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Minnesota Golden Gopher Basketball Recruiting: Jarvis Johnson to Commit to Gophers Tomorrow

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Amelia Rayno of the Star Tribune just posted that local guard, Jarvis Johnson is planning to commit to Minnesota tomorrow!

DeLaSalle senior Jarvis Johnson, the state's most highly touted 2014 basketball prospect and the Gophers' top target, is expected to commit Friday to the University of Minnesota.

In front of a crowd of friends, family and classmates at the DeLaSalle gymnasium after school on Friday, the 6-foot-1 point guard is expected to fill out Richard Pitino's impressive 2015 class, sources told the Star Tribune this week.

You are allowed to take a moment and let out a quick "WHOO-HOOO" even if you are at work still.  With this verbal the Gophers have snatched up half of the premier targets coming out of Minnesota this year.  The other target still on the board is PF-Alex Illikainen (technically Illikainen is no longer a MN recruit as he transferred to a prep school out of state, but we'll still count him as one of us).

A little about Johnson before the commentary...

STARS
Rivals - 3-stars 
247 - 4-stars (103rd overall, #17 PG)
ESPN - 4-stars (#22 PG)

ESPN Scouts Inc Scouting Report

Strengths:
Johnson has the speed, quickness, athleticism, motor and ability to change gears to be a special lead guard. Johnson has excellent court vision and does a great job using the advance pass on the break and finding the open man down the sideline or rim running. Johnson excels on the break but can run the half court offense as well. He has a nice mid range pull up that he can get off at will with his ability to beat his defender off the bounce. Johnson can hit the open three when his feet are set as well. Johnson gears also allows him to make a play at end of clock situations.
Weaknesses:
In addition to adding strength Johnson must work to make his jumper a consistent weapon and improve his shot selection at times. Also Johnson must learn not to take chances or be loose with the ball.
Bottom Line:
Johnson is a true point guard that can not only get teammates involved, run the offense but can create as well. Johnson is very talented but is learning how to manage the game which he is very capable. Great upside

So with this commitment I think I can firmly say the Gophers are finished recruiting guards in this class.  Maybe for next year too!  It has been often said in print that coach Pitino is working towards building a dynamic, fast and dangerous backcourt that has similarities to the Louisville backcourt duo of Peyton Siva and Russ Smith who led them to an NCAA Championship.  Johnson will pair with Kevin Dorsey, the more natural PG, as this dynamic backcourt duo where both guys are capable of handling the ball, getting by defenders and scoring.  Johnson is perfectly capable of playing either guard spot and has been a primary target since the moment Coach Pitino was allowed to initiate contact.

A couple years down the road this should be a really fun backcourt to watch with Johnson, Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer.   Three of these four are capable of running the lead guard spot and all four are going to be guys who can penetrate and score.  You are now seeing exactly the kind of team Richard Pitino is trying to construct.

So what's next?  Technically the Gophers are now out of scholarships for the class of 2015.  What does that mean for Illikainen?  I think the conventionally wisdom is that they would take his commitment in a heartbeat and figure out the numbers later.  Illikainen would be a great fit for this system and would be a great story for the coaching staff to have landed the premier local kids in this class.  Step one in locking down the borders.

Great signing for the Gopher staff and Gopher fans.  This is one to be excited about. Welcome to Gopher Nation Mr. Johnson.

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