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Insider

Cuse's Philly connection to B.J. Johnson

10/15/2012

So far he’s not on anyone’s top 100 list, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t on a short list. Small forward B.J. Johnson (Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion) is just a pup. He’s a young senior and a late bloomer but a guy who has the attention of bigger schools.

Johnson’s father played for Temple coach Fran Dunphy when he was an assistant at LaSalle. Dunphy has Temple involved. Villanova’s on him, and so is Rutgers.

"The kid’s upside is tremendous," Johnson's Team Final coach Rob Brown said. "He’s 16 years old. He doesn’t turn 17 until December. He weighs 165 pounds and hasn’t fully developed. He’s 165 and he’s playing through the air and getting bumped. When he gets his body developed, it’s going to be curtains for defenders."

Rutgers hosts him the weekend of Oct. 20. This coming weekend, though, he’ll be at Syracuse for its opening weekend festivities. Cuse has an affinity for Philadelphia players. Scoop Jardine, Rick Jackson, Dion Waiters, Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas qualify as Philly guys. Waiters, Cooney and Christmas played for Team Final -- same as Johnson. The Orange treat Philadelphia as if it’s in the city limits of Syracuse.

"Syracuse looks at Philadelphia like a major stop for them in recruiting," Brown said. "South Philly puts out good basketball players. With Syracuse, it’s one road up there. You go [Interstate] 476 to the Northeast Extension, turn left and it runs right into Syracuse.”

Johnson won’t have to drive this weekend, he’ll fly, but it remains to be seen if he wears out the path up there in the future.