When California head men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin had his in-home visit a week and a half ago with four-star center Jayce Johnson out of Santa Monica (Calif.), the seven-footer began to bond quite closely with the second-year Bears skipper.
"It was Cuonzo and it was Yanni [Hufnagel], and they talked to me about how they would use me in the program, how they need a player like me in the program," Johnson says. "They obviously talked about how the academic side is there, too. They showed me a couple things on that, but mostly, they just talked about why they need me, how they would use me and things like that."
The bonding continued this weekend, when Johnson -- the No. 2 center in the state of California -- made his official visit.
"It went great. I had a great time. It was amazing. The coaches are amazing, the players are amazing, I really had a good time," says Johnson, who noticed a lot of changes since the last time he was in Berkeley. "[What stuck out was] just how much of a change they've made. Their locker rooms are completely different than it was before, when I visited their campus. They've added so many new things. They've always been high on the academics side, but they've added so many things for the athletes and it looks very, very nice."
Johnson had previously visited Colorado officially, but had a hard time comparing the two, playing things close to the vest, though his father, Jay, said that Jayce made a close connection with Martin.
"I'm still trying to figure it out," Johnson says. "Both of them, I've had great times. They're both, right now, they could both be an option. I haven't really decided yet, but I had great trips on both of them."
Aside from bonding with Martin, Johnson also got a chance to connect with the current Bears, while playing some pick-up basketball.
http://www.scout.com/high-school/california/story/1567805-vegas-jayce-jo... "I really bonded with the players on the team," Johnson says. "We were able to play some pick-up. I was able to bond with them, and see what they can do. It was really nice, and I really like the players. I feel like I could play with them, and that's good, because if you don't feel like you could play with someone, then that's not the right school for you, but I feel like I could be a part of this team."
Johnson -- who checks in at 7-foot, 235 -- was matched up not against five-star Ivan Rabb, but against a fellow seven-footer.
"I didn't play against him, that much. I was playing against [Kameron] Rooks. I was watching him when we were playing, but he's definitely a major player. Me and Kam were playinga against each other, though," Johnson says.
"He's definitely a good player. I was able to use my quickness against him a little bit, because he's a little slower, but he's definitely got some weight on me. I've got to get in the gym and eat some more and gain some weight," Johnson laughs.
Johnson finished last school year with a 4.0 GPA, and will visit Utah on Oct. 10, and Stanford on Oct. 17. As for a decision?
"I have no set date," he says. "Honestly, it could happen at any time."