UNC Eying Johnson To Complete Class

Robert Johnson has had quite a run these last couple months. With his play at NBPA Camp, the LeBron James Skills Academy and most recently at the Nike Peach Jam a number of schools are ramping up their interest in Johnson. North Carolina is among that group.

Two weeks ago, Tar Heel head coach Roy Williams watched Johnson during the first evaluation period at the Peach Jam, after which UNC assistant C.B. McGrath made first contact with the Richmond (Va.) Benedictine guard. Last week for the second evaluation period, Williams watched Johnson again, this time at the Nike Global Challenge, which he personally followed up with a call to Johnson.

The third and final evaluation period begins on Wednesday and the UNC staff will be watching him again, according to Benedictine coach Ryan Marable.

"UNC hasn't offered yet but they are doing their background on what type of kid he is and things like that," Marable said.

"Coach McGrath told me that he's going to watch him in Orlando this week and they want to get him on campus," he added. "He stressed to me that they have a great class and they need a shooter that can do other things."

The Tar Heels already have a highly regarded point guard and a pair of wings headed their way. They are planning to use their fourth scholarship on a player that specializes in hitting perimeter jumpers. The 6-3 Johnson could potentially fill that role.

"They have great wings and they have Joel [Berry], but they don't have that guy that can come in and knock down shots right now," Marable said. "I haven't seen their wings a bunch, but I heard they can go. They really like the way Robert shoots the ball and that he can do a lot of things, but they emphasized the shooting part."

Once Johnson, who is playing with Boo Williams, gets back from the Super Showcase, the plan is for him to swing by North Carolina for an unofficial visit. A date hasn't been set.

"I talked to Robert's dad and he said when they get back from Orlando they are going to breathe a little bit and then plan one," Marable said. "It's so close they want to go on campus, if there is still interest after Orlando."

To go with the interest from UNC, Marable said Indiana, Wake Forest, Miami Georgetown, Florida State, Alabama and Marquette have also recently offered. Villanova was the first high major to offer him.

"Nobody really had offered until the first live period," Marable said. "Villanova saw him and they loved him and then saw him again in the first live period and they were the first high major program to come in and offer right away. I think that carries a lot of weight with him and his family. They've been able to build a relationship early."

At this point, Johnson doesn't have a timeframe for his college decision, but he said they plan to have a meeting after the July evaluation periods conclude to sort things out.

"We are going to sit down when they are back and go through all the offers," Marable said. "I'm sure after Orlando there will be a couple more. The last time I talked to Robert he said he'd like to commit before the season starts. I don't know if that has changed with all the new stuff."

As a sophomore, Marable said VCU, Radford and UNC-Greensboro were the only schools recruiting him. Last summer's circuit helped Johnson realize what type of work he needed to put in.

"I think playing with DC Assault last year when he reclassified kind of showed him what he needed to work on playing behind Nate [Britt] a little bit," he said. "I think that showed him how much harder he needed to work."

Marable said his recent play and development into a top 100 player isn't a surprise.

"It's not really surprising to me because he's such a great kid when it comes to identifying his weaknesses," he said. "Then I think the EYBL put him in the spotlight."

"He had a great year for us last year and he carried that momentum over to the EYBL and everybody is going to see what he does in those situations."

Johnson averaged 16.7 points a game and shot 39.4-percent from behind the three-point stripe during the EYBL regular season, and capped that by averaging 20.2 points at the Peach Jam

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