Nike: Tuesday Report

INDIANAPOLIS – Sometimes it takes a trade to get things going for a player. That was the case Tuesday for Brian Johnson at the Nike All-American Camp.

Johnson was shipped from the "Arizona" squad to "Maryland," and responded with arguably his best performance of the camp, with North Carolina coach Matt Doherty carefully watching on.

Johnson scored eight points: two long jumpers, a follow-up rebound basket and a great drive to the hoop. He also had a nifty pass to teammate Brandon Crone for a bucket.

The low-key Johnson said he's welcomed the chance to play against guys bigger and older than he is this week.

"Playing against older guys, I have to hustle a lot," he pointed out. "It's something that I'm working on."

Johnson said he'd like to develop where he can take bigger guys outside and smaller guys inside.

"I may play the 3 or 4 if I don't grow anymore," Johnson said.

As for college, Johnson mentioned North Carolina, Duke, Maryland and Florida.

"I don't want a slow-paced game and I like it when everyone is getting an equal amount of shots," Johnson said.

Being a prime recruiting target for the nation's elite doesn't make for a dull life, especially with the UNC spotlight glare on him.

"I'm used to the attention (I'm receiving)," Johnson said. "A lot of people look for me to go to North Carolina. I'm going to make my decision next summer."

Johnson is excited about the upcoming USA Basketball tryouts in Miami, July 14-22.

"I'm 15 and I have nothing to lose," Johnson said. "The coaches know what they are talking about (so I can learn from them)."

Besides basketball, Johnson hopes to visit his grandma in Laurinburg, N.C. Johnson and his mother moved from Laurinburg a few years ago when he was 13. His father and cousins remain in his hometown.

Talented talent evaluator: Because of a bum left ankle, Marcus Ginyard has been forced to the sideline during the Nike Camp. The rising sophomore from Bishop O'Connell High in Virginia (and Brian Johnson's prep and AAU teammate), has a handful of favorite players this week.

"Luol Deng, Eric Price, Isaiah Swann, Ra'Sean Dickey and Derek Caracter, are good players," Ginyard said. "I haven't been able to see Brian (Johnson) play all week because he's in a different division."

A rookie to the Nike Camp, Ginyard has enjoyed the different coaches in attendance.

"I saw (Duke) coach Mike Krzyzewski, and I walked by him and it was like, ‘Wow,'" the well-spoken Ginyard said. "And Kansas coach Roy Williams, I had to look twice to believe it was him."

Rising big man: One of surprises of the camp is Courtney Sims, a 6-foot-10 rising senior from Boston. Prior to the camp, Sims was receiving interest from Providence, Syracuse, George Washington, Boston College, Boston University and DePaul.

He's wide open and is excited about what new schools might call this month. A late bloomer, Sims just recently started playing organized basketball.

"I played on my first team at 15 and I wasn't that good," he recalled. "I just started getting good last year."

Giants collide: Seven-foot-3 Shagari Alleyne of New York City played 7-3 Jerry Sokolowski of Toronto, Canada, Tuesday night.

Alleyne got the best of Sokolowski, who has a long, long way to go in development. Alleyne was able to get a few blocks, dunk a few baskets and show who was the "taller" man.

Killer dunks: Sensational rising sophomore Marcus Johnson of the Los Angeles Westchester High had perhaps the dunk of the day. The 6-5 prototype shooting guard exploded to the hoop and flushed one down on 6-9 feared shot-blocker Longar Longar of Rochester, Minn.

Other impressive dunks were two by Detroit's Joe Crawford and one by Shawne Williams of Memphis, Tenn. Ohio's Brandon Foust had the best miss as he drove through the heart of the defense and flushed one, only to see it hit the back of the iron and bounce away violently.


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