Johnson Emerges As A Big Timer

Isaiah Peterson has been coaching basketball 40 years. Does that grab your attention? It should and when Peterson calls Ravern Johnson the best prospect he's ever coached, well, that carries some weight.

It's time to introduce a young man capable of becoming one of the big time rankings risers in the Class of 2007. Ravern Johnson is a 6-foot-7 wing out of Coahoma County High in Clarksdale, Miss., and he's pretty good.

"According to the local scouts and the people who look at him, they ranked him No. 1 in the class in Mississippi," Coahoma coach Isaiah Peterson said. "He's probably the best kid I've ever coached." Peterson's been in the business all of 40 years!

Johnson, a four-star prospect, opened the season as Scout.com's No. 11 small forward and he's getting 23 points a game. Last weekend at an event in Arkansas, he even earned a nickname.

"They were calling him Reggie Miller," Peterson said. "He can really shoot it."

Johnson, a humble sort, claims he didn't hear the chants during the game but didn't mind the company. "I didn't know (they were calling me Reggie) but after the game people started calling me that," Johnson said.

Whatever the comparison, he'll take it. The kid can flat out fill it up from the outside. He's cut from the Corey Brewer body type but his perimeter package is further along.

Johnson, who attended a few camps and ran with the Arkansas Angels, said the summer fueled his confidence. "The summer showed me that I can play with anybody and it's given me the confidence for my (high school) season."

With confidence and lofty statistics comes recruiting attention and the young man whose coach said has a 3.2 GPA is hearing from all sorts of programs.

"Everybody has been in," Peterson said. "The schools that have been pursuing real hard are Alabama, Mississippi State, Mississippi and Memphis."

Peterson said that Kansas watched him in Arkansas Thursday night and came back to get a more detailed read on him that same weekend. Baylor and Colorado have expressed the desire to recruit him as well.

"We're just going to evaluate everything and we've got another whole year to do this," Peterson said. "We'll see which school will fit him that he can go in and make a difference."

Johnson is, and rightfully so, taking his time. "I don't want to make no decision right now. I just want to wait until I get the best offer." As the season progresses, those scholarship offers will be more like formalities because this is a young man that has exhibited the ability to score and consistently improve.

Scholarship offers are going to come in bunches.

"I just have to go out and play my game every single game and not think about it. I just have to go out and play hard."


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