Johnson on Louisville's radar

Nick Johnson isn't a well-known prospect in Louisville recruiting circles but Rick Pitino knows all about the 6-foot-3 combo guard from Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep. Johnson plans to narrow his list this month and the Cards have a great chance to make the cut.

Nick Johnson, a 6-foot-3 combo guard from Henderson Findlay Prep, isn't the most well-known 2011 Louisville prospect, but Rick Pitino knows all about him.

One of the top guards at the King City Classic, Johnson, a four-star recruit rated the No. 14 shooting guard nationally by Scout.com, plans to narrow his list after an upcoming AAU tournament this month and Louisville has a great shot to make the cut.

"After the Peach Jam, I'm going to have a Top 5 or how many ever I can narrow it down to," Johnson said. "Then I plan on taking my visits right when I start [back to] school. I‘ll probably sign in November."


Which schools are in line right now for visits?

"[Schools] that have been on me the hardest," Johnson said. "Arizona has been on me. Arizona State, St. John's has been on me as of late. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Uconn and Wake Forest. I'm going to really look at the past success of each school and just how I fit in and the relationships I have with all the coaches."

Which schools have told Johnson he's a priority recruit for their program?

"Those schools that I just named," Johnson said. ‘They are the ones that have really been on me for the last two months really strong."

Louisville already had their eyes on Johnson heading into the July evaluation period, and his play in Cleveland couldn't have damaged his stock with the Cardinals. Clark Francis of the Hoop Scoop ranked Johnson No. 9 overall at the King City Classic and the second-best shooting guard at camp. Scout.com's Dave Telep was also impressed, stating that "Johnson's crisp jumper found bottom a lot and he played with pace and smarts."

What does Johnson think about Louisville?

"Louisville has great tradition and great coaching with Rick Pitino," Johnson said. "I talked to him and [former] Coach [Walter] McCarty…they're cool people. They call me whenever they can and email…stuff like that. They've got a great team."

Johnson, a shooting guard who moved to point guard last season, could play both positions in college. What position do college coaches like Pitino see Johnson playing at the next level?

"Every school is the same, they say it's up to me if I want to run the point or [play] shooting guard," Johnson said. "[Louisville] just wants a player and someone that can play the one, two or even possibly the three."

"I've been playing point guard for about a year so I like the ball in my hands, but sometimes I might kick the ball to our two and get the ball in his hands just so I can run the floor," Johnson said. "I really have no preference I like both positions."

Coaches tell Johnson they appreciate his all-around game on the court.

"They say they like my complete game," Johnson said. "The big thing at Findlay this year was defense for me. I had to be our lockdown defender and guard the best wings every game. They [coaches] noticed that I have improved as a defensive player, my athleticism and improved shot."

What will be the factors that separate one program from the others in Johnson's recruitment?

"My relationship with the coach," Johnson said. "Some schools may have been on me longer but that doesn't mean anything. It's just how hard they work [recruiting me] and how I fit into their system."


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