Yesterday belonged to Malik Newman, but today may belong to Stanley Johnson. The 6’6″ 200 lbs. small forward posted 33 points, 14 rebounds, and four steals in Oakland Soldier’s 67-64 win over Expressions Elite, erasing any doubt about his skills after a disappointing outing yesterday. He did it in front of an elite audience of John Calipari, Coach K, Steve Alford, and Sean Miller, and afterwards, told reporters he can’t wait to visit Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in October:
“That’s supposed to be the biggest show ever. I talked to Cliff [Alexander], he went last year. I have a couple people that went last year. The coaches have explained it to me. I told them I want to be there for the best. I want to see Rupp 30,000 deep.”
Johnson plans to make his decision by January, and will sign in the late signing period. Rivals’ 8th best player in the 2014 class may have had one of the lines of the tournament when he asked about posing after a dunk in front of Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan: “I don’t know who Bo Ryan is, by the way.” But what about that big block in front of John Calipari? “I do know who that guy is.”
Johnson’s list includes Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA, and USC. He hinted to reporters that Kentucky’s in a very good position right now because they’re the only team to have singled him out as their only small forward offer:
“I’m the only person that they offered at Kentucky at my position so that’s a big deal for me. So just kind of realizing that kind of made me think about that a little bit more.”
As far as Duke’s place in his recruitment? “I’m not their main guy, per se,” Johnson said. “They’re in the picture a little bit, but them not recruiting me as hard as other schools are recruiting me puts them at the bottom of the barrel.”
See you in October, Stanley.