Point of emphasis

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A surprising number of prospects visiting Tennessee's campus this fall have been point guards. The latest is Eric Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound sophomore at Christ School of Asheville who projects to be one of the top recruits in the 2014 signing class. He toured the UT campus last weekend and had "a great visit," according to Christ School head coach David Gaines.

"He watched practice, enjoyed the (UT-South Carolina) football game, said he had a great time," Gaines told InsideTennessee. "He said there was a lot of intensity in practice, guys getting after it. And he said they treated him terrifically."

Johnson, who currently has a 3-star rating from Scout, paid an unofficial visit to the North Carolina campus Oct. 10 and also is getting interest from Clemson, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.

"Eric's a sophomore. Physically, for that grade, he's got the body of a senior," Gaines said. "Everybody is amazed at how athletic he is for such a young kid. We've found that he has tremendous poise for a young guy, too. We're really excited about his three years here at Christ School.

"He has a lot of intangibles — a very athletic young man but has great sense of how to play the game, and you want that in your point guard. He has a very even-keel temperament, understands how to get others involved, and you often don't find that in a sophomore."

Johnson played varsity ball as a freshman at Kestrel Heights in Durham last year, averaging a reported 18 points and 5 assists per game. He has since transferred to Christ School, located 230 miles from his hometown.

In addition to his skills as a playmaker, Johnson is quite a shooter.

"He's got a great 3-point stroke," Gaines said. "We shoot a lot of 3s, and he fits right in with our best shooters. He doesn't force anything. The best part about Eric is that he lets the game come to him. I want the guy who's going to have the ball to have that kind of temperament."

Gaines described his team's offense as "uptempo," adding: "We've averaged 84 or 85 points per game the last four or five years. We shoot between 25 and 30 3-pointers per game. Two years ago we set a national high school record for 3s in a season."

Johnson's defense is a little spotty but that should develop as he matures.

"Like most high school kids, he'll get better," Gaines said. "It's got a ways to go. The physical ability is there, though."


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