National Signing Day is here for college basketball, and the top players in the 2014 class are signing their National Letters on Intent today. The recruiting process has been a long and tiresome for these players and the schools that have recruited them, and today is a day of jubilation for some coaches, while seeing the players they worked so hard to get go elsewhere can be a major punch in the gut.
Mater Dei five-star forward Stanley Johnson was planning to announce his college decision Friday and on a live announcement on ESPNU, he committed to the Arizona Wildcats. Johnson had narrowed his list to the Kentucky Wildcats, Arizona Wildcats, Southern Cal Trojans, Oregon and Florida Gators. The 6-foot-7 small forward has already taken official visits to UK, Arizona and USC, which are considered the three favorites in his recruitment.
Johnson, who is rated among the nation’s top 10 high school senior basketball players, averaged 19.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last season. Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News got a sense of what Johnson could do this past July:
“Is there anything Johnson doesn’t do well? He’s a high school player with the body of a five-year NBA vet. He’s an excellent athlete who plays with high energy. He’s got a pretty jump shot that, OK, still needs to become a bit more consistent. He has a high basketball IQ and strong sense of how to lead a team, one reason Mater Dei has won consecutive state titles in California.
“Johnson is ready to play at the college level now. To become a significant college star, which definitely is available to him, he needs to become a steady 3-point shooter who habitually hits in the 38-percent range.”