Durand Johnson: Pitt's No. 1

The list of schools interested in Durand Johnson is so long, the class of 2011 three-star shooting guard from Lake Clifton-Eastern HS (MD.) has a hard time listing all the programs.

But if signing day was tomorrow, he knows where he would be headed.

"My No. 1 school? That's tough,'' Johnson said. "Pittsburgh. Even though UConn is showing me love, Pitt is showing me even more love.''

That isn't to say that the Huskies are out of the picture for Durand.

"Jim Calhoun (Connecticut coach), he gets players to the next level,'' Johnson said. "He works on their game so they can get their game to the next level so they're better than they were when they came in.''

Does Coach Calhoun's health affect his decision?

"It doesn't,'' Johnson said matter-of-factly.

Durand knows his top three. "Pitt, followed UConn, and then Florida State,'' Johnson said.

Whoever does get to coach Johnson, he is looking for the same thing in all schools. "I'm looking for a school where I can go in as a freshman and play big minutes and be an impact player,'' Johnson said.

Johnson knows what kind of coach and system he wants as well.

"I'm looking for a coach like John Calipari,'' Johnson said. "They just go. Kentucky isn't recruiting me, but I like his style of coaching, the way he lets his guys play.''

It is that desire that might cross Maryland off Johnson's list.

"I think it's an OK program, but I don't think Gary William's style of play fits my game. He likes to hold the ball, and I like to just get it and go,'' Johnson said. "I've watched them a lot, but I don't think I fit. I don't think I'm going there.''

What kind of player is Johnson? Who does he compare to?

"Right now, I'd say Rudy Gay,'' Johnson said. "He shoots the three-ball, and he also has the mid-range shot. And if it's not there, he goes all the way to the rack. I score all around. Like Kevin Durant.''

Just because Johnson's confident doesn't mean he hasn't worked on his game more the past year.

"My defense got better,'' Johnson said. "I wasn't really big on defense, but my coach worked with me really hard on defense and stopping people. That wins games. My defense is real good now.''

There are still areas Durand wants to improve upon.

"Driving to the rack more,'' Johnson said. "I've been doing it, but sometimes I want to pull up, but I gotta make my mind up if I'm gonna go for the drive or pull up.

Despite that, Johnson knows the play he wants called when the game is on the line. And who he wants to get the ball.

"Double screen, that's all I need,'' Johnson said. "I'm gonna come out and knock it down.''

But above all, Durand wants coaches and fans to know one thing above all.

"I'm a good kid,'' Johnson said.

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