After UConn transfer Vance Jackson stated he would take the rest of his scheduled visits after concluding his stay at Rutgers this past weekend, it was fair to wonder what other propects were in play for next season. Late last night, word spread that a big man from California in the class of 2017 was now in the mix.
Rutgers will host 6-foot-10 Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic big man Myles Johnson on Wednesday, per source.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 9, 2017
Myles Johnson is rated a 3-star recruit by ESPN and Scout. However, he missed his entire junior season due to suffering a broken kneecap. Due to the injury, it seems Johnson fell off the radar of high major schools. He returned for his senior year and was a key player for Long Beach Poly, regularly registering double-double performances.
According to Verbal Commits, Johnson holds offers from Yale, Fordham, Lehigh, Cal-State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. He also told Scout that he was offered by Western Kentucky, a solid mid-major coached by Rick Stansbury. However, two programs that have gotten involved late, Hawaii and Rutgers, appear to be the final two schools Johnson will decide between.
Long Beach Poly big man Myles Johnson says he will decide this weekend between #HawaiiMBB and Rutgers. Visits Rutgers tomorrow.— Brian McInnis (@Brian_McInnis) May 9, 2017
According to Hawaii Warrior World, Johnson visited there this past weekend. In the article, they cite Johnson’s strengths as being defense and rebounding. He is also an excellent student and according to this profile, has held a 4.0 grade point average throughout his high school career.
While there will be skeptics of whether Johnson is a high major player based on his offer list, I think he could be the type of prospect that is still developing. For one, he grew 4 inches in just the past couple of years. Two, big men typically are slower to progress offensively. The fact that Johnson missed his entire junior season due to the kneecap injury means he lost significant time in learning how to play with his new body.
One of the last games of his high school career was in the California state playoffs against Chino Hills and the Ball brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. Their brother Alonzo was a First Team All-American at UCLA as a freshman and could be the #1 pick in next month’s NBA Draft. While Johnson’s team lost, he produced a balanced stat line of 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Here are highlights from that game:
Note: Myles Johnson is #15 in a white jersey.
It's no secret that Rutgers needs another low post player to replace CJ Gettys. While it seemed more likely that replacement would come from the grad transfer market or JUCO ranks, Johnson could be a pleasant surprise. Under Pikiell and assistant Jay Young, who is an excellent big man coach, Johnson could develop into a legitimate frontcourt starter for the program during his college career. Adding four year players that can grow under the tutelage of Rutgers’ experienced staff is a key to the rebuilding of the program. Johnson seems like the type of player worth taking a chance on.
Here are more highlights from his senior season.
In other recruiting news, 2018 point guard Jalen Carey, fresh off his visit to Rutgers this past weekend, announced his list of top ten schools on Monday.
While Rutgers should still be considered an underdog in the battle for his services, it's encouraging he included them in his top ten.
In addition to Johnson visiting campus on Wednesday, a promising big man for the future will be present as well in class of 2019 and 4-star recruit Kahlil Whitney.
The Roselle Catholic big man has visited previously and appears to be a top target for Rutgers in the 2019 class. It's encouraging that he will take another visit to campus this week. I covered Whitney in more detail recently in this article.
This offseason has been a busy one on the recruiting trail for Rutgers basketball. Stay tuned to see if Myles Johnson is the next prospect to join the program. Picking up a bonafide four year big man that the staff can develop this late in the process would be a solid addition. For now, two scholarships remain for next season.