Today, five-star guard AJ Johnson from Southern California Academy committed to Texas basketball. The ninth-rated player in the country, Johnson had offers from Kansas, USC, LSU, Gonzaga, Creighton, Louisville, and others. He chose Texas over LSU and Louisville, as well as the G-League and overseas professional ball.
Johnson is a super slick combo guard in the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander mold, a guy who can create his own shot and uses his elite body control in order to get baskets. He can contort himself to score at weird angles, and can also fill it up from all three levels.
Boasting extreme speed, Texas’ willingness to push the pace this season was a major selling point for Johnson. His aforementioned body control shows itself in that even at high speeds, he is able to avoid mistakes and turnovers. He’s a shifty athlete who can get to the rim. He is extremely slight at just 160 pounds at 6’5, so finishing through contact is not a strength of his, but with weight training, he will be able to fill out his frame.
A combo guard with both on-ball and off-ball skills, Johnson is a true difference maker on the offensive end, and has potential to be a pesky defensive player as well with his length and athleticism, though he isn’t super consistent yet in that facet. Chris Beard will help fix this.
Johnson can shoot the ball well, and create for himself and others. Like I mentioned previously, he can play both guard spots very well, but probably projects more as an on-ball guard due to his abilities in the passing game and his ability to attack the rim. Johnson will be a great college player and will likely play just one season of college basketball before going to the NBA, especially if he is able to bulk up and put on some muscle.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Why he chose Texas: “I just felt like, out of all of the colleges, that it was somewhere that I could see myself. I went on my visit there and I just saw how they lived every day, and the people they’re around every day. The workouts and the practices, I could just see myself thriving in that environment and being comfortable there and vibing with those people.”
Coaching staff’s vision for him: “They want me to come in and make an impact right away, even with me just being a freshman. Coach (Chris) Beard just says that he wants me to make an impact right away.”
Who he’s recruiting to join him: “I’m trying to get Isaiah Miranda to come, and I already know Ron (Holland) is committed.”
What Texas fans can look forward to in AJ Johnson: “A winning spirit, a very humble and happy person, and for me to win and put on a show.”