2007 Focus - Gary Johnson

If you don't already know who Gary Johnson is, chances are you will in the near future. A 6-7 combo forward from Houston (TX) Aldine, Johnson is among the top rising juniors in the country and has already attracted interest from several of the top programs in the country including Kansas.

After a standout sophomore campaign that saw him put up huge numbers in an area with plenty of talent, Johnson has taken his act on the road this spring with traditional club team power the Houston Hoops. Despite putting up big numbers, he remains humble and soft spoken.

"I've done ok, but there is still a lot that I need to work on," Johnson told Phog.net. "I need to work on my dribbling, my shooting and remembering the defenses and being a guy that can be called upon in the clutch."

Don't let Johnson's lack of self promotion fool you because the kid can really play. Johnson's strength is getting out in transition and finishing strong around the basket and he's an excellent rebounder -- particularly on the offensive end -- who has an expanding perimeter game. His jumper has a bit of a slow release, but he has improved drastically during the spring and is starting to take defenders off the dribble.

"I can post up, and face up pretty well and get to the basket," said Johnson. "That's about it really, there are plenty of things that I could work on."

Like many other Houston area players, Johnson has taken full advantage of the many opportunities to get better. Each spring and summer collegiate and pro players flock to the city in order to work on their games and Johnson enjoys the chance to work on his game against older and more experienced players.

The results have been evident when he takes the floor and probably play a large part in the offers he claims to have gotten from his early favorites like Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona and Kentucky.

Even though a decision won't be coming for some time, Johnson has seen enough of the Jayhawks for them to remain on his list.

"I saw the way their post man Simien and his progression from his freshman to sophomore to junior to senior year," said Johnson. "I like what they did for him and I like Bill Self too."

According to Johnson he's already spoken with Self a few times and the Kansas head man has made it clear that he'd like to see him in a Jayhawk uniform.

"He tells me that every day I need to keep working harder and getting better so I can become a Kansas Jayhawk."


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