Friday, December 21, 2012
Marquette recruit compares to Shumpert
By Dave Telep
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- ESPN 100 shooting guard and Marquette signee JaJuan Johnson (Memphis/Southwind), who's played well this week at the City of Palms Classic, strikes me as a guy who doesn’t come into college with the headlining hype but quickly catches his peers.
Let’s not forget his uncle is NBA player Louis Williams. Most of the highly regarded shooting guards in the 2013 class don’t own the frame, athleticism and length that’s been given to Johnson.
I recall watching current New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert in high school, and there’s a reasonable comparison to be made. Shumpert has more lead guard in him, but they have similar body styles and both are ball-hawking defensive players. Sorry, Marquette fans, I do recall the Golden Eagles being a whisker away from landing Shumpert. The good news is that Johnson is on the way.
In each class there’s always kids who have physical advantages but their bodies and games haven’t come together in unison. They magically find their college weight room, listen to their college coach and voila -- a big-time player emerges. Happens every year.
The trick is to recognize the guys and take a chance on them from a rankings perspective. Others will have more established resumes and bigger names, but my gut says this kid closes the gap quickly. He picked a college program founded in playing hard, and he’s already there. The next step is polishing up his offense and patiently waiting as the pieces come together.