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Johnson finishes strong at Vegas
During the summer, not many in the class of 2016 had a more productive run than four-star forward T.J. Leaf. That run has continued into his sophomore season.
The No. 27 player in his class, Leaf has grown to 6-foot-9 and is a very skilled and versatile player playing ball for his father at El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian.
Leaf can shoot with range, handles the ball well and is becoming more and more effective as an interior scorer.
"I almost call myself a point forward," Leaf told Rivals.com. "If they have a big guy on me, I'll take the ball up the court. So I'd say I'm a combo forward, like a four/three."
Leaf played in the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas last weekend. He matched up with 2014's No. 3 player Stanley Johnson during one game. Leaf did a good job of holding his own and learned some things.
"He's a full grown man playing against kids pretty much and it's hard when you get the ball and he is up in you," Leaf said. "I learned a lot playing against him. He makes you think you need to be in the weight room a lot longer."
So far Leaf has high major offers from Indiana, UCLA, California and San Diego State. Me mentioned that most of the West Coast schools, Arizona, Arizona State and Michigan also have interest.
Asked if anybody was recruiting him the hardest, Leaf had an answer.
"Probably Indiana, they are recruiting me the hardest," said Leaf. "I really like what coach (Tom) Crean does. He's very disciplined but he lets his guys do their own thing. I like that in a coach."
The Bruins aren't far behind in their pursuit level.
"I like coach (Steve) Alford and they run a lot," Leaf said. "I like getting out in the lanes and running, so I like that about them. They are recruiting me second hardest probably."
At this point, though, Leaf doesn't have any set plan with his recruitment. He wants to keep getting stronger and taking his game to new heights, but isn't opposed to making something happen sooner than later if the feeling is right.
"If something really good happens and I'm feeling it, I'll do it whenever," Leaf said. "It could be two weeks or it could be two years, I don't really know."