Annoucement Coming Soon From Johnson?

Fort Wayne (IN) guard Marques Johnson had recently stated that he could be announcing a decision in the near future. Is that still the plan?

"Right now I'm taking a couple more unofficial visits," Marques Johnson told Pack Pride. "I'm going to take a visit to Tennessee this weekend and Georgia Tech maybe right after that or the following weekend."

"NC State, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Purdue are the teams I'm mainly looking at," he added.

Johnson, who plays point guard for Blessed IJN on the AAU circuit and his Fort Wayne (IN) Nelson Snider High School team, is the No. 58 recruit in the class of 2006 according to Scout.com, who also lists Johnson as the No. 13 shooting guard prospect in the country. However, he's being recruited to play point guard and wants everyone to know that.

"I see myself as a point guard," he said. "I like the ball in my hands, and I want to make my teammates better. I think it's the best position for me on the next level and the position I'll have to play in the NBA.

"All of the schools recruiting me have said they want me as a point guard," added Johnson.

Claiming offers from his final five schools, Johnson says that a decision could be coming soon with one ACC program holding the edge.

"The visits to Tennessee and Georgia Tech are basically the last two visits I really need to take," he said. "After that I could be ready to announce, but I definitely want to decide before my senior year starts. I just want to get it out the way and play basketball.

"NC State's still my favorite school. It's everything about them. The facilities are wonderful, and the players seem like a group of guys I can get along with. I keep in close contact with coach Sendek, and they have done a great job recruiting me.

"After them it's probably Georgia Tech. I know they would have a lot of guard spots open if I went there so I could play early."

Johnson will continue touring with Blessed IJN this summer but will also participate in the NBA Players Camp (Richmond, Va.) and the Reebok ABCD Camp (Teaneck, N.J.).

Scouting Report: Johnson first gained popularity a few years back as one of the elite players in his class at the shooting guard position. Two years later, he's developed into a high-major point guard prospect who is almost a pass-first point. He can break his man down off the dribble and does a terrific job attacking the basket where he finishes with nifty floaters off the glass or crafty passes to his teammates.

Johnson is also a solid ballhandler in the open court, where he looks to push the ball at every opportunity and constantly apply pressure on the defense. I'd like to see him look to score even more, which is surprising given how much some analysts try to say he's not a point guard. Because he has such a great frame, Johnson can also hit the glass on both ends and defend multiple positions.

He still needs to improve his overall quickness to defend ACC-level point guards, but he'll present problems for them on the offensive end as well. He'll remind folks a bit of Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack, another big guard that can physically overpower the smaller, "true" point guards while also having the quickness to create problems in the lane. Johnson is the type of guard NC State's system covets and it's no surprise that he appears to be high on their board.


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