Syracuse, U of L atop Marcus Johnson's list

<b>DURHAM, NC</b> Southern California All-Stars small forward Marcus Johnson is making steady progress with his recruitment and says Syracuse and Louisville reside atop his list.

Following a blowout victory in the opening game of the Reebok/Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions over the Jermaine O'Neil All-Stars, Southern California All-Stars small forward Marcus Johnson told Inside The Ville that Syracuse and Louisville sit atop his list, followed by UCONN and Arizona.

"They're pretty much even but Syracuse has a slight lead because they were my childhood favorites," Johnson said.

Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino both made stops at Los Angeles Westchester High School during the April evaluation period to meet with Johnson and the talented forward says he feels equally comfortable with both coaches.

"I'm more relaxed around Coach Boeheim and Coach Pitino, than with either Coach Olsen or Coach Calhoun," Johnson explained.

Johnson, who scored 15 points Friday night, said he's looking for "a program I fit into and where I can come in and contribute and learn from the coaching staff."

Johnson said he'll take the SAT June 5 and then will intends to make an important official visit to Louisville.

"I talked with Coach Theus this week and he wants to set up an official after I take the SAT for June 11," Johnson said.

Asked if a commitment could be forthcoming following that visit, Johnson smiled and responded, "That's something I have thought about recently and my mom likes Louisville the best. That's a possibility."

"Coach Pitino is a great coach and a great guy," Johnson continued. "He's real cool. I can see myself playing in their program and I like that they run their offense through the wings."

Johnson said his mother would accompany him on his official visit to Louisville this summer.


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