Stanley Johnson Sets Five Officials

By CHIP MILLER

Special to ZAGSBLOG

Stanley Johnson, a five-star power forward out of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, has filled the final spot in his visit map, telling The Courier-Journal he will officially visit Kansas.

With that decision, the Duke Blue Devils end up on the outside looking in, although Duke had yet to officially offer. The 6-foot-7, 226-pound Johnson had previously stated he would choose between Duke and Kansas for the fifth and final spot.

Kentucky, Florida, Oregon and Arizona get his other four visits while local programs UCLA and USC will get official unofficial visits.

“Yes, that’s what I’m going to do,” he said last month in a video interview with Fox. “I’m going to take unofficial officials to USC and UCLA for sure. Then I want to take five officials to the schools out of state.”

Johnson is the lone 2014 small forward with a Kentucky offer and he told the Courier-Journal at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas he was honored to be in that position.

“That means to me they really want me and what they’re saying if valid,” he said. “Coach [John] Calipari is one of the most honest coaches I’ve talked to so far, and he’s shown it. That’s big for me. A lot of coaches say it, but they don’t show it. Having me being the only small forward Kentucky has offered is a big deal.

Johnson said he expects several other top players at Big Blue Madness, with 2014 point guard Emmanuel Mudiay already saying he will come.

“A lot of guys are going,” Johnson told the Courier-Jouranl. “I heard me and Emmanuel Mudiay, and (Alabama shooting guard) Devin Booker just told me this weekend he wants to come with me, so it’s going to be packed. I’m excited because I want to see them at their best. I think that’s the best weekend for basketball up there and to see the school also. I’m excited to go up there and see the campus life when basketball is going to be big.”

Johnson is also close friends with Katin Reinhardt, who recently transferred to USC from UNLV and may now be working to recruit Johnson to Andy Enfield’s program.

“He wants to recruit me there, but for me it’s the best decision for me,” Johnson said. “For Katin I thought that was the best decision for him, but for me the best decision for me is the best decision for me. So, it could be anywhere for me.”

Johnson said he will visit Arizona on Sept. 14 for their Red-Blue game, Kentucky on Oct. 18 for their annual Big Blue Madness event and Florida on Oct. 30.

On Kansas, Johnson stated he plans on visiting with 2014 Cliff Alexander for their annual Late Night at The Phog, which is scheduled for Oct. 4 of this year.

Johnson says it will probably be early-to-mid January before he decides and he will sign in the Spring.

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