With the transfer portal and class of 2022 taking precedence for college programs, the incoming high school junior class has taken more of a back seat than normal this spring.
But soon college coaches will be able to directly contact class of 2023 prospects, and one of them sure to hear from IU is West Virginia based combo guard Maki Johnson.
The 6-foot-4 and 190 pound Johnson already has a slew of offers, but he talks with the IU staff as much as anyone.
“Indiana is probably the school that I’ve talked to the most on the phone,” Johnson told The Daily Hoosier.
He said he is on the phone with IU once every couple weeks, and the program wants to set him up on a call with new head coach Mike Woodson soon. For now, both sides are just getting to know each other better.
“I know they are die-hard for basketball, and they have some nice facilities,” Johnson said of Indiana.
Johnson’s early offer list is impressive and it includes Auburn, Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland, Xavier and Virginia Tech. Indiana’s involvement with Johnson goes back for more than a year, and the staff is looking forward to seeing him play during the July live period.
“They just want to develop the relationship more before they offer, and have a chance to see me play live in July,” Johnson said.
For AAU basketball Johnson plays for Adidas sponsored Wildcats Select. The class of 2023 rankings still aren’t well developed to this point, but Johnson sits at No. 72 nationally according to 247Sports.
Johnson had said in previous interviews that staying close to home would be a priority for him, but he says that isn’t much of an issue anymore, and his proximity to IU makes them a school he would consider.
As for what are his key factors when considering a college program?
“Style of play for sure, and I want to be coached up sometimes, I want to be yelled at honestly, I like coaches who tell me the truth,” Johnson said.
That is a style Johnson has grown accustomed to with his father, who is an AAU coach. Growing up under a basketball coach, Johnson has the highly-skilled game you would expect. He is thought of first and foremost as a strong perimeter shooter, and Johnson named two aspects of his game that he wants to take to the next level this summer.
“I need to improve my lateral quickness and dribbling,” he told The Daily Hoosier. “I want to improve my defense a lot, but that comes with lateral speed. My dribbling is getting better, but it’s not where I want it to be.”
Now in the month of June, top prospects have turned their attention to school ball and visits. After attending Huntington Prep as a freshman, Johnson now attends Teays Valley Christian in Scott Depot, W.V. He talked about some of the other schools showing interest and his early plans to hit the road this month.
“Louisville is one of the ones that has been talking to me a lot. Dayton I just talked to the other day. I’m going to go an a visit to Ohio State, and I go on my first visit this weekend to Cincinnati,” he said.
A June visit with Indiana has been discussed, but as of right now nothing firm is on the books.
“I think we’ll get there sometime this month,” Johnson said.
Heating Up😈🔥 pic.twitter.com/T1l2XBCSg7
— Maki Johnson (@MakiJohnson3) May 4, 2021
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