Indiana offers four-star class of 2014 guard Robert Johnson

071413One of the fastest rising backcourt players in the country is a new recruiting target for Indiana.

Robert Johnson, a 6-foot-3, class of 2014 guard from Richmond (Va.), was scouted heavily by the Hoosier staff at the Nike Peach Jam and received a scholarship offer over the weekend.

The four-star guard averaged 20.2 points and shot 46.2 percent on 3-pointers at the Peach Jam for Boo Williams and talked to Inside the Hall on Sunday about his interest in Indiana.

“When I got the call from coach (Tom) Crean, I was pretty excited,” Johnson said. “Indiana is one of the most prestigious programs in the nation. When he offered me, I was real humbled and honored and him wanting me to be a part of that I think is really big. It’s a sign that I’m heading in the right direction and need to continue to work hard.”

Up to this point, Johnson said five schools — Florida State, Villanova, Wake Forest, Virginia and Alabama — have recruited him most consistently, but he’s hearing from several new suitors after his strong play at the Peach Jam.

“Besides Indiana, I’ve heard from North Carolina, Syracuse, Memphis, Cincinnati and UCLA,” he said.

Boo Williams, the uncle of current IU freshman Troy Williams and Johnson’s AAU coach, told Inside the Hall on Sunday that Johnson can play both guard spots and has really elevated his level of play in recent months.

That ability to play multiple positions is something that has come up in Indiana’s conversations with Johnson.

“They like my versatility that I have in being able to play on the ball or off the ball,” he said. “Defensively, I can check one’s or two’s. He (Crean) said I had a pretty good IQ and in their system, that helps because most of the guards are going to set up plays, come off a lot of ball screens and their guards are interchangeable in that way.”

Indiana’s recent success with getting players to the next level is also something that has piqued the interest of the versatile guard.

“That’s one of the things that coach Crean pointed out to me is the player development,” Johnson said. “Of course he said you’ve got to be pretty talented to come in there and play because he doesn’t recruit guys to just come in and sit. He recruits you to come in and play. He likes to develop players to have future pro careers, so that’s definitely appealing.”

The next step in the process for Johnson will be pairing down his list, which could continue to grow as he’s evaluated by more schools this month, and formulate a plan to move forward in the process. Indiana is one school Johnson said he’ll definitely visit.

Johnson also has a pretty good idea of what he’ll be looking for in his future home.

“Just somewhere that, number one, I can come in and compete for playing time as a freshman,” he said. “Somewhere I have a good relationship with the coaches and where I feel comfortable going to school with them. And somewhere that fits my style of play and I can see myself being really useful in the system they run.”

(Photo credit: Under Armour/Kelly Kline)

  • B-TOWNdawgs

    I love when our staff finds up-and-coming players that don’t have much of a name for themselves yet, but they insist on continued hard work. I feel like most schools just look at the espn top 100 and start picking guys to go after like eeny meeny miney mo

  • SCHoosier

    Are these kids getting “PR” training in how to respond to a major program offer..very articulate response from this young man re: IU’s interest. OK..a talent..but we’re in late..Does that mean: 1) TC is not confident about getting Exxum, Booth or Hill 2) There’s always room for another offer given how fickle recruiting is 3) This kid was too good to ignore 4) None of the above? Be interesting to see where Alex put’s him on the 2014 board re: priority for IU.

  • Caleb Moore

    Have been thinking we would see a few new names come out of the eval periods here this month. Like that this kid can play either guard spot and can really shoot it…….sounds like that other kid we already have committed for 2014. Can never have too many interchangeable guards and never have too many kids who can put the ball in the hoop. I wouldnt read too much into this as far as how it pertains to other players we are recruiting. Fact is that we have whiffed on a couple of ’14 kids here lately and Crean is just making sure he doesnt get caught holding the bag at the end. Still think Exum is solid for us and we will add Goodluck. With JB and one more top 50-75 kid that is still a top 10 class in a year where we missed on who was easily our #1 target and a guy the staff put in a ton of time on in Pinson. Coaches were all over the place this weekend!

  • inLinE6

    I thought we already got Blackmon at his position…

  • Haystacks

    Blackmon had a mild ankle sprain and was using precautions with crutches, he has since played in a couple aau games at the peach jam. He’s just fine.

    On another note, considering the Robert Johnson offer. The IU staff is looking for a guy that can play the 1 and 2. They see Blackmon as a 2 b/c he is such a natural scorer/shooter. This offer to Johnson is telling on 2 fronts: it likely says something about how IU feels their chances are with Ahmed Hill & Booth, and it may open the door to look at other combo guards…maybe Bryant McIntosh or others. Always a fluid situation and should be very interesting to follow Exum and Goodluck into the fall and winter.

  • HoosierTrav

    Mild ankle sprain. He played in the last game at peach jam and went for 27

  • HoosierTrav

    First thing i thought when i read about this offer was that means No Exum. That hurts bc he’s a special special talent. I have my fingers crossed. I’m confident that if Exum decides to go straight to the draft, he will hurt his visibility and ability to really improve/cement his stock. We all see how volatile the mock drafts got all the way up to the time Anthony Bennett’s name was called. A lot of that was bc of how certain players played on the national scene. They want to see how they compete against each other. If he were to play one year in college, he could be potentially the #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

  • gerald

    2 guards on the floor at all times, sometimes 3 maybe even 4 in the college game. I trust TCT.

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