Profile: Jaylen Johnson
Location/school: Ypsilanti, Mich., High School
Ranking: No. 62 in the Scout.com top 100.
Recruiting: Johnson picked the Cardinals over Michigan State and Oregon. He had also been looking at Michigan, Iowa State and Arizona State.
What to like: There is a lot to like about Johnson, who just within the last month turned 17. He’s already a very talented kid and one of the top power forwards in the country and yet he’s still young and has so much upside. Johnson visited U of L in June and the first time Pitino saw him in July he was sold on him. Johnson is a high-energy player who really runs the floor well and has a nice finish. Johnson has great length and is the bouncy-type forward Rick Pitino loves.
What needs to improve: Johnson was solid on defense during the summer months but his offense still needs to develop more. He’s young and will become more consistent as he gets older.
Bottom line: Johnson is going to have a better college career than some of the guys you see ranked ahead of him. He’s a talented player, one that was near the top of Pitino’s want list and is only going to get better as he gets older. Plus, beating out Michigan State for an in-state kid is always a plus.
Odds and ends: Johnson’s mother – Janetta – played at Wisconsin and led the nation in blocked shots for one season. Johnson averaged 13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last year, as he helped Ypsilanti reach the state quarterfinals. His brother, Lawrence, is a rising 6-foot-4 sophomore at Ypsilanti.
The U of L class: The Cardinals now have three commitments in the Class of 2014. Huntington Prep guard JaQuan Lyle (No. 16) and Seattle Rainier Beach wing Shaqquan Aaron (No. 32) are the other commitments.
Filling out the class: The Cardinals could still add two or three more players to the class, likely two more big men. Indianapolis Tech forward Trey Lyles (No. 7) visited last weekend and is also looking at Kentucky and Florida, while Upper Marlboro, Md., forward Chinanu Onuaku (No 68) also visited. The staff is still in the mix with Jonah Bolden (No. 38) and Myles Turner (No. 2), while still being mentioned with Cliff Alexander (No. 5), Elbert Robinson (No. 59) and Donte Grantham (No. 90). JUCO forward Cinmeon Bowers is expected to visit on Sept. 27. Marion, Ind., guard James Blackmon Jr., also visited last week and is the top guard target at this point if the staff adds another at that position.