MLK Classic: Carlos Johnson Pours it On

BERKELEY -- 2016 three-star Carlos Johnson leads El Cerrito to a gutty win over pesky Berkeley in the opener of the MLK Classic at Haas Pavilion, pouring in 25 points in front of a bevy of college coaches.

BERKELEY -- With just over a minute and a half left in the third quarter of Monday’s MLK Classic opener, El Cerrito (Calif.) forward Carlos Johnson had a massive dunk off the dribble in transition taken away by the referees. It just made him mad. Johnson took his next touch to the cup, scored the lay-in and added the and-one, hit another dunk, and added two more freebies before the quarter ended, helping the Gauchos pull away from Berkeley (Calif.) for an eventual 78-65 win.

“We just came together,” said Johnson, who helped pull El Cerrito away from the plucky Yellow Jackets, who got to within two points before Johnson’s third-quarter barrage. “I just want to thank my team. They play a big role in doing what I do. I’m glad that we came along as a team.”

El Cerrito moved to 11-2 since Johnson became eligible after transferring from Arizona.

Playing on Pete Newell Court at Haas Pavilion on the California campus agreed with Johnson – who was named his team’s game MVP, with 25 points, six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block – as the Golden Bears are one of the teams recruiting him the hardest.

“It feels good,” Johnson smiled. “I made some nice plays, thanks to my teammates.”

And, does it feel like it fits?

“It feels like it,” Johnson said, as a grin spread across his face.

Johnson played in front of a bevy of coaches, including Cincinnati, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Cal’s assistant Tracy Webster -- Johnson’s primary recruiter from the Bears.

“I talk to them all the time – almost every other day,” Johnson said. “Webster, I love Webster. He makes you feel like family. It’s always good to have someone you can relate to. He’s not too far from where I’m from, so it’s good to know that he’s a good person.”

Johnson – a 2016 three-star prospect – isn’t just being recruited by the hometown Bears.

Kansas State, Gonzaga, St. Marys, they’re recruiting me pretty hard, and Weber State really hard, and Utah,” said Johnson.

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