Midgley: Johnson is "a beast" in NorCal Clash

SAN PABLO, Calif. -- Carlos Johnson pours in 31 points for Cal alum Richard Midgley's 2016 squad at the NorCal Clash, and talks about how much he loves Cuonzo Martin.

SAN PABLO, Calif. -- It didn’t take long for 2016 prospect Carlos Johnson to make his mark on Northern California since transferring four months ago from Phoenix (Ariz.) Shadow Mountain to El Cerrito (Calif.). On Sunday, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder was the centerpiece of former California point guard Richard Midgley’s offense for the 2016 team in the sixth annual NorCal Clash, scoring a game-high 31 points.

“He’s a beast,” Midgley said. “We only had eight, because we had a bunch of injuries, so we rode him. We basically played him as many minutes as we could. Obviously, he was our main scoring threat today, finished with 31. He’s a great addition to NorCal basketball. Great player, and I was excited to have him play like that.”

Because he was relied on so heavily, playing a game-high 29:40, Johnson fouled out with just over two minutes left.

“I was just trying to play hard,” Johnson said. “That’s just how I play.”

Along with his game-high 31 points, Johnson added seven rebounds and two assists, shooting 4-for-8 from the field, 3-for-6 from three-point range and 12-for-15 from the free-throw line.

“I never played with that ball before,” Johnson said. “We play with a different ball in Arizona, so I had to get used to the ball a little bit.”

Being selected for the Clash was a surprise for Johnson, given that he’s only been in Northern California for such a short time.

“It means the hard work is paying off, but there’s a lot of hard work I still have to put in,” he said.

Johnson said Cal, Arizona, St. John’s, San Francisco, San Diego State, San Jose State, Arizona State, Southern Utah and Cal State Bakersfield have shown interest, while the Bears and Florida Grand Canyon University have offered. He said he plans on taking another visit to Berkeley, but didn’t have a date. St. John’s, Cal and Arizona, Johnson said, are recruiting him the hardest.

“They make me feel like family,” Johnson said of the Bears, Wildcats and the Red Storm. As for the Bears, who Johnson already visited twice? Well, he’s planning another visit, soon, and is quite taken with head coach Cuonzo Martin.

“I love being around him,” Johnson said. “He just keeps the energy going. He gives it to you real. He doesn’t sugar-coat it or anything. He’s straight-on, what he wants to do with you and how your future will pan out.”

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