California Prep PF Getting Noticed

In need of some more depth in the post, Iowa State is searching the California high school ranks hoping to add another spring signee for the 2005-06 season.

The Cyclones recently offered a scholarship to 6-foot-8, 235-pound Chawn Johnson of Antelope Valley (Calif.) Christian. It's easy to see why. Johnson, one of 91 McDonald's All-American nominees nationwide, is averaging 19.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks per game.

He has made quite an impression in his first season after transferring from Antelope Valley High.

"He's a great kid that has worked hard on his grades," said A.V. Christian coach David Nurse. "He came to us as a senior and is very athletic. He plays center for us, but is more like a four. We do a lot of trapping and sprinting up and down the court, so he has to run. He fits in very well. He's working very hard to be the best player he can be."

ISU is one of several programs to express interest in Johnson. According to his coach, Nebraska, Auburn, Utah, New Mexico, Northern Colorado, San Francisco, Loyola-Marymount, and Montana State have also inquired.

But it appears as if the Cyclones are emerging as a possible favorite.

"He really likes Iowa State and is just waiting to take his trip to check them out," said Nurse when asked if his star forward had any favorites. "Iowa State is also very interested in him and Coach Archibald has been out to see him. He'll take an official visit once he can. They're in the process of setting that up."

Division I programs have been attracted to Johnson's upside.

"We don't get to train him enough," Nurse said. "He'll be in the gym numerous times early in the morning or late at night trying to improve himself. He wants to succeed and win. If he gets around some really good talent and more coaches, he could really be something. Plus, he's only 17 years old and he's still maturing mentally and physically."

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