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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Q&A;: Nick Johnson

Hundreds of the nations best unsigned high school players took part in the Adidas Super 64 and Nike Fab 48 tournaments July 22-26, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev. Images from Sunday, July 25, 2010.
(Photograph by Mike Christy)
Mike Christy
Hundreds of the nation’s best unsigned high school players took part in the Adidas Super 64 and Nike Fab 48 tournaments July 22-26, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev. Images from Sunday, July 25, 2010. (Photograph by Mike Christy)

Even with Derrick Williams turning in his cardinal and navy No. 23 jersey for the NBA ranks, the future of Arizona basketball is as bright as ever.

Not only are the Wildcats coming off of an electric Elite Eight run, they are also welcoming one of the nation’s top recruiting classes to Tucson next season.

Between rivals No. 2 point guard Josiah Turner, five-star combo guard Nick Johnson and four-star big men Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson, the Wildcats feature four soon-to-be freshmen with the talent to contribute — and maybe start — immediately.

“”I think right away we’ll be able to make an impact,”” said Nick Johnson, a 6-foot-2-inch guard from Findlay Prep. “”We’ve all played high level ball in prep schools. I think right away with Sidiki and Angelo’s size it’s going to make an impact.””

The Arizona Daily Wildcat caught up with Nick Johnson to discuss his summer plans, his role next season and his relationship with the other members of Arizona’s top-notch recruiting class.

On why he chose Arizona:

“”It was a really easy decision for me. From the coaching staff to all the players and the history and everything. It’s just been first class. Coach (Sean) Miller and his crew recruited me the hardest so I just felt wanted. Whenever I go down there I always stay with Momo (Jones) and Kevin (Parrom).””

On his expected role:

“”I’m just going to go in there and feel it out. I think I can play a significant role next year. We’ll see what happens. (Miller) just says nothing’s guaranteed. He just wants me to come in there and compete and see what happens. He believes in my ability.””

On whether he’s a natural point guard or shooting guard:

“”They’ve always tried to put a position on me and I just say that I’m a basketball player. If they need to play the point, if they need me to shoot, I’m not really looking to go in for one position.””

On who his game compares to:

“”I’m not really sure. I like to think I have a diverse game. I definitely like to get after it on the defensive end and let that speak for itself. I’d say my uncle (late Celtics great Dennis Johnson) since he was defensive minded.””

On playing for Findlay Prep:

“”It’s been great. It’s always a challenge going away from your family. It’s what needs to be done in order to get ready for college. They treat you like family. We obviously have one of the toughest schedules. Going against the best players every day, it makes you come with it every day.””

On his relationship with the other recruits:

“”Sidiki’s my boy. I actually might go to New York in a few weeks to play with him in a tournament up there. I’ve known him for a while. I talk to him probably once a week. Just catching up and stuff. I played with Josiah this summer. That’s another one of my boys. I’d like to say I got them to Arizona. Angelo, I’ve played against him for four years.””

On if he and Turner can play in the same backcourt:  

“”Yeah definitely. We did it in the summer, and we were the best AAU team in the country.””

On his vertical:

“”Honestly, I’ve never checked it. I really don’t want to. Everybody estimates it at 45 but I just want to leave it untested.””

On what number he’ll wear:

“”I know but I’m not going to unveil it until the Red/Blue game.””

On his major:

“”As of right now I’m undecided.””

On his summer plans:

“”I’m going to be down there for both summer sessions and training with the team.””

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