“I wasn’t expecting an offer from WVU this soon,” Chase Johnson confirmed when discussing the scholarship tender, which grew out of contact and evaluations from assistant coach Larry Harrison. “It is a sign that my hard work is paying off, but I have to stay humble and keep working.”
A talented athlete, Johnson is concentrating on basketball and sport-specific workouts this year. He’s playing with the West Virginia Wildcats in AAU competition this summer, with events set in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, but is also concentrating on developing physically with a personal trainer. In those sessions, he hopes to build the strength required to be a factor in one of the linchpins of Huggins’ program.
“I know I have to work on my defense,” Johnson admitted, knowing that improved strength and quickness will help him in that regard. “I know that to play for Coach Huggins, you have to play defense.”
The other side of the ball might not be as big of a leap. Johnson can score both from the mid-range and on drives to the hoop, and feels comfortable with his jumper from 15 feet and in. He’s working on his first step on drives to be more explosive, and thinks he has the game to be both a scorer and a rebounder in college.
Other than making trips to area schools, including WVU, to check out facilities and campus environment, Johnson hasn’t done a lot of prioritizing in recruiting just yet. However, he has a timetable laid out, which includes a mid-summer development of favorites, and then a more serious look at the qualities of each.
“I just want to see how I fit,” he said of the things that will stand out to him as he narrows his list.
Johnson currently has offers from Richmond, Ohio, Duquesne, Old Dominion, Winthrop, High Point and Marshall as well as West Virginia, and also has interest from Clemson and South Alabama. With solid summer performances, he will likely add to his offer list before he makes his final decision. He averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior.