LONG BEACH, Calif. – Stanley Johnson
is receiving plenty of quality coaching.
The 6-foot-6 rising junior wing plays his high school ball at Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
, where he is coached by legendary nine-time state champion Gary McKnight.
He spent the spring with powerhouse club team Oakland Soldiers, led by Derrick Artis, the uncle and mentor of Oregon-bound point guard Dominic Artis
And he even gets coached at home by his mother, Karen Taylor, who Johnson says deserves the credit for his standing as one of the nation's top Class of 2014 prospects.
"My mom is the first coach that I ever had, the first person to teach me the game of basketball, the first person to put a basketball in my hand," Johnson said. "It's made me a better player."
Taylor's biggest point of emphasis with her son is effort, which hasn't been an issue this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp. He has been one of the event's top performers, and perhaps more importantly, showed off the shooting range and perimeter skills which haven't always been needed in his first two years at guard-heavy Mater Dei.
"With Mater Dei, I came in as a freshman and I just wanted to get playing time," Johnson said. "Whatever they needed, that's what I was doing. Last year I got to the wing a little bit more and got to score a little bit more."
Johnson averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore, helping the Monarchs go 34-2 and win back-to-back titles in California's rugged Division I.
All the coaching has him feeling pretty confident about what he wants to do once his playing days are over.
"I want to coach at the highest level," Johnson said. "I want to coach in the NBA. After I play in it, of course."
The well-built and energetic SoCal standout will look to formulate a recruiting list after the July evaluation period.Oak Hill Academy guard making up for lost timeIkenna Iroegbu
, a native of Elk Grove, Calif., has been proudly sporting his Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
gear around the gym at Cabrillo High School.
As he should be coming off a 44-0 season that was capped with a trip to China and being crowned national champ by multiple media outlets.
"We went 44-0 and wanted to be the greatest team to ever play at Oak Hill," Iroegbu said. "That's what we wanted to do at the beginning of the year and that's what we did at the end of the year."
The 6-0 point guard served in a bit of an apprentice role behind North Carolina State-bound Tyler Lewis
, a McDonald's All-American.
At Pangos, Iroegbu is showing he wouldn't be a backup on many – if any – other programs in the country. He's been nearly unstoppable going to the basket and is finishing at a high clip.
That was the plan coming in, according to Iroegbu.
"Getting to the hole, getting a lot of contact, getting to the three free throw line and pretty much not backing down from anybody," he said of his goals coming into the weekend.
Most of the Pac-12 is in pursuit, including Washington State. His older brother, Chuks, spent the 2011-12 season in Pullman but plans to transfer. That move doesn't necessarily take the Cougars off his list.
"He had a great experience at Washington State even though he left," Iroegbu said. "He had fun with the team and team chemistry was really good. He said if I went to Washington State it would be a good look."Breaking it down with Jeremy Russotti
Renowned trainer and Pangos instructor Jeremy Russotti shared his thoughts on a few players that stood out to him Friday and Saturday;Conner Frankamp (6-1, 2013, G) – North (Wichita, Kan.)...
"Everybody here plays really hard, sometimes it's too fast and too crazy. But he has a super-smooth game. He's effortless. Every right pass, every right decision, every right shot. He is very special. He is game-ready college level right now."Zach LaVine (6-3, 2013, G) – Bothell (Wash.)
..."Extremely explosive. Deceptive quickness. Really competitive and plays hard. Definitely think he has major pro potential."Jermaine Lawrence (6-8, 2013, F) – Pope John XXIII (Sparta, N.J.)...
"Really like his athleticism and intensity. Plays hard on both sides of the floor."Ben Simmons (6-8, 2015, F) – Melbourne, Australia...
"Probably the highest pro potential guy I've seen here. I don't see him going to college, I'm sure he will get signed and become a project overseas."More news, notes and standouts from Pangos
* After missing out on Friday night and Saturday afternoon action, 7-5 rising senior Mamadou Ndiaye
of Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
made his debut during the evening session and drew quite a crowd. There's a lot to like about the Senegal-born center. He knows what to do with the ball around the basket (dunk it), has near-perfect form at the free throw line and recognizes double teams and kicks to the perimeter. He's fairly agile and well-proportioned for a player of his size.
However, it's not time to go overboard with expectations just yet. Defensively, he was consistently out of position and foul trouble could potentially be a major issue if that isn't corrected. There just isn't enough data yet to determine if he can impact games at a high level but it's going to be fascinating to see his progression.
* Namon Wright
, a 6-3 rising junior guard from Pacific Hills (Los Angeles)
, opened Friday night with 19 points and continued to provide glimpses of his talent Saturday. Gonzaga, Florida State, New Mexico State, USC and Utah have already extended offers and Kansas and California-Irvine have been in contact.
* Patson Siame, a native of Zambia who made his prime time stateside debut at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, looks to be all of his listed height of 6-11 with Top 100-caliber potential. Siame has only been in the United State for four months but is already committed to Loyola Marymount. Don't expect that to change. A source in the building Saturday says he has deep ties to WCC program. He will play next season at Impact Academy in Nevada.
* Dakarai Allen
helped Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.)
to a big season in 2011-12 and has earned praise at Pangos for his defense and general playmaking. According to the 6-6 wing, UCLA is monitoring his progress offensively. If a Bruin offer doesn't materialize, Colorado is in good position to secure his services.
* I couldn't close things out tonight without mentioning Brandon Austin
, Jordan Bell
and Christian Wood
. We will have more on this trio in our Pangos wrap-up on Monday, but each has stood out over the weekend and should be on the rise in our next rankings update.