Closer Look: Scouting Paul Johnson

We took a up close look at Paul Johnson, the Gonzaga (DC) junior swingman who has the Terps high on his list. Check out a comprehensive scouting report today and check back tomorrow for a look at his recruiting situation.

Paul Johnson isn't just flying high on the Maryland Terrapins radar. The Gonzaga College High (D.C.) junior also gets up on the court.

The 6-6, 180-pound Johnson has an above-the-rim game and potential that could earn him a spot in the InsidersHoops.com Top 100 when it's all said and done.

Gonzaga took on Bishop McNamara on Friday night and ended up pulling away for a 72-63 victory.

"I felt good, but was a little sluggish coming out," Johnson told TerpTown after the game. "We played hard, and although we let up a bit in the second half, we came back and won the game."

Johnson shot 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. He finished with 18 points, five steals, two rebounds, an assist and a pair of turnovers. It was a quiet 18 for the high-riser, punctuated with plays that made it easy to see why he's viewed as one of the elite juniors in the northeast.

Johnson plays the four-spot in the Gonzaga offense, but faces the basket and is able to work in space on the wing, where Johnson will likely play in college. He was able to use his handle to create opportunities for himself in the 12 to 15 foot range, and utilized his athletic ability to work under the basket for layups and putbacks, despite his still-developing body.

He has very good elevation in his jumper, and that helped him nail 4 mid-range jumpers against Bishop McNamara with a hand right in his face.

When he's not pulling up, he goes strong to the basket.

"I like to get to the hole and finish, but I also feel comfortable with my 15-foot jumper," Johnson said.

In the second quarter, he caught a pass on the baseline and took it over two McNamara players for the jam, but was fouled and there was no call.

With a close resemblance to Terps freshman D.J. Strawberry in appearance and game, Johnson's defensive intensity showed early as he caused havoc in the lane when covering bigger and stronger McNamara players in the paint. He had five steals in the game, one of which where he picked off a pass on the wing and took it down the court for a big, one-handed jam.

Johnson's all-around game is still developing, and he displayed a nice mid-range jumper as well as defensive intensity and quick hands. He's hitting the weight room to bulk up for college, and his father, Henry Johnson, who's worked the Maryland Basketball Camp for many years, is 6-10, so Paul may not be done growing.

Tomorrow we'll take a look at Paul's early recruitment, and how he looks to develop into a college star.

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