2005: Marcus Johnson receives interest from U of L

6'5 Marcus Johnson, a talented junior from Los Angeles Westchester High School, is receiving early interest from Louisville. Ed Azzam talks about U of L's early pursuit of the explosive wing prospect.

6'5 Marcus Johnson, a talented and athletic wing prospect at Los Angeles Westchester High, is receiving early interest from U of L.

An explosive scorer, Johnson is considered one of the top prospects in the class of 2005.

"Marcus Johnson is one of the most naturally gifted players in the 2005 class in the west and probably the nation," Dave Telep said. "He has great athleticism and quickness, which enables him to beat out his high school competition."

Westchester head coach Ed Azzam says Johnson projects as a small forward at the next level but could develop into an athletic two guard if his jump shot becomes more consistent.

"He can shoot the ball," Azzam said. "But he needs to develop more consistency in his outside shooting."

Azzam said that Louisville assistant Reggie Theus, whom Azzam has known for several years, has been in recent contact with him to inquire about his talented junior star. Azzam indicated that Louisville sends frequent mail in addition to Theus' calls to Johnson's coach. College coaches are not permitted to contact juniors at this time.

UCLA, USC, Syracuse and Arizona are also involved in Johnson's recruitment and the junior says that distance is not a factor when choosing his college.

"It won't be a big deal," Johnson told TheInsiders.com during the summer. "My family would like me to stay home, of course, but I'm fine going away."

Asked about other factors important to his decision, Johnson replied, "I'll look at the coach first – how he runs the program. I'd like to get some time early, but I don't care about starting. I don't mind sitting behind someone good and learning from them. I'm a big-school type of person, but I wouldn't mind going to a smaller school, as long as there's something to do there."

Johnson plan on making a decision next summer. "I want to make my decision sometime in the summer after my junior year," said Johnson. "I want to be able to relax during my senior year and enjoy my last season."

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