For athletes, the challenge of choosing a team that gives them the best opportunity to win championships while maximizing their earnings potential continues to be a delicate balance filled with unknowns. Basketball reasons aside, Dwight Howard's decision to leave Los Angeles was hardly a disastrous one from a financial perspective. Read More. Written by Michael Pak on Dec 05, 2013
Stanley Johnson has committed to Arizona, choosing the Wildcats over Kentucky and USC.
Johnson is a 6'6, 225 lbs wing out of Mater Dei High School.
“He is a different type of kid,” Oakland Soldiers coach Jules Milstead told TucsonCitizen.com’s Javier Morales during the summer. “I haven’t seen a kid like that with his motor, his basketball IQ, with his ability in the open floor, and with his body control.”
Johnson is the No. 9 ranked player in the class of 2014.
Aaron Gordon’s athleticism and motor have drawn comparison to Blake Griffin.
“I think it’s unfair to put that on Aaron,” said Sean Miller, who will coach Gordon at Arizona this season. “I don’t know if he’s as much of a post player as Blake Griffin is. Aaron might not even be as big physically as Blake Griffin. ... But he does some other things that are much different. He’s much more fluid away from the basket entering his freshman year, I think if you would make that comparison at equal time, than Blake Griffin [was]. The one thing they share is athleticism in and around the basket or in transition.”
Gordon has shown the ability to play both inside and out.
“What he does, he does a little bit of everything,” Miller said. “And he can really handle the ball. He’s an unselfish passer, he’s great in transition. He can rebound at both ends. From a defensive perspective, it’s like he’s an upperclassman. He can guard a variety of players. And he takes that part of his game seriously. ... I’m almost describing an older player and yet Aaron just turned 18 years old.”
Stanley Johnson will take recruiting visits to Kentucky (Oct. 18), Arizona (Sept. 14), Florida (Nov. 30) and USC (Sept. 20).
Johnson said last month that he decided to visit Kentucky for Midnight Madness because “I told (the Cats’ coaches) I want to see them at their best, and they said that’s their best. I’m excited to see what they have to offer.”
Johnson is a consensus top-15 player in the class of 2014.
Arizona received a verbal commitment from Craig Victor, a highly-touted 6-foot-8 forward out of New Orleans St. Augustine.
Victor turned down offers from LSU and Oklahoma State.
“The situation with (head coach) Sean Miller and Arizona as a program is that they are a big-time college basketball program,” said Graegg Holmes, director of Victor’s AAU program, New Orleans Elite. “He’s seen the draft picks that they’ve been having. His ultimate goal, and hopefully it happens for him, is to become a pro.
“(College) is just a stepping stone to what he ultimately wants to do. Oklahoma State and LSU could have prepared him as they’ve had people get drafted too. But how things have happened in the past, that really swayed him.”