6'5 Soph. Johnson wants Cards to get involved

<b>KENTUCKY HOOP FESTIVAL</b> -- 6'5 Marques Johnson is one of the top sophomores in the nation. After an impressive showing at the Nike All American Camp last week, Johnson traveled to Louisville for the HoopFest. Sunday morning, Johnson spent time with ITV and talked about recruiting.

Johnson wants Cards to get involved

6'5 Marques Johnson of Fort Wayne (IN) Snider is one of the top players in the class of 2006.  Johnson starred for Snider as a freshman last season averaging 18 points per game.

Johnson was a standout underclassmen at last week's Nike All American Camp in Indianapolis.  Midwest recruiting analyst Eric Bossi ranked Marques #20 in the loaded underclass field.  Basketballphenoms.com ranks Johnson #14 in the class of 2006.

"He's got plenty of potential and is a fine athlete," TheInsiders Dave Telep said of Johnson last spring.  "He's best when he's not being so creative and crafty with the ball but he's got a chance to be really good."

At the Nike Camp, Johnson scored 18, 22, and 19 his last three games and made a game winning three at the buzzer against 6'9 Al Jefferson's team.

After Nike, Johnson traveled with Coach Ray Sims and Blessed I.J.N. to the Kentucky Hoop Festival in Louisville and continued his excellent play.  Johnson had 18 points in a Saturday evening game and came back with 22 more Sunday morning, including a 16 foot baseline jumper at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

Johnson, who primarily plays the point, is unselfish with the ball and possesses a natural scoring mentality.  He has a nice stroke from deep and is accurate beyond the three point line.  His ball handling and passing skills are above average and he has the ability to finish around the basket.  Johnson sometimes loses sight of the ball on defense but for a 15 year old has plenty of skill and ability.

Johnson prefers to play the point but is probably a more natural scoring guard, ala former UCLA standout Toby Bailey or IU great Jay Edwards.

"I sorta got used to it because I've been doing it for awhile now," Johnson said of playing the point.  "It's not that hard anymore.

Johnson will begin his sophomore year at Snider this fall but already has high interest from several of the nation's top programs.

"I really like Arizona, North Carolina," Johnson said.  "And I'm also looking at Indiana too."

Blessed I.J.N. Head Coach Ray Sims spoke with ITV Saturday night about Johnson and indicated that Michigan, UCLA, Arizona, Michigan State and North Carolina are recruiting his star guard the hardest but indicated there's one school they'd really like to hear from...Louisville.

"We wouldn't mind Louisville getting involved," Sims, who is also the guardian of UofL prospect Carl Swanagan, told ITV.

Johnson seems to concur with Sims' statements about the Cards.

"Yeah, I like Coach Pitino," Johnson said.  "I like the style of play up and down the court."


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