Brian Johnson update

<i>Inside Carolina</i>'s Jeff Goodman caught up with Brian Johnson for an update - and it's clear the 2004 star is still a ways from a decision.

Brian Johnson grew up as a diehard North Carolina fan in Laurinburg, N.C., and has always wanted to become a Tar Heel, but now he's looking at his recruitment with a more objective point of view than in the past.

"It's not just something that you wake up and make a decision," said the 6-9, 240-pound junior from Bishop O'Connell (Va.). "You really have to look at it closely and get a feel for each school."

"You can't just go somewhere because it's where you always liked," he added. "I still like North Carolina a lot, but I'm kind of looking at Duke, too."

While in the past, it was always the Tar Heels well ahead of everyone else, it appears as though Duke has made up some ground.

The Blue Devils and UNC appear to be the two front-runners, but they aren't the only schools to have put forth scholarship offers to Johnson. He's also considering Maryland, UCLA and Florida as well as Notre Dame and Miami.

"I'm not ready to make a decision anytime soon," Johnson said. "I'm still pretty far away."

Johnson said he had fun at Midnight Madness last month in Chapel Hill and mentioned the fact that he got along well with the coaches and players, in particular freshman Sean May and Raymond Felton.

Johnson averaged 17.5 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks per game as a sophomore and will try to lead his team to a state title this season. The team's first scrimmage is Friday while the first regular-season game comes Dec. 3against St. Mary's Ryken.

"All I really care about is winning the state championship," Johnson said. "With me, it really doesn't matter how many points I score. Even if I don't contribute, I'm still happy for my teammates. One person can't win by themselves."

Johnson didn't hesitate when mentioning that his appearance as the youngest player on the USA Junior men's basketball team in Venezuela was his highlight of the summer. He only averaged 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds while getting seven minutes per game, but he said playing with guys like Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony made him realize how much he still needs to improve.

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