Potential Class of 2011 recruit Nick Johnson, a 6-2 guard from Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep by way of Gilbert, let Rivals.com know this weekend that he will unofficially ASU and Arizona this month and will officially visit Louisville and Kansas in September.
Johnson has not decided if he will take his other three official visits. Kentucky, Oklahoma State and St. John’s are among others recruiting him.
“I don’t want to play my hand yet,” Johnson told Rivals.com. “I want to see how these [recruiting visits] go first.”
Johnson competed in the Nike Global Challenge in Hillsboro, Ore., over the weekend along with other potential Class of 2011 recruit and good friend Jahii Carson, a point guard from Mesa. Chad Groth, an AAU organizer in Phoenix who is affiliated to the Compton Magic program in which Carson competed with this summer, told me last week that Carson still has Arizona in the mix but is closer to ASU at this point.
Groth’s communication to me occurred after Carson’s unofficial visit to ASU before he traveled to Oregon. Groth also indicated that Carson will not decide until November after he’s taken official visits to Arizona, Oregon State (which he de-committed from earlier this year), Washington and St. John’s.
Groth has a good relationship with St. John’s coach Steve Lavin. Former Pueblo High School guard Michael Perez played for the Magic AAU program this summer and was offered a scholarship by Lavin.
Derrick Williams Pac-10 MVP next year? Dime magazine offered its most valuable players from each Pac-10 school recently, and UA sophomore Derrick Williams is listed as the UA’s MVP, which is a no-brainer.
I disagree with Dime’s choices for MVPs at ASU and UCLA.
How could the magazine take Jamelle McMillan over fellow senior Ty Abbott? Just because McMillan is the son of Nate McMillan? The younger McMillan was injury-riddled last year while Abbott performed like an All-Pac-10 player. Another ASU senior, Rihards Kuksiks, should also be in the discussion, but Herb Sendek is not certain that Kuksiks will return to Tempe or play professionally in his native Latvia.
Malcolm Lee is not as much of a reach as Jamelle McMillan, but I’d take burly center Nelson Reeves ahead of Lee. Reeves has the skills to impact the outcome of the game with his rebounding, defense and high percentage shooting. He manhandled Arizona last season.
Looking at Dime’s overall list, Williams’ toughest competition as the Pac-10 MVP will be Washington’s Isaiah Thomas and Washington State’s Klay Thompson. Look for Thompson to be the Pac-10 player of the year because he will be given the green light by coach Ken Bone, whereas Williams will not be counted on to score more than 20 points for the Wildcats.
Thomas will share the ball with Abdul Gaddy, Venoy Overton and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
Don’t I know you? ASU will open its season Nov. 16 at The Pit in Albuquerque in a game that will include former Sun Devil guard Demetrius Walker on the Lobos’ bench. He will have to sit out this season per transfer rules. New Mexico also features freshman center Alex Kirk, an Albuquerque product who took unofficial visits to ASU and Arizona before deciding to stay home and play for the Lobos.
Washington opens with Virginia in the Maui Invitational. The Cavaliers are coached by Tony Bennett, who coached at Washington’s arch-rival Washington State before moving to the ACC last year. Bennett had a 5-2 mark against Washington during a his three years at WSU.