Update: Shaquille Johnson's Mizzou Camp Visit
... on the 6-foot-2 combo guard, who isn't too far off from making a decision.
Inside Mizzou spoke at length with Derrell Johnson, Shaquille's father, who accompanied him on the trip. Here's the latest:
"It went well, it went very well. He and I were very impressed with the coaching staff, the facilities, everything," Derrell Johnson said. "It's a college town, and it seems to be pretty quiet and everything revolves around the school, which is good. There's not a whole lot of stuff you can get into."
Mizzou coach Mike Anderson reiterated to the Johnson's that Shaquille has a solid MU offer and would be a welcome addition any time he feels ready to commit, Johnson said. Johnson, who is also considering offers from Virginia Tech, Dayton, Jacksonville and Ole Miss, plans to make a decision after the July AAU season winds down. A handful of other schools have recently tried to get into the mix after Johnson was named the No. 2 player at Reebok Headliner tryout camp in Orlando, but they're too late to the party.
"As far as I'm concerned, I've always said go with the people that have been there," Johnson said. "Don't think you're their first choice. It's not like you grew six inches or had some dramatic change. They might have missed out on their number one choice and now they're [using you as a backup]."
Johnson is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound combo guard who excels on the defensive end and does a little bit of everything on offense. He's not a pure point or a shooter, but more of an all-around playmaker with an aggressive, bulldog sort of mentality. He recently held an opposing team's best post player in check on defensive because his team was short a big man.
He was an AAU teammate and close friend of Jacksonville Bulls shooting guard Dante Anderson, who was one of the top prospects on MU's board this year before dying in a tragic car accident earlier this spring. Anderson was scheduled to make a visit to MU this week. Johnson, with whom Anderson had talked quite a bit about joining together as a package deal for college, plans to wear Anderson's No. 22 as a tribute.
He averaged roughly 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game, while shooting 82 percent from the free-throw line and around 40 percent from 3-point range as a junior and will be one of the state's top returning players.
Derrell Johnson said he and his son were very impressed with Anderson, as well as how many of the players had stuck around campus rather than going home.
"Oh man, he was everything we've heard about. Great guy, great coach. All the players were around, so we got a chance to talk to them," Johnson said. "The guys were still there when they didn't have to be there."
Johnson, who is also an AAU basketball coach, believes his son would be an excellent fit in Anderson's fast-paced system, and said he also was impressed by how the coaches told it to them straight and had no problem correcting his son.
"Usually when a recruit comes, coaches try to [lay it on thick]," he said. "I've got a lot of respect for coach Anderson as well as coach Watkins, who I got to spend time with. And we already knew coach Cleveland as well."
In Shaquille, some program will be getting a versatile performer who, despite not having a defined position, is the type of player you win with. He's also an excellent student and he plans to move to his new home and enroll in summer school as soon as his senior year is over.
As always, Inside Mizzou will keep you updated…
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