Shaquille Johnson Gets Minnesota Interest

Shaquille Johnson, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Jacksonville (FL) Robert E. Lee, is one of the top unsigned backcourt players in the country. Johnson has attracted the attention of Minnesota and Gopher assistant coach Vince Taylor watched his game Tuesday. Golden Sports.Net caught up with Johnson's AAU coach David Jones to find out the latest on his recruitment.

Shaquille Johnson has led the Generals to an 18-4 mark this season and a number eight ranking in Class 5A this season. The Generals finished 25-6 last season and advanced to the 5A semifinals for the first time since 1961 as Johnson averaged 19.4 points per game.

Johnson. who played for the Jacksonville Bulls AAU program. visited Jacksonville, Tulane and Virginia Tech in the fall. AAU coach David Jones said that several other teams are showing interest in him.

"Minnesota, Marshall, George Mason and South Florida are also interested."

Jones said that Johnson is currently focused on the season.

"He is just concentrating on this year. They are playing for the Gateway championship Friday and then the district. They are hoping to get to state in Lakeland, Florida after losing in the semifinals last season.

Jones said that Johnson can play both guard spots.

"He is a combo guard. He excels when he has a good point guard who can get him the ball."

Jones said that Johnson is a player with many strengths.

"He has a high basketball IQ. He is athletic and can shot the ball. He drives to the hoop and plays good defense. He is a player with not too many weaknesses."

Jones said that Johnson has a few things to work on.

"He needs to work on being more of a point guard. Every kid wants to play in the NBA and he would have to be more of a point guard. He is a good decision maker. He needs to work on his defense with the competition jumps up from high school to college."

Jones said that Johnson, who wants to major in business, is just as valuable off the court.

"He is a great kid. He is a strong academic student. He has always been in advanced classes. He comes from a big family (his father is a basketball coach with the Jacksonville Bulls and has never been in trouble."

Johnson has had a difficult year. His best friend and AAU teammate Dante Anderson was killed in a car accident last May. Anderson was an All-State selection as a junior as he averaged 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game. Illinois, Missouri and Dayton were among the schools that had shown interest in him. Johnson, who had talked about going to the same college as Anderson, honored the memory of Anderson by switching from jersey number 23 to Anderson's 22. The Jacksonville Bulls plan on retiring the number 23.

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