard from Chesterfield (Va.) Benedictine School, will announce at 3:30 between Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State.
Carolina is perceived to be the leader but is recruiting Johnson as a two guard because they have point guard Joel Berry already committed. The other schools perceive Johnson as more of a combo guard.
“[North Carolina] said they’re looking to add a shooter so that’s somewhere I think I could play,” Johnson told SNY.tv this summer.
Yet he also said that he wants to work on his point guard skills going forward.
“If I want an opportunity to play this game after college, that’s something I’ll probably have to do,” Johnson said.
The question is whether Johnson is willing to give that up to play at Carolina along with an already loaded class that includes Berry, Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson. Also, if he picks the Heels, that could knock them out of the Rashad Vaughn Sweepstakes.
As for Indiana, they missed out on Brooklyn Lincoln two guard Isaiah Whitehead on Thursday when he chose Seton Hall. Indiana was Johnson’s first official visit and he likes them as well, even if they’re not perceived as a leader.
Florida State is a longshot, but FSU coach Leonard Hamilton told Johnson he could play some point there.
“Coach Hamilton, he really wants to let me play point guard coming in,” Johnson told SNY.tv this summer. “That’s something I want to do in college, play some point. He’s like it’s an opportunity for some scoring to come in. They lost a lot of their scoring from the guard spot so that’s something I could come in and do.”
Virginia is the local school and coach Tony Bennett’s club would have to beat out a couple of traditional powers for Johnson.
BIG RECRUITING WEEKEND AT UCONN
It’s no secret that UConn has had a tough go of it so far this summer in recruiting.
The Huskies swung and missed on point guard Josh Perkins (Gonzaga), big man Paschal Chukwu and forwards Abdul Malik Abu (N.C. State), Paul White (Georgetown) and Terry Larrier (VCU).
Still, Kevin Ollie’s club hosts two big-time prospects this weekend in recent Louisville decommit JaQuan Lyle of Huntington (W.V.) Prep, Canadian power forward Ray Kasongo of Phase 1 Academy in Arizona and former Maryland pledge Sam Cassell Jr. of Chipola (FL) College.
In terms of Lyle, the issue for UConn is that Lyle has said he wants to play in college with Chicago Curie big man Cliff Alexander, and UConn isn’t recruiting Alexander.
The two are set to visit Memphis together Oct. 18, and will also take separate visits to Kansas.
Speaking of Alexander, the 6-9 Kasongo actually got the better of him and his Mac Irvin Fire teammate Jahlil Okafor one day this summer in Las Vegas when he went for 24 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocks while playing for Grassroots Canada.
“It was just an intense game,” Kasongo told SNY.tv of the game this summer. “The atmosphere was great. There was a lot of people. There was a lot of college coaches. I just felt like I had to show everyone I that I can compete against anyone and against the best.”
Asked if he felt he made a statement, Kasongo said: “Yeah, I feel like I did pretty great. The statement I tried to leave was that I could compete with anyone.”
Kasongo, who models his game after Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, has no other visits set right now, but Oregon, LSU and Florida State are among those who have been tracking him.
As for Cassell Jr., he has already visited Missouri and Marquette, and will reportedly trip to Louisville next weekend following the UConn visit.
OTHER WEEKEND VISITS:
**Florida gets its shot at one of the premier players in the Class of 2014 when Houston St. John’s wing Justise Winslow visits. For more, read here.
**UCLA gets Winslow next weekend and hosts Los Angeles Loyola 7-footer Thomas Welsh this weekend.
**Indiana hosts point guard Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn, who finishes up his visits after tripping to Minnesota, Oklahoma and Michigan State.
**Minnesota hosts forward Josh Martin and point guard Riley LaChance this weekend. The 6-7 Martin has visited Florida State and will also trip to Oklahoma State next weekend.
**USC is hosting Oregon small forward Kameron Chatman after he tripped to Michigan and Oregon. Arizona is up next weekend.
**Rutgers will host 2015 Roselle Catholic guard Isaiah Briscoe on an unofficial.
**Ohio State will host 6-5 Tyus Battle, a 2016 shooting guard from Gill St. Bernard’s. Battle may also visit Michigan, Syracuse and Villanova soon, his father, Gary Battle, told SNY.tv.
**Iowa hosts Dom Uhl, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Point Pleasant (N.J.) Beach, who is also considering Temple, Miami, Iowa and BC. He visits Temple next week.
**Georgetown hosts Ben Bentil, the 6-foot-8 Bentil out of Middletown (DE) who is also looking at Miami and Providence.
**Notre Dame is hosting 6-foot-8, 175-pound forward Devin Robinson from Christchurch (Va.) School. Robinson has three more visits planned. The Irish also host 2015 Iona Prep small forward Matt Ryan, who will also visit BC next weekend.
**Butler is hosting former Miami-bound shooting guard Adonys Henriquez. Read more about it here.
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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.