Wisconsin Juniors Get Gopher Attention

Minnesota Gopher assistant coach Vince Taylor continued his search for some of the top 2009 Midwest talent as he watched Johnnie Lacy, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Milwaukee (WI) Bay View and Luke Russell, a 6-foot-9 big man from Menomonee Falls (WI) High last Wednesday. The two play for the Wisconsin Playground Warriors and figure to be among the most highly recruited players in the Midwest.

Johnnie Lacy is ranked as the No. 19 junior in the country by Hoop Scoop. He averaged 13.5 ponits per game last season as he led Bay View to a 16-7 mark, losing to Milwaukee Bradley Tech in the third round of the playoffs. He has an offer from Marquette and interest from Cincinnati, Miami of Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Luke Russell averaged 9.8 points per game as Menomonee Falls finished 5-16 last year, losing to Arrowhead 79-77 in the first round of the playoffs. Russell is getting interest from Drake, Marquette, Minnesota, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Lacy and Russell played on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors 16-and-under team that won the 84-team King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron, Ohio in April and the 60-team Bill Hensley Memorial Run 'n Slam All-Star Classic in Fort Wayne, Ind. Jamil Wilson, who is also getting Minnesota interest, and Lacy were named co-MVPs of the tournament.

Minnesota is expected to land three more recruits to go along with Paul Carter, a JC transfer from Missouri State-West Plains CC and Colton Iverson, a big man from Yankton, South Dakota. The Gophers could have three scholarships to offer for the Class of 2009. They are also recruiting Minnesota juniors Royce White, Rodney Williams and Trent Lockett.

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