Anthony Johnson is a member of the Class of 2010 and plays high school basketball for Whitney Young in Chicago, IL. He's on a team that's loaded with talented players and thus does not put up gaudy numbers. "I'm having a good year. I only average 9 points a game but that's not bad because no one on my team averages more than 10. My time will come the next two years, I'm only a sophomore right now," Johnson said.
Johnson, just like all high school hoopsters, has the dream of going to state and winning it all. "We play next week against Proviso East at Whitney Young, I'm very excited to be playing. I really want this team to get to state, that's our goal. I think we can get it done," said Johnson.
Don't let Johnson's modest numbers fool you, he's a very talented guard that has offers from Illinois, Notre Dame, and Purdue. There's also a long list of schools that send him letters and want his services, but are waiting until they can contact him next. "My list of schools is the same as always, but none of them can talk to me right now because of the NCAA rules, so I haven't heard a lot from anyone. I do get letters though," Johnson said.
Illinois is still very high on Johnson's list. When I asked about the other talented guards already verbally committed to the Illini, in the classes of 2009-2010, Johnson remarked, "Oh, I pay attention to things like that. I have to, but I'm not afraid of competition. I think it's good and it makes you better. So that will not affect my decision when it comes to Illinois."
How good is Anthony Johnson? The top of the Class of 2010, in Illinois, begins with 6-6 forward Jereme Richmond, and that's been true for a long time. As of late, swingman Crandall Head has seen his value skyrocket and has joined Richmond as elite-level players. Scout.com and recruiting gurus in the area know not to let Johnson's 9 ppg fool them, as some feel Johnson and Head are 2 and 2A in that class, right behind Richmond. He's that good.
Recently, Illini head coach Bruce Weber has done a fabulous job of receiving early commitments from underclassmen, including the aforementioned Richmond and Head, and three top in-state guards for 2009. Johnson could be another notch in Weber's belt as Johnson told us his top two schools are Illinois and Notre Dame. However, it is still very early in the process and Johnson has not ruled out any of the other schools that have interest in him. Stay tuned to InsideIllini.com for updates on Johnson's recruitment and his involvement with Illinois.