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.
Karron Johnson, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound wing forward who has decommitted from Oklahoma State, is now leaning toward playing in the Big East at West Virginia beginning in 2011.
“It’s almost 75 percent sure that he wants to go to West Virginia,” said James Black, Johnson’s mentor. “We have a four-year relationship with [assistant] coach Larry Harrison at West Virginia. He’s a longtime friend of mine.”
Johnson, 19, is currently at Panama City (Fla.) Gulf Coast Community College and will have two years of college eligibility remaining once he graduates next year.
Black said Iowa State, Cincinnati, Kentucky and N.C. State were other possibilities, with Iowa State currently positioned second.
Johnson is close friends with 6-9 forward Eric McKnight of Bowie (Md.) Princeton Day Academy who has committed to Iowa State.
Iowa State associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger recruited McKnight and is involved with Johnson.
“Yeah, I would like for him to come there [to Iowa State],” McKnight said of Johnson. “But it’s his decision.”
Battling maturity and other issues, Johnson has attended three prep schools — Mount Zion, Patterson and Laurinburg — and two junior colleges — Moberly (Mo.) Area Community College and Gulf Coast.
At Moberly, Johnson was voted NJCAA Region 16 Player of the Year after averaging 22 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
A native of Richmond, Va., Johnson decommitted from Oklahoma State in order to be closer to his mother, Karen Johnson.
Said Black: “He’s been away from his mother for so long, he’s leaning toward going to West Virginia because he wants his mother to see him play.”
Johnson may visit West Virginia in June and a source close to the program said it could be a good fit because of Johnson’s “intensity” and “how well he competes. He’s maturing a little bit.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.