RELATED LINK AT WILDABOUTAZCATS.net: Arizona Wildcats target top Class of 2015 prospect Ivan Rabb
LAS VEGAS — With the game having no shot clock and more motion than usual for an AAU game, Oakland Soldiers wing player Stanley Johnson — one of the prized recruits from the Class of 2014 — did not allow the pace to throw him off his steady style against Texas Team Elite.
Johnson managed 13 points, which is low by his standards, but he played under control, not allowing the game to frustrate him. His high basketball IQ was obvious in the way that he handled the ball as a 6-foot-7 point forward and got his teammates involved instead of trying to force a quicker tempo.
“They also threw a 2-3 zone at us,” Johnson told me, incredulously after the Soldiers beat Team Texas Elite 71-64 at Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas. “With that zone and no shot clock, that kind of ruined things. I’d rather play in transition.
“But I played well, maybe not as well as I’m accustomed to, but I thought it went well because we won.”
The Soldiers played in front of a group of elite college coaches that included Arizona’s Sean Miller, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Cal’s Mike Montgomery. The lack of the shot clock in the Las Vegas Classic probably takes Pitino and Montgomery back to their early college coaching careers.
Pitino and Montgomery had their sights on other players, including Johnson’s Class of 2015 teammate, Ivan Rabb, a 6-9 star post player in the making. Miller watched Rabb, of Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School, intently as well. Rabb finished with a team-high 20 points. Elijah Thomas, a Class of 2015 center for Team Texas Elite, is also attracting attention from Arizona and other top-flight programs.